I received this book as a surprise gift and was very happy about it, as it was one of those titles I had on my wish list for years, but never came aroI received this book as a surprise gift and was very happy about it, as it was one of those titles I had on my wish list for years, but never came around to get a copy for myself.
This poem is guaranteed to get you into the mood for Christmas, if you're not naturally bouncing up and down with anticipation, decorating, baking, and enjoying the season as I do each year when the first signs of Christmas appear. The poem is beautifully written in a very figurative language, effortlessly creating a vast scenery of images, smells and sounds.
It was a great challenge to translate the poem to my son, and I guess I failed miserably at finding the right words to convey the christmasy spirit. However, I found that there is a beautiful translation from Erich Kästner which I will try next time....more
Wild Hunt (Janine Southard) My least favourite story of the collection, but it's always a good thing to finish that one first - this way it can only geWild Hunt (Janine Southard) My least favourite story of the collection, but it's always a good thing to finish that one first - this way it can only get better ;) For the most time I was confused about what was going on and why. Even after finishing I had more questions left than answers. I didn't get the concept and origin of the Hunt and hunters - where did they come from, why did they exist etc. Also, I could not figure out a reason for the murder other than to show off an original MO, but that just is not enough to make a good murder mystery. 1 star.
Escape from Yorktown (G. Clemans) This was an interesting mixture of modern sci-fi and Victorian charm. I appreciated the concept of living history museums, which vaguely reminded me of the movies Westworld and Futureworld. 3 stars.
Odysseus Flax & the Krampus (Maia Chance) I love stories about the Krampus, and this one delivered an original variety with a surprise ending I thoroughly enjoyed. 4 stars.
Ol’ St. Nick (Raven Oak) A murder mystery set in space, but the solution was absolutely boring and not very original. 2 stars
Bevel & Turn (G. Clemans) I loved the concept of the story: a whirligig that can bring you back in time. The author created an intricate plot that kept me glued to the pages. However, I had to frown upon the mix-up of Christmas stollen and fruit bread, which are two completely different Christmas treats. Also, the German translations were a bit rough. 3 stars
Death Node (Janine A. Southard) An interesting take on the subject of time travel and how altering the past will immediately affect the future (or present, depending on when you consider). The multiple repetitions of the same scene in time, each with a slightly different outcome, kept me guessing til the end what the final outcome would be. 3 stars.
The Ringers (Raven Oak) Easily my favourite story of the collection, this is a very dark and creepy ghost story that will surely send a chill or two down your spine. 4 stars.
Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe (Maia Chance) Unfortunately, the closing story was a let-down again. Probably meant to be funny and entertaining in an exaggerated way, but I felt annoyed and did not care much for the characters and the plot. 2 stars.
Each story was preceded by a short introduction/summary of one of the other authors, which sometimes spoiled the fun. However, I liked the author comments at the end of each story, as they provided some interesting information, like where the idea for that specific story came from.
Overall, an entertaining mixture of sci-fi and fantasy stories to get into the Christmas spirit. Let me adjust the box of chocolates comparison appropriately: this collection of stories was like a box of Christmas cookies, probably purchased for a good cause at some Christmas bazaar. While surely baked by enthusiastic (but not all equally talented) mothers, some are perfect treats, while others are dry and tasteless.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)...more
All stressed out from christmas preparations? Sit down, sip a cup of your preferred hot beverage, nibble a cookie (or more) and have fun reading 'TheAll stressed out from christmas preparations? Sit down, sip a cup of your preferred hot beverage, nibble a cookie (or more) and have fun reading 'The Naughty List'! It's a perfect way to relax and spread a huge smile on your lips. Santa and his reindeer rock!...more
"Klein aber fein" - das trifft nicht nur auf den Protagonisten, eine Ratte namens Walter, zu, sondern auch auf das Buch selbst. Nicht weltbewegend abe"Klein aber fein" - das trifft nicht nur auf den Protagonisten, eine Ratte namens Walter, zu, sondern auch auf das Buch selbst. Nicht weltbewegend aber herzerwärmend und eine Freude für jeden Buchliebhaber. Selbst mein Sohn (5), bei dem ich dachte das Buch wäre vielleicht doch noch zu anspruchsvoll und lang(weilig) für ihn, hörte mir gebannt zu und wollte unbedingt bis zum Ende weiter mitlesen. Das perfekte Weihnachtsgeschenk für alle anderen - und einen selbst....more
This book delivers a good old-fashioned monster tale, where the creature is after some children. However, this one comes with a twist, as the creatureThis book delivers a good old-fashioned monster tale, where the creature is after some children. However, this one comes with a twist, as the creature is no other than Krampus, Santa's Dark Servant. He takes those children that are on the naughty list for behaving badly, especially for bullying other kids. If the children freely acknowledge and honestly regret their deeds they may be spared a brutal punishment. But this year in New Jersey, Krampus made a mistake, and now he is the one in trouble.
This was my second book based on the Krampus legend, and while 'The Dark Servant' stayed close to the original legend, at the same time it was kind of a stereotypical monster story. There where several though very minor things that bothered me. The references to the Nazis, while legitimate, seemed unnecessary. Also, I was not convinced why Krampus made his appearance in New Jersey, of all things. Finally, Krampus was made ridiculous on several occasions, which was entertaining but also counteracted the sense of dread and horror.
While I would definitely recommend this book as a well-written scary monster story, when it comes to Krampus I prefer Brom's interpretation of the legend: Krampus: The Yule Lord....more
All stories in this collection are related to winter and christmas.
Snowmen: this was definitely my favourite story, as it evoked a sense of utter dreaAll stories in this collection are related to winter and christmas.
Snowmen: this was definitely my favourite story, as it evoked a sense of utter dread and despair as I have seldom experienced. 5 stars.
Doomsday Father Christmas: I could not relate to or sympathize with the musings of the sad old man, nor did I understand why he was protrayed as only a pretense of Santa instead of the real deal, which may have made a difference and increased his tragedy. 2 stars.
Black Static: ok, but not remarkable. 3 stars.
They Know: cold and creepy, this one send one chill after another down my spine. Well done. 4 stars.
Visitation Rights: with a surprising end some may find shocking, this story left me in a very melancholy gothic mood. 4 stars.
Overall, a very good collection of horror short stories to add some spice to the season....more