The story is very well written, and draws on less well known myths. The idea that Santa has an archenemy is fascinating. With that said this book is one of the most violent works of fiction I have ever read in my life. Krampus himself is a twisted being, and the desire to kill Santa is dark. If that doesn't bother you too much then I strongly recommend this book.
Audio narration = 5++ Kirby Heyborne does such a phenomenal job narrating this story that I would say that it was probably what I enjoyed most about the book. He brought these characters to life in such a way that I thought there were several different narrators and was surprised to find that this was not the case. I wasn't surprised to find that Heyborne also narrated parts of Cloud Atlas which was also done brilliantly. I look forward to enjoying more audio books with this narrator.
I am almost sad to say that I didn't enjoy Krampus as much as I thought I would. I loved Brom's retelling of Peter Pan in The Child Thief so much that I was anticipating the same kind of dark and disturbing storytelling in this story about a Christmas demon. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't by any means a fun, happy story, it just didn't have that element of creepiness that I expect from this author or that I anticipated with this particular subject matter. How can a story about a Christmas demon known for dragging naughty children off to Hell be anything less than terrifying? Unfortunately, there is a way.
The images of Krampus seem pretty terrifying but for some reason this story presented him as far less than intimidating, and even a little ridiculous at times with all too human-like flaws. Since Krampus is said to carry naughty children off to hell, I thought he would be a bit more imposing with less obvious weaknesses of character. There were definitely some bloody & violent moments involving The Yule Lord but I didn't find him believable as a God or descendant of Loki. Also, the background of the conflict between him and Santa was a little confusing at times, especially near the end. The way this story was resolved was even more baffling. However, an afterword explains a lot of the mythology that the author used to inspire parts of the book and does actually answer some questions.
While several aspects of this book left me less than satisfied, many others I really enjoyed. For example, exploring the origins of the Santa Claus and Krampus mythology and their relationships to the Gods Odin and Loki. I am always fascinated by the way many pagan rituals have been absorbed into Christian celebrations and I enjoyed reading about how that applied to Santa and Krampus' legends. There was also some wicked humor interspersed throughout that I found genuinely entertaining. Those moments when Krampus was attempting to function in today's world was at times amusing and at other times just sad. I would have liked to have seen this explored a bit more.
One of my favorite things about Krampus- The Yule Lord was the main character Jesse. I don't know how many of you watch the TV show "Breaking Bad" but there is also a character named Jesse in that show who consistently makes all the wrong decisions and isn't very likable but somehow has some endearing quality that makes you root for him all the same. Jesse in this novel was much the same and so, in my mind, this is who I saw playing this tale out. This and the incredible audio narration were, in my opinion, this books best qualities. But while I loved Jesse's character, sometimes I felt like what was going on with him overshadowed Krampus' story and I was left wanting more from both.
Overall, Krampus is a story I would recommend, especially for the Christmas/Yule season. There is a lot going on in this story; violence, mayhem, mythology, gods, goats, magic, thugs, domestic violence, murder, and belsnickels. You definitely won't be bored. If you are thinking of reading this, I HIGHLY recommend the audio, it is one of the best narrations I've ever listened to.
Rating - 3
As the header says...this book is okay. It's not particularly exciting but not entirely boring either. The characters aren't particularly captivating nor are they completely uninteresting. I can't highly recommend it but I know there are many out there that will like the story if the user reviews can be trusted.
If there is one bright spot in Krampus, it is the narration by Kirby Heyborne. His tonal shifts and accents are great and specific for each character. I would gladly listen to him in future audiobooks.
That's really all I can say concerning Krampus: The Yule Lord. I just don't have any strong reactions concerning the book, pro or con. It's like an action movie...not great but decent entertainment if there's nothing else to do.
Fascinating dark fairy tale, woven into the modern reality of rural West Virginia. One of my best listens ever! Krampus, the Yule Lord of old, reappears in the world after a 500 year absence, and finds he's been supplanted by Santa Claus, who has stolen his magic sack. The battle between Santa and Krampus is one plot line of this tale, the other is that of a down-on-his-luck young man, Jesse, who gets caught up in the drama. It was hard to stop listening, as there is plenty of dramatic tension throughout the story. Also, I enjoyed learning more about ancient mythology and Yuletide traditions. And the narrator was fantastic - I would give the him 10 stars if I could!
(There is a lot of violence and heavy use of the F-word, so if that offends you, skip this one.)
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
SANTA CLAUS IS AN ABOMINATION
At one time Santa Claus and Krampus were the best of friends. Then the egotistical Claus sucker punched Krampus and chained him under ground. Santa Claus won the fight and rewrote the history books. He had so much power that Christians worship him today and put up trees in his honor, even though Santa stole that idea from the Yule Tide Lord. The Christians hated Krampus, who honored Mother Nature, because his parties included lots of drinking and getting naked.
THE ANSWER TO ALL RIDDLES SEEM EASY ONCE YOU KNOW THEM
Krampus is unfamiliar in America, but is well known in Germany and other European Countries. Brom did a lot of research for this book, which makes it that much better. This is not as good as NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, but it is the next best thing.
Totally original.. no mistletoe or sleigh bells in this novel. I'm not always a fair reader, because I have to have a book that keeps my attention, preferrably from the first page. This one works. A couple of scenes are violent and very graphic, even compared to authors such as King. However, they are necessary for this story line. A new and refreshing look at the "light and dark" of Christmas, with a solid blend of fantasy, horror, and suspense.. and yes, Christmas.
His overall being
His kindness for the wolfs
His performance of Santa
Krampus of course!! How often would I get to go out to dinner with the Yule Lord?
I have heard of Yule tidings along with bits and pieces of this mythology, but never knew it could be this interesting. I live in Tennessee, born and raised. When the story started, I thought I made a mistake with the "hillbilly" slag. But after the first few chapters, the storyline started blending in with mythology, history of Christmas and everyone's present day understanding of "Santa Claus". Anyway, very interesting twist! You better bet, I will be leaving my offering in my shoes on my front deck this Christmas. And my kids? They better be good or Krampus could come and put them in his sack and beat them with a stick!
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. There are some pretty obvious parallels though I didn't really like American Gods - I think Krampus is a much more likeable guy.
The party at the bar. If only Christmas were like that! We'd have a lot less suicides.
Excellent narration, in particular Krampus' voice is perfect - worthy of an award!
So much fun. I love how the tables are turned in this story and the characters are rich and interesting. I like thrillers and horror (without gore) and this touched on all those good parts and threw in some comedy. I wish I could read a book like this every holiday season, made me laugh out loud and I didn't want to stop reading! Sad it had to end.