I enjoyed the hell out of this buddy read with Kells. Gotta admit, though, I did not expect that I would like this book as much as I did. I'm not one for mashups, so I've successfully skirted much of Seth Grahame-Smith's catalogue. You'll likely see me tackle that Abraham Lincoln vamp book, but only because I found it for a quarter. Found this one for a quarter, too, but had I paid ten bucks for the ebook version ofUnholy Night, I don't think I'd be a bit disappointed. Well worth the price of admission, this one.
I'm a gorehound. I like blood and guts and I cannot lie. There were some extremely unique kills in this book, and one torture scene that made my tummy flop. I also like being disgusted. Everything involving King Herod made my skin crawl. Dude was a truly horrible villain. One I absolutely loved to hate. The guy was not opposed to killing children (the younger the better), forcing his leprous cock on unwilling females (the younger the better), or partaking in a bit of necrophilia from time to time. Yeah, you read all that right. Herod is a sick fucker on many different levels. I couldn't have asked for a more vile bad guy. Herod was a terrific counterpoint to our broken hero, Balthazar.
Okay, I've already said I didn't expect to like this one, but I surely did not expect for this book to tug at my heartstrings. The flashback wherein Abdi dies crushed my soul. Damn affecting piece of writing. The author's use of "Bal-faza" actually brought tears to my eyes. I love being surprised into emotional reactions.
Now for the handful of things I could have done without.
#1. The love interest. Didn't give a single fuck about Sela. Could have done without Sela. Wished Sela would've died. Call me a heartless bastard if you want, but I don't see the purpose of her.
#2. Everything in this book is wrapped up nicely with a pretty little bow. Right down to the revenge at the end and the fates of Gaspar and Melchyor.
#3. Everyone getting knocked out or blacking out in lieu of transitions. There were over five instances of someone getting knocked out so that the author wouldn't have to explain how they got from Point A to Point B. That device is lazy storytelling 101. Every author does it, myself included, but to have it happen more than three times in a 300 page book is amateur hour at its most basic.
Those three things brought an otherwise five-star book down to four stars for me.
In summation: I'm glad I read this. This little book has everything I love seeing in my fiction. If you like vile villains and plenty of gore, you should dig this book.
Final Judgment: "Chrestian" fiction at its most bloody.