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Publisher's Summary

Get a triple dose of holiday sci-fi magic with all three novels, and discover how the elven live on the North Pole, how reindeer fly, and what makes a snowman live. (Ten percent of the profits is annually donated to WINGS for Kids.)

The Christmas stories you never heard as a kid.

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica, and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat, and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions - time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically modified reindeer that leap great distances. They've even unlocked the secrets to aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace.

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He's tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos. He's white bearded and red coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary elven known as...Claus.

Jack: The Tale of Frost

Sura is 16 years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He's very short and very fat, and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn't Jack, she's told. And that's all she needs to know.

Mr. Frost's love for Christmas is over the top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He's made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims. Rumor is he's an elven, but that's silly. Elven aren't real.

©2016 Tony Bertauski (P)2016 Tony Bertauski

What listeners say about Claus Boxed

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3 for 1 of a Classic

What did you love best about Claus Boxed?

That's it's a three for one ( one credit instead of 3 ) for a wonderful trilogy. I was just going to get the first book to see if I liked it then the "three for one" idea hit me! ( Duh )
Turned out I loved all three in the series.

What did you like best about this story?

Take about imagination! The author has created a whole new fantasy world and a whole new take on Santa, Jack Frost and others. This is not just a book for kids, in fact they will love it but miss a lot of the subtlety....like Harry Potter.

Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

Jack...although he did a great job with all of them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Claus and Friends

15 people found this helpful

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Unbox this Christmas Surprise

Claus:

June 2- downloaded Claus boxed on Audible.

This was very creative! It combined history, legend, imagination, science, and sci-fi.
From beginning to end, Tony spins his version of how today's Santa Claus came to be, molding Claus' mortal personality with the immortality of Santa.

We meet the original elves and the reindeer and understand why our toymaker is so big and how it's plausible for him to travel the world in a single night.

A fantastic holiday read (or listen) which must have been professionally edited. My major issue with the timeline was similar to dialogues like this:


“Your language and arts, stuff like that. The elven spies weren’t supposed to interact with anyone, but they couldn’t help it. Words and songs and myths started showing up in your culture. Technology, too. We accidentally started the Industrial Revolution. You know the steam engine?”
Jon nodded.
“That was us. Jocah was afraid your people were learning too fast, that your technology was growing faster than your wisdom.”
Jon felt like there was so much in the world he didn’t know about.
“Anyway, we don’t do it anymore. Once the Cold One took over, we took the nanobots with us so they couldn’t use them. Their scientists are clueless. Well, most of them."

This story is in the early 1800's, the Industrial Revolution was 1760-1840, depending where you look for information and Idk when it was aptly named.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes, per wiki.

Tinsel made is sound like it was a long time ago (for an elf, it would have been a blink of an eye) although it was still ongoing at the time of these events.

And every now and again, the time frame of the Fracture alters between a hundred or so years to 5,000.... Or I've misread/misheard something.

Overall, very enjoyable! Recommended to anyone who wants a dynamic book to read!

Jack:
Jack Frost. A spin off from Claus; yet a stand alone book. I completed this audiobook some time ago, but mulled over the review.
Of all of the Claus books, this was my least favorite. Most likely because it was in present tense. I don’t easily fall into books when it’s current.
I liked Sura, but she wasn’t as warm, fresh, and ‘real’ as the characters in Claus, Flury, or Miser. Even the youngsters in Flury -Oliver and a little girl - felt more believable and likable. Sura didn’t quite pop out of the story as much as I wanted her to.
As to be expected, it’s a mixture of Christmas lore and elven science fiction technology. It’s thoughtful, creative, and sensible.
Very enjoyable and worth a read and/or listen.


Flury:
Flury is a very exciting and suspenseful tale of a family's secret of the supernatural.

I agonized over the rating because Tony has become my "go-to" author when I want to immerse in a new dimension with unnatural characters and a sci fi twist. If I'm finding myself drowning in 1-2 star books, I pull up a Bertauski original and easily throw five stars up on the board with a satisfied smile.

Flury, however, lacked that extra magical touch. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Oliver has a relatable connection with his mom and we watch him form a solid friendship with a sweet young girl. The mom has a tumultuous relationship with her mom; likewise Oliver struggles with his relationship with the grandmother. All of this is typical Bertauski; it's real.

Then we have the magical slash sci fi mystery spin. It's lovely and connects us, briefly and remotely, to another book. Just a slight thread; anyone who has not read other books would still feel at home and cozy with this stand alone book. It's more like a nod to Santa.

Yet. I didn't walk away feeling like I had my mind blown. I wish I knew what was missing, I'd pinpoint it and blatantly ask "what about ...?"

Alas, it's more than a 4 - almost a 5 in Goodreads standards; but not a 5 on my standards for Mr Bertauski.

Still a recommended book. A recommended stand alone series. And a recommended author.

I did read these books out of order, so although it has a common thread, one wouldn’t get lost because there are no cliffhangers.

7 people found this helpful

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Performance sounds like a robot reading

So far the story seems good, but the reading really lacks fluidity. There a pauses and emphases at the wrong spots and some really weird mispronunciations.

4 people found this helpful

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Would love to read a final draft

I could only make it through the 1st story and had to force myself to do that. So my comments pertain only to that one, as I haven't and won't be listening to the others. The story desperately needs an editor and a rewrite to correct the gaps and continuity errors.

It's a very clever and imaginative story. The author cleverly reworks ideas from the Santa Claus tradition into what could have been a very interesting action story. He does a great job with world-building.

However, as alluded to above, it reads like an early draft. For example, in one scene 3 guards in “deep blue” uniforms enter a room to talk to one of the main characters. Then the "purple-clad one” says something. I had to re-listen to that whole scene a couple of times before I realized that there was not a 4th guard clad in purple, but rather the author had apparently revised the story and forgot to change all of the descriptions to say “blue” instead of purple. The 3 formerly blue-clad guards leave the scene wearing purple.

The author does not always bring the reader along with the narrative. For example (I don't think this is a spoiler, but beware), a chapter ends with a character being carried out to an assembly on a golden platform. Then the new chapter begins with a description of the platform. In the next line, the character is standing in the ready room admiring himself in a mirror and has to use a rotund elf “like a bouncy ball” to climb up onto the platform. There was no indication that the new chapter was taking place a few minutes earlier than the end of the previous chapter.

Although there doesn't seem to be any indication in the Audible description that this is a YA novel, in his bio on Amazon the author says it is. That still doesn't excuse what felt like lackadaisical and anachronistic phrases and objects. Although the story is taking place in the 1800's, the author uses lots of 21-century phrases and objects in both the narrative and the characters' speech, such as "me likey," "now available for free download," a T-shirt cannon, and pictures that move like video which should have freaked the 19th-century humans out but instead the only reaction is to comment on how young the person in the video looks.

The narration is abysmal. The sound quality is metallic as if recorded on poor equipment with the level set just a little too high resulting in some distortion. The narrator has an odd inflection that makes him sound like a computer. He tends to run sentences together without pausing to indicate that a new speaker is talking, or that it's a new paragraph or even a new section, leaving me confused as to how someone doing what they were just doing could now suddenly be doing something physically impossible given where they were in the previous sentence. He also can't decide if he's going to pronounce one character's name "Tinsel" or "Tinzel," alternating frequently between the two even in the same paragraph.

Any one of these issues with author or narrator can be forgivable if the story is good, but put them all together and it becomes nearly unlistenable, so much so that I won’t bother listening to the other 2 stories in the set, which is a shame because it could have been a fantastic book for YA or adults. The underlying story was interesting enough to get me to finish the first story in spite of the difficulties. If the author does a new revision and it’s recorded with a quality sound system and experienced narrator, I will happily purchase that! Until then, I can’t see myself slogging through the other two stories of this box set.

9 people found this helpful

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Loved it

This book was amazing! The characters, the storyline, and the narrator were all very good.

3 people found this helpful

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The Narration ruined this for me

The story seems interesting. But James Killavey's Narration is horrendous. It seems to take away from what should be a very interesting story. I was unable to make it through the first book.

2 people found this helpful

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Poor narration makes mediocre writing worse

Couldn't make it through the first book, try as I might to get used to the flat narration, mispronunciations, and intrusive 'r' that gets tossed in sporadically, making Jessica, Jessicer, and Santa Santer.

The writing itself is choppy with many very, very short sentences, which doesn't help the narrator at all. I also wonder how a woman from the early 1800s could know what a claw footed tub was with hot running water from a tap? Did the author not remember the year the story was set in? Or just too lazy to google when such a luxury would've been available? It's bad enough that the elven speak like they're from the 2000s, not the 1800s, but worse that the humans do as well.

While the premise of the story is intriguing, the execution is poor.

2 people found this helpful

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Wanted to love it

Sounded like a good premise for a story but could not listen to it. I tried but the narrator was not making it enjoyable at all. Couldn't keep the characters straight and inflections were all wrong. I will try it again but read it myself!

1 person found this helpful

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fun stories

Enjoyed the stories.
The last one was my favorite!
I totally different take on Santa and the elves and Christmas.

1 person found this helpful

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interesting twist

I found the story captivating, narration was wonderful helping the story come alive. a must read

1 person found this helpful

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  • Linda Loftus
  • 12-27-20

Excellent story. Awful narration.

I love the story.
Fun. Imaginative.

However.
It’s all I can do to stop turning the whole thing off.
God awful narration.
Grinding and annoying American accent really spoils the story.