Matt Shaw brings us some short stories of Christmas seasonal cheer with a twist. If you’re not sure who he is, he’s a prolific British horror writer on the extreme side. He is also collaborating with a number of top horror authors and possibly building a horror fiction empire.
Everyone who has a birthday on Christmas Day tends to be a little resentful. None more so than our narrator for the first story, Jesus. This isn’t the Jesus you might see portrayed elsewhere. This Jesus is funny, fond of swearing, and the kind of person who steals toys left by Santa for pawning purposes. He’s got a beef with Santa and something’s got to give.
In other stories, we have a mysterious snowman who is not what he appears and a warning about being good to avoid a visit from the Krampus. The stories are all fun and have a very British slant, both humour and language wise. If you’re easily offended, this isn’t the book for you.
The final short story is a preview for a book coming next year called The Horror, which has no seasonal cheer. It’s brutal, shocking, and darker than dark. We meet a horror director who values realism above anything else. This book is going to make Saw look like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Reviewed by Andrew Tadman. @thebooksofblood.