Dark Christmas Magic: The Quest for Krampus is the third book in the Yuletide Knights series. It is a dark holiday story that is a mix of whimsy and horror. It is written by author Johnny Miles and was recently released. When I was given this book as an Advanced Reader’s Copy, I had not realized it was part of a series. Nor had I read the previous two books in the series. But I found I was able to follow the story without knowing the details of the back story from the other books. There is enough reference written into the book, that the reader understands. That being said, I do intend to go back and read the previous two stories.
Griffin Kloss has been having a tough time lately. His life hasn’t been great since he and his boyfriend Jackson broke up some time ago. He is still haunted by the one that got away. Griffin works as a bouncer at a local strip club and is called into work on his day off. As fate would have it, that day two clients show up that are from Griffin’s past. One is Michael, another ex of his, and Piedmont, his former boss.
Griffin realizes that these two had been working against him the entire time he knew them. Michael had stolen all his money when he left Griffin, including his company credit card. Which Piedmont had Griffin not only fired over but arrested for unauthorized use of the card.
When a fight breaks out at the club, Griffin realizes he has abilities he had never known before. It brought to surface something his mother always told him that he refused to believe, that he was the son of Santa Claus.
The use of his abilities gets the attention of Kris, the current Santa Claus, and his elf lover Bucket. The two of them go on a mission to rescue Griffin from jail and offer him the job of Santa Claus.
Now, this may seem completely off base from a story that at first glance should be about Krampus, but believe me, the reader gets there. That is when the story turns dark. Krampus is a monster in every sense of the word. He feeds off the essence of magical creatures and has become cruel and bitter over the centuries. There is no redeeming arc for him, nor does the reader ever find themselves cheering him on.
Overall, I did enjoy the world this story created and intend to read the previous two books. Being able to meet these magical creatures that we have grown up with and learning a new take on them was great. But I will say this story does have some extreme dark elements that some people may not be comfortable with. There is violence as well as images of rape that one should consider before delving too deep into the story.
But as I stated earlier, it is a mix of whimsy and horror. The start of Griffin’s story is compelling and the reader wants to cheer him on. As the horror unfolds, I found myself hoping that Griffin’s chance at love wasn’t lost. After the battle, the story goes back to whimsy and wonder and we get to watch Santa prepare for his annual journey and we see what Griffin has decided to do with his life. Remain on earth or become the next Santa?
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