Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory

Out now
Published by Carina
Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house…

Forget the jolly old man in his red, big-buttoned suit. Because another creature is up on the roof, preparing for his annual visit to little children everywhere.

With a belt of knives round his waist, a writhing bag on his back and a Santa-sized appetite, he’s a little…different to the St Nick you might be expecting.

And you can leave out all the carrots and mince pies you like…but it’s you he’s after.
A horrid Christmas to all, and a terrible night.

Every white Christmas has a dark side. Don’t miss A Christmas Horror Story, the gruesomely festive new story from Sebastian Gregory.

My Review:

What a brilliantly dark story, very well written. Prepare to meet a horrible creature who for years has come along the night before Christmas and to steal children. He lands on the roof and searches for a way in to get hold of his prey and whisk them away. We flit between the past and present day as we watch him on his travels. His mark is a lump of coal which he leaves.

We start in the present day where we meet Katie, Emily and Jake who are at home on the night before Christmas Eve. Their Mother is a nurse and is caught up at work with bad weather forecast. However they remain hopeful that she is will make it home in time. Their Father died a year ago after being involved in an accident. Since then Jake has carried round a book called Tome of the Dark and Mysterious and appears to cherishing almost like a bible.

We move between present day and the past, which includes a visit to 1944 and the Second World War, and also an orphanage in 1833. Both visits take place on Christmas Eve and as we hear the jingle of the Christmas bells approach as a reader I was left in no doubt that rather than Santa being on his way, something darker and more evil was about to arrive.

We follow all the children in their desperate attempt to escape this horrible creature.  But much of the book revolves around Katie, Emily and Jake. As eldest sister Katie has to burden alot of responsibility for keeping them safe, but my little hero is Jake whose book and knowledge may just be what saves them from a nasty fate.

I have previously read The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian, which I loved. So when this book came out I knew I wanted to read it, and it hasn't let me down. I love his writing style which flows naturally and builds the tension as it comes to a climax. The books are very descriptive and I felt I could visualise this horrible creature which was on the prowl. I almost finished the whole thing in one sitting because I became so engrossed and just wanted to know what happens.

I fear I may still be a big kid at heart because I did actually come away wondering if there could be any element of truth to the story. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. This book wouldn't be for someone of a nervous disposition, or younger people. But it would be a good read for older teens, and adults too.

A great alternative to all the Christmas romance books out there. The story of this Christmas beast could stick and feature in word of mouth stories for years to come. We have had the Grinch, but this creature is far more sinister and I could easily read more about him.

I will be checking that I don't get a lump of coal in my stocking this year....if I do you will hear me scream in terror!

I would also like to comment on the cover, which is just brilliant. Carina really do come up with some of the finest book covers out there.

Thank you to Carina who provided a copy in return for an honest review.

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