This year the husband and I didn’t do too much for the holiday, but we did make a trip to the local bookstore. I love the place and it’s not overrun by hipsters. We have this little tradition where we go every so often after we’ve saved some money and splurge on reading material and I am never disappointed. This time I came across a book in the fantasy section.
The name Krampus caught my attention. Now if you don’t know who Krampus is, let me educate you. 🙂
Krampus is the “anti-Santa” in today’s culture. He’s been known to have originated before Christian traditions and is claimed to be associated with the Pagan Horned God. I’ve always known him to be the guy to take naughty children and beat them with Birch limbs during the Christmas season. He is still celebrated today in Europe.
Now this book is by an author named Brom. Yes, the same Brom who does those amazing pieces of art. I was excited that he was a writer (having no previous knowledge of his written works). I’m glad he doesn’t write series or I would have been way late to the game. So, Jesse got me the book and I delved into this amazing adventure.
THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS SO SKIP TO BOTTOM TO AVOID
The book opens up with a prologue about Krampus. He’s chained somewhere dark and he’s a right mess. You read through his hatred and pain of this place and the person who put him there. It’s so well written and it pulls you right in and you know you won’t be able to put the book down.
We are introduced to Jesse, the protagonist. Like most heroes, he has a little back story filled with sadness and despair. An aspiring country singer, Jesse’s habits lost him his wife and daughter to the local sheriff. Now he lives in a run down trailer at the end of a trailer park. Just as you learn of Krampus’ woes, you learn of Jesse’s and you feel what he feels as he contemplates suicide by bullet. Brom takes you into this man’s life and you can’t help but feel that sorrow he’s feeling in the loss he’s experienced.
END OF SPOILERS
From this point you are taken on an insane adventure with Jesse as he discovers Belsnickles, who Santa really is, and just how crazy his life can be. It has a consistent plot that keeps you enthralled throughout. The humor is dark and there are places where I found myself chuckling. Brom takes the myth of Krampus and Norse mythology and sculpts it into something absolutely wonderful. This author places you in situations with the protagonist and makes you feel every single emotion to the tee.
Not only can Brom create beautiful artwork, he can weave stories that make you crave more. You cling to every word and keep turning page after page. This is my first Brom novel and I look forward to reading more.
If you’re looking for related material I highly suggest reading Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for a similar reading experience.