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A Midnight Clear

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books. A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter's eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf's holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a ma ...more
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Black Spot Books
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
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Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Midnight Clear by Sam Hooker is a collection of holiday horrors! Some are hilarious horrors, deliciously wicked, and full of the holiday chills! Graves, demons, frozen in ice, and more awesome magical fun! A great imagination in these six stories! They were all five stars! This was a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary.
Juli
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This ain't your mama's holiday short story collection. Not by a long shot. A Midnight Clear gathers six horrifying holiday season tales. Every story is different and adds a delightfully creepy edge to the holiday festivities.

I loved every story in this collection! The tales are wickedly varied and fun. Demons, Werewolves, insane Elves, winter gods, curses and general Yuletide mayhem. My favorite story of the collection is Sam Hooker's The Dauntless. An elf is on trial for murder because he was p
...more
The Nerd Daily
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

This book is a delightfully decadent descent into Yuletide madness and horrors that were hilariously imaginative and chilling…in essence, the perfect Christmas tales. Each author in this anthology takes their own twist on a popular Christmas time figure or story and turns it inside out and upside down. You’ll revel in the undeniable moral quandaries that bleed from the pages, and I honestly can’t get enough. My favourite short stor
...more
Samantha
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with all story collections that employ multiple authors, this was a mixed bag and difficult to rate. I had mostly positive feelings toward the collection as a whole and was also swayed by two truly standout stories in my ultimate verdict on the collection.

The first two stories in the book were absolutely outstanding. Sam Hooker’s The Dauntless was a clever, creative look-in at the judicial process at the North Pole. Alcy Leyva’s Tidings of the New Moon was an excellent original take on the w
...more
Katie Gallagher
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
For more fun, bookish stuff, check out my blog!
Thank you to NetGalley and Black Spot Books for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. A Midnight Clear debuted November 5th.


I’ve made a concerted effort this year to read more short fiction; the vast majority of my weekly Short Tuesday series focuses on dark genre fiction. So I was intrigued by this short story collection from Black Spot Books, which has a dark holiday focus. Like a lot of short story collections,
...more
WS_BOOKCLUB
This book was provided by Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on November fifth.

This collection of stories was full of dark humor, and more than a bit of creepiness, taking the usual Christmas cheer and turning it upside down. This collection would be as easily at home during Halloween as Christmas. Some of the stories hit the mark better than others, in my opinion. It’s a solid collection, but nothing to write home about.

There were two that stood out to me: The
...more
Valerie - Cats Luv Coffee
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
A Midnight Clear is a collection of six varied stories of dark yuletide cheer. This was a very diverse mix of holiday-themed stories perfect for the season. While they varied in personal ratings, each was well written and matched my desire for a great wintery read. Short story collections are so much fun because the tones and themes can vary greatly from author to author. This perfectly fantastical group of stories did not disappoint!

Read more at Cats Luv Coffee
...more
Julie
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
Okay so this book had six very original Horror/Christmas stories. Each with its own theme and own feeling to it.
honestly, not all stories were that good but the overall was pretty great.
It had some fun and very interesting plots, and probably also something for very different tastes, which mean I can share this book with my husband and he will enjoy some of them too.
The book was a perfect start for the upcoming Holiday season, since it contains some Horror aspects that makes it perfect for Ha
...more
Maxine
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Midnight Clear is a collection of six ‘not-so-merry’ Christmas short stories by various writers. As in any collection, I liked some better than others. My favourite is the title story by Sam Hooker which combines a cute portrait of Santa’s North Pole, a mad elf facing an elf court, and the horror of HP Lovecraft’s R’yleh. But all the stories are entertaining a whole lot of fun to read. If books are part of your Christmas traditions and you’re looking for something a little different or if you ...more
Dorie
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Midnight Clear
by Sam Hooker, et.al
due 11-5-2019
Black Spot Books
4.0 /5.0

#netgalley #AMidnightClear
Thanks to netgalley for sharing this e-book ARC for review.

Six yuletide tales that are dark as well as whimsical. The madness, humor and craziness of the season are represented here. These are all unique and imaginative, and share some of the not-so-jolly spirit of the season.
These stories by authors of Black Spot Books are fun to read, creepy, macabre and I enjoyed them all.
Dorie
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Midnight Clear
by Sam Hooker, et.al
due 11-5-2019
Black Spot Books
4.0 /5.0

#netgalley #AMidnightClear
Thanks to netgalley for sharing this e-book ARC for review.

Six yuletide tales that are dark as well as whimsical. The madness, humor and craziness of the season are represented here. These are all unique and imaginative, and share some of the not-so-jolly spirit of the season.
These stories by authors of Black Spot Books are fun to read, creepy, macabre and I enjoyed them all.
Layla
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.5/3 stars.

Unfortunately, none of these stories really gripped me. They are all well written, I just didn't connect with most of them, they didn't draw me in or leave me on the edge of my seat.

I think the only one I truly enjoyed was Movin' On Up by Laura Morrison which I found to be quirky, witty and fun. I enjoyed the dynamic's between the characters and the underlying moral story.
Ivy
This book is an anthology of Christmas themed stories that are perfect to read around Christmas. They are darker than most Christmas stories though.

I enjoyed all the stories. I liked the one with the elves at court and the story with the dark take of A Christmas Carol. All in all, all the stories were good.

Would recommend to read around Christmas time if you want something darker to read.

I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Layla
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5/3 stars.

Unfortunately, none of these stories really gripped me. They are all well written, I just didn't connect with most of them, they didn't draw me in or leave me on the edge of my seat.

I think the only one I truly enjoyed was Movin' On Up by Laura Morrison which I found to be quirky, witty and fun. I enjoyed the dynamic's between the characters and the underlying moral story.
Julie
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was full of very original, sassy and creepy Christmas books.
The stories each had their own spirit to them and each gave something very different.
I am a huge fan of Christmas, but I also really like everything with a twist and books that borderline to the abnormal, this book was definitely that.
Not all short stories was equally good, but an overall good book.
Bin Blogs Books
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Darkly entertaining holiday themed stories to entertain with a twisted play on classic themes. Get into the Halloween and Holiday spirit all at once.

Thanks NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Kitty Pollock
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Midnight Clear is a collection of 6 Christmases short stories that are not your typical festive read. From hell's demons, the hotel that inspired Steven King to write The Shining and Santa's elves arguing over mass murder in a Candy Court of Law, if you are a fan of speculative fiction or want something out of the box, this is the stocking filler for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Black Stop Books, for an advanced electronic readers copy in exchange for an honest review. All opi
...more
Annarella
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this unusual Christmas stories. They're well written, original and engrossing.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Malvika Jaswal
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Whimsy! Whimsy! Whimsy!

I adored this collection of six short stories and they are a perfect read for the cold December months. I must be honest, I went into this book purely on its cover and the name and the fact that it was a collection of short stories which is always my favorite genre to read. And once I started the first story by Sam Hooker, I found myself genuinely surprised because it was so unlike any other type of fantasy I have ever read. It is story about the law and order sit
...more
Angeline
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it

4 stars. The stories are not as creepy as I had hoped (based on the advertising), but are nonetheless quite good; the first four are excellent. It’s kind of like expecting coffee (horror) with milk (humor) but getting milk with coffee. Still a lot of fun. A bonus: the stories are pretty clean. There is some gore, and occasional coarse language (including at least one instance of the F-word). Not for kids, but overall a much more comfortable read than some.

1. The Dauntless
Murder, Cthulhu and mar
...more
Malvika Jaswal
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whimsy! Whimsy! Whimsy!

I adored this collection of six short stories and they are a perfect read for the cold December months. I must be honest, I went into this book purely on its cover and the name and the fact that it was a collection of short stories which is always my favorite genre to read. And once I started the first story by Sam Hooker, I found myself genuinely surprised because it was so unlike any other type of fantasy I have ever read. It is story about the law and order situation in
...more
Jule
Six stories that combine two things I never knew could work so well together: Christmas time and horror. It is the perfect read for November, for all of those torn between their love for Halloween and Christmas, or still caught in their memories about the former and their yearning for the latter.

An elf-society on North Pole has to go through its first ever murder trial when one of their own goes crazy. As the opening story, it sets a nice tone between sweet, wholesome, smiley candy-land and gor
...more
BookwormishMe
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ng-reviews, reviewed
A Midnight Clear is a book of six short stories, all themed around the winter holidays. But these aren’t your “Hallmark” style of holiday stories. These are more likely to end up on Twilight Zone or Scary Stories.

Each author shares a darker tale centered around Christmas, or in one case, the Winter Solstice. Sam Hooker brings us The Dauntless, a twisted tale about the North Pole’s justice system. How does one try and punish a murderer, when that murderer is an elf? In Alcy Leyva’s Tidings of th
...more
Kira
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Dark short stories are my jam lately. I enjoy short story collections as an introduction to new to me writers, as well as in this case to set the mood for the changing season and holidays to come. The challenging part of reviewing a collection of stories is always that some are going to resonate more so than others, Thankfully this was a strong collection of 6 stories full of decidedly not merry seasons greetings.

We start off in candy court, where Santa's elves are tasked with a case of horror
...more
Annie
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

A Midnight Clear is a new anthology of 6 winter holiday short stories. Released 5th Nov 2019 by Black Spot Books, it's 250 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. (For the release, the ebook format is on sale at a scandalously low price).

This is a varied and dark collection of (as far as I can ascertain) previously unpublished fiction. They are all very well written and poignant, humorously scary (Cthulu meets Santa's elves), and al
...more
Steph Warren
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received a free ARC of this novel, with thanks to the author, Black Spot Books – Vesuvian Books and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

This collection contains six fantasy stories with a seasonal theme – perfect for a little light reading as the cold nights draw in.

Each story is by a different author and has a completely different tone and content. ‘The Dauntless’ crosses Santa’s elves – all candycanes and sprinkles – with Lovecraftian eldritch horrors. ‘Tidings of
...more
Keith Chawgo
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Midnight Clear has that dark holiday spirit that adds just a little bit extra with its unique take on the holiday season.

We have six fantastic stories that take a nod from Holiday traditions and adds a special twist. We have a Winter solstice tradition that teaches a little girl the meaning of passing over, a North Pole Lovecraftian Christmas, a housewife/mother finding the true spirit of Christmas, a holiday at the Stanley Hotel, a twisted Christmas Carol and a twist on a wolf legend. Five in
...more
Joel Mitchell
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Black Spot Books tapped six of their authors to pull together this short story anthology under the overarching theme of “not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy.” The result is truly a mixed bag [insert lame Santa’s sack joke].

The Good: The opening story by Sam Hooker is far and away the best of the lot. Who knew you could combine a sugary cute version of the North pole (reminiscent of what it’s like in the movie Elf) with a visit to R’lyeh? Laura Morrison’s hellish (yet humorous) riff on Dickens’ A Christ
...more
Kriti | Armed with A Book
Check out my takeaways from each of the stories in this collection at Armed with A Book.

I don’t often read short story collections, but once in a while, a book catches my eye and I can’t resist. I found A Midnight Clear through NetGalley and though I am little late in posting about it (it was published early November 2019), this collection is perfect to read anytime October-January! Spooky, moving, and thoughtful, find the meaning behind the holidays here.

Centered around the holiday season, in t
...more
Angel Hatfield
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short story collection includes six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy. A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, these authors share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, de ...more
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