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Friday, February 05, 2016

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski

From Goodreads:

Some legends are forged in fire.
Others are born in snow.

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean.

The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold.

They are as wise as they are ancient. Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions -- time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that leap great distances. They’ve even unlocked the secrets to aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace.

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He’s tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos. He’s white-bearded and red-coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One.

They will come to the aid of a legendary elven known as… Claus.

I know, it's a little late, or early, to be reviewing a holiday book, but I'm FINALLY getting around to writing it up!

I have mixed feelings on this one. I had friends who rated it highly, so maybe that made my expectations too great going in. You don't really get very many holiday fantasy reads, and that is how I would classify this, so that is a point in it's favor. I did like the Reindeer and Frosty, and the manifestation of traditional Christmas ideas into an almost sci-fi setting. Even though it took place here on earth, the technology level of the elven far surpassed the humans, as you can tell just from the blurb above. The plot was fine, I think what I really didn't like was Jack. I know he had to be awful, that was his role in the story, but his constant yelling and childish desires with a ruler's power behind them were annoying, even though I realize that was the point. He was a child throwing a continuous tantrum and it was tiring to me. Now, he does have a plausible reason for being the way he is, but I wonder if we didn't start getting into that too late for me, because I was already done with him by then. He was just too over the top.

I do recommend it if you're looking for some holiday reading, especially fantasy, since most of what it is out there is romance and cozy mysteries. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing the series, we'll see if I'm in the mood around the holidays. I gave this one a 3/5.

This was my first read for the winter edition of COYER. 

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