Author: Joshua Skye
Genre: Christmas/Holiday/Horror/Icelandic Folklore/Monsters
Length: Short (95 pages)
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Heat Level: Very low.
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Folklore is filled with beautiful and magical things, wondrous beings friendly and altruistic. The Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy. And Santa Claus. But, unknown to most, they have evil counterparts, nightmarish creatures with sinister intentions.
Ten year old Mackenzie Graves had a terrifying encounter with one of those frightening beings on Christmas Eve. Years later he’s made a home with his boyfriend Dylan in a quiet neighborhood in Erie, Pennsylvania. He has special plans for the holiday — he’s going to propose to the love of his life. But the monster from his past has found him and this time has no intention of being denied its prey.
It’s Christmas Eve, Santa is on his way. But the dreadful demons that punish naughty little boys and girls are already sniffing around. Once Upon a Christmas Evil will give you the shivers!
Review: I have to say, while the story is very interesting, in order to really have done it justice it should have been longer. It needed fleshing out. There were three separate stories going on all at once, taking place in less than 100 pages. Then a quick and all too brief fourth story in the end. The story never fully satisfied any of the stories.
The concept was very intriguing and would have been a fantastic book if the author had taken time with each story and differentiated between each particular storyline. He started something then it petered out as he was just reaching a plateau and nothing happened. Made me think of a movie where things would come to a head, then nothing, over and over again and you would expect it to explode and all settle at the conclusion, but it did not.
The book claims “substantial sexually explicit scenes” but there is only one scene and there is absolutely nothing explicit about it. In fact, it is a voyeuristic episode from a third person, a child at that who is watching it happen. Then again in the end, the child has an item that allows him to help fulfill his own fantasies and all it does is creep a person out. I am just glad the author was smart enough to avoid actually creating a scene involving this child outside of him being a voyeur.
Too many other questions were posed and left unanswered. Heat and heart were very low. As for overall content, I have to say though, if I were giving it stars out of 5, I would give it a 3. Simply because the author was trying, that much is obvious. The story was very good, it just needed to be fleshed out and it would have been a real Christmas horror story worth reading again and again; especially if he had covered in more detail the reason for the story in the first place, the little monsters.
I will recommend this story simply because it does get your heart going in more than one spot. I would just recommend to the author to take this book and redo it, flesh it out, and republish. It has the true makings of a great horror story.