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Krampus Hates Christmas (2016 Advent…
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Krampus Hates Christmas (2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug)

by Andi Van

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Recently added byElleLainey, SerenaYates, schatzi

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Book – Krampus Hates Christmas
Author – Andi Van
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 104

Cover – Gorgeous and perfect!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes!

Genre – Christmas, Holiday, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy/Supernatural


** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine


This was perfect, in every way.

As a Christmas story, it had holiday cheer, fun, laughter and excitement, but it also had a very serious message about the frivolities of Christmas, how it's lost it's meaning and what can be done to save it, for those of us who feel it's not what ti should be any more.

I loved that the story started right in the middle of the action, exactly as the blurb suggested it would. Krampus, or Karl, is St Nick's twin brother and the guy who gets to teach all the kids on the Naughty List a lesson. Not only is this a brilliant start, but the entire Christmas season's expectations are flipped on their head:
Mrs Claus is a guy, who knows martial arts and has a skill for meddling and match making.
The reindeer are female.
Santa is gay! I know this was implied above, but it needs reiterating.
Krampusnacht is just as important as Christmas.

When it comes to the characters, I was instantly in love with Karl. He was huffy, sweet and loveable all while trying to do the right thing, yet coming across as the bad guy. He's big, burly and huggable. In contrast, Lewis is short, just a little tubby, early forties and feels old, fat and left out. Yet he's absolutely in love with Christmas, the same way that Karl had fallen out of love with it. Together, they're a great team and the way they bond through the story, on little dates that have a lot of significant meaning, is beautiful. I even love Jerry, the moody, flamboyant best friend who is actually a heart of gold feeling the Christmas chill. Noel is perhaps my favourite, bar the two MC's, because he's bubbly, bright and loveable, but he's also serious and concerned about the people he loves.

I loved how the story challenged those holiday stereotypes that we're just come to accept over the years, though some of us still hate them – Black Friday; Christmas taking up practically 3 whole months, because it starts right after Halloween; the gender labeling of toys that should be available for all children to play with, whether that means a boy playing with a Barbie or a girl getting a Monster Truck. It was so subtly, but brilliantly done, placed into the conversations and thoughts of both MC's, giving them something to bond over and discuss. Yet it wasn't thrown in our faces, so that if we don't mind those things, it didn't matter that they were mentioned.

~

Overall, it was a sweet, romantic Christmas story with a message and a grumpy Krampus to lead the way back to what Christmas is supposed to mean. I loved every minute and would love if there was another story in this world, someday. For now, I'll just be off to buy all the rest of Andi Van's work.

~

Favourite Quote

“Just be careful. Guy could be perfectly nice, but don't push your luck with strange gigantic men who sound like they could probably grind your bones for their bread or something.”

““I'm old,” he said when he hesitated to let his newly minted boyfriend divest him of his T-shirt. “I don't work out a lot. I've got a layer of chub around my midsection, and the only six-pack I see these days involves either beer or soda.”
“You're beautiful,” Karl said. “You're solid and real, and I would have you any way but as you are.”” ( )
  ElleLainey | Dec 30, 2017 |
While I am familiar with the various legends of Krampus that exist in parts of Europe, the world Andi Van has built in this story mixes some of those elements with the US-focused myth of Santa Claus, adds a “Holiday Council” who oversees the “proper” handling of all festivities, and throws in a few other mythological Christmas bits here and there. The result is a highly entertaining world with a situation that made me laugh – yet it has some serious and very modern elements as well.

Here’s the issue: Nicholas Kris Kringle (aka Nick or Santa Claus) is overworked. He hates having to deal with kids on the naughty list (and there are more of those every year). His twin brother Karl Peter Kringle (also known as Krampus or Black Peter) is ideally suited to scaring the naughty kids into being good, but the Holiday Council refuses to let Karl help his brother out in the US. Their reason? Karl does not love Christmas – it just isn’t part of his psychological profile – and unless Karl finds his holiday spirit, they won’t let him near the US celebrations. Quite a quandary the author has created here. And then Nick’s husband, Noel, desperate to support Nick and make their lives easier, comes up with an ingenious plan. He magically dumps Karl in the human world around September, turns him human so he’ll fit in, and hopes that watching people prepare for Christmas will help resolve Karl’s issues – by Krampusnacht on the fifth of December. I could not wait to find out how Karl would fare!

Lewis is Karl’s neighbor in the human world, and he loves the holidays to distraction. His parents own a Christmas tree farm, he has inherited a Christmas-themed shop from his aunt, and all he is missing in is life is the man of his dreams. Once Lewis meets Karl, he is attracted immediately, and when he needs help on the farm because their usual cart driver is sick, he recruits Karl. What follows is an education for Karl, from the moment he meets Lewis’s family who are “so nice that Karl had no idea what to do with them”. His “adventures” provided many hilarious moments for me to enjoy. I loved all his discoveries, the almost unavoidable romance, and the ending? Just perfect!

If you like stories that mix up a lot of existing Christmas legends and add a few new elements to create a world all their own, if you believe that even the biggest Christmas-Grinch of them all – Krampus himself - deserves to feel the holiday spirit, and if you’re looking for a read that is as funny as it is sweet, then you will probably like this novella as much as I do. It’s hilarious and heartwarming at the same time.


NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review. ( )
  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
Karl, or Krampus, is the twin brother of Nick - you know, that Nick, as in Saint Nicholas, as in Santa Claus. Karl has his own role to fill when it comes to Christmas, especially since Christmas is becoming more and more popular every year - the yin to Nick's yang, as it is. Except the Holiday Council (made up of other holiday-themed characters, including Fergus the Easter Bunny) won't let Karl fulfill that role until he gets some holiday spirit. In an effort to make Karl feel something other than anger and rage during the holiday season, Karl's brother-in-law (and Nick's husband), Noel, sends him to California for a few months, disguised as a normal (although huge) human man. There he meets Lewis, the owner of a Christmas shop and lover of the holidays. Lewis is kind and falls for Karl quickly, but Karl can't help but wonder if Lewis will like him even when he discovers that Karl actually is Krampus - hooved, hairy, and all.

I really enjoyed this story. It was longer than the other stories in the 2016 Advent Calendar so far, and I still wished, at the end, that it was even longer. This just screams "I deserve a full-length story" to me. ;) It's equally funny and sweet and even has a dash of angst thrown in toward the end, and I just wanted to roll around in all of those things like a chinchilla taking a dust bath. Karl is a great character, and he was just perfect for Lewis. Even Lewis' friend, whose name escapes me at the moment, finds true love thanks to a meddling Noel and Karl.

Highly recommended! :) ( )
  schatzi | Dec 6, 2016 |
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