Monday, September 10, 2012

Claus by Tony Bertauski

I thought I knew all the variations of Santa Claus. I mean, how original can you get about the big fat man in red? While, I'm evidently wrong, as seen by Claus.

Last year, I reviewed The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski. And he was kind enough to think of me when he published Claus. And I was not very easy to work with.

The first time I tried to read the book, there was something wrong with the formatting because there weren't any paragraphs. So I ended up complaining and yay, it got fixed! I'm really grateful to have the second chance to read this book because it's fantastic! I would say that it's actually better than the Annihilation of Foreverland (to me at least).

Claus follows the tale of the Santa family, as they meet the Elven folk, currently under the tyrannical rule of Jack (is that a reference to Jack Frost I wonder?), his oppressed brother Claus and a rebel colony. The family is separated and the two narrative strands race towards and exciting (and unexpectedly moving) conclusion.

This book is quite thick. It's over 400 pages. Yet, I didn't really feel the length. I think with my intermittent reading (meaning that I was reading about 4 books at the same time), I finished it in about 3 days. Yes, it's that good. When I started, I didn't want to stop. Of course, the pacing of the book really helped. Each chapter wasn't very long, so I kept thinking "just one more chapter, it won't take very long".

The characters were wonderfully written. There was the Claus family, and the Elven. Each character had their own distinct personality and really came to life. But what I probably liked best was the characterisation of Jack, the villain of the piece. Even while he was so obviously evil, you could see that he was emotionally disturbed, and his characterization was such that the plot-twist at the end involving him was believable, though unexpected.

I really recommend this book. It's interesting and well-written. I found the occasional grammar error here and there, but it didn't bother me much.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review.

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