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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best-selling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes Unholy Night, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It's the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

©2012 Seth Grahame-Smith (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • matthew
  • plymouth, in, United States
  • 06-17-12

Great!

Any additional comments?

I'm a big fan of the author anyway, so it should come as no surprise that I considered the story to be fantastic. Though a work of fiction, it was very well researched and based in factual biblical and canonical stories and references - a neat touch. You learned to love the unlovable character who was stuck in circumstances beyond his control. I'd recommend it to anyone, but keep an eye out for the younger readers - it's rather gory at times.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Entertaining take on Nativity story.

What did you like best about Unholy Night? What did you like least?

I liked the new take on the Nativity story although it did get very gory at times, which is not really my thing, so I would've been happy to skip most of the fight scenes with all the blood spurting details.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I liked how everything was interconnected and wrapped itself up without leaving loose ends.

What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

I enjoyed his narration, he did a great job on Herod's voice.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I might; but as it would most likely be an action movie with bloody battle scenes I would probably wait for the DVD to be available.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer more, but this was still a decent listen, I'll keep an eye out for any more books he writes.

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  • Tricia
  • lubbocki, TX, United States
  • 04-22-12

It all started with a lonely ibex in the desert...

If you could sum up Unholy Night in three words, what would they be?

Gory, Bible, Retelling

What did you like best about this story?

Yet again, Seth Grahame-Smith takes a story we all know and mashes it up with another genre. This one takes on the bible, so instead of going with the addition of the supernatural elements (already present throughout the bible), he takes 3 characters - the three wise men and tells their story in a whole different light. Well, at least one of the wise men gets his story told. These are the aspects of the story I really liked.I loved the point of view of the ibex from the beginning, middle, and end.I liked the flashbacks to Balthazar's life - his back story gave his character more depth, and I bought his questioning whether the baby with his teenaged mother was the real deal. His struggle with faith through out the story was compelling. King Herod was also well developed and pretty disgusting to think about - a great bad guy.Seth Grahame -Smith also did an excellent job setting the tone for how it must have felt living back then under the Roman Empire - the tension and the hot desert climate were like a powder keg ready to blow at any time.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator did a great job with Herod - I loved his whiny wicked voice. The rest fell a little flat though, but I liked Sela's accent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Again, Balthazar's struggle with faith and his connection to the baby. You could see the connection a mile away - but all the chase scenes. gory fighting, and internal dialogue remind you that this is a book written to entertain you.

Any additional comments?

I love the way Seth Grahame-Smith makes sure his story and its elements come full circle. I like that in reading/listening to stories. We usually think of life as road from point A to point B and away from where we started. But I think life is much more a circle, because eventually we have to acknowledge where we have come from and the journey it takes to come back around.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Duane
  • Austin, MN, United States
  • 04-21-12

No Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

After listening to Grahame-Smith's previous work 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter' and reading the intro blurb for this book, I was expecting something a lot more over-the-top than what we got. It was basically a revisionist version of the first two weeks of the life of baby Jesus. I was expecting a lot more magical/supernatural mayhem than what we actually got. For what it was, it was well written and it certainly was good enough to listen to the whole thing once I got started, but I think the intro blurb over-emphasized certain aspects which were really minor, short parts of the overall book.

Would you recommend Unholy Night to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. It is a little too far from the historical biblical story for mainline fans, but not far enough from the historical version for the hardcore sci-fi/supernatural crowd of listeners.

What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was excellent. I particularly loved his voice work for Herod the Great. The characters all had clearly distinct voices and you never had any problem knowing who was who from just his voice. He also did a good job with the women's voices - enough different from the men, but not stretched so far as to be annoyingly fake.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I'd probably go see the movie. But then I probably average seeing one movie a week, so I see a lot of movies and seeing a movie doesn't qualify as a special 'event' to me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Nativity, done better the original.

I just finished Abe:Vampire Hunter and it was one of the best books I have read/listened to in the last couple years. So I picked this up. Seth is a great story teller and historian.
The story starts very strong then starts to unravel. I was very interested in Balthazar's childhood and loved how he thought of himself as a ladies man. Some parts were very funny, some somber, but they made me feel good listening. Very good story line here. Herod was funny as expected; he was a sniveling weakling with a little man complex and Leprosy. I really liked the narrator’s voice for Harod!

I think the issue for me is the topic, I wanted supernatural and I got biblical. While both are stories, I was expecting better.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A let down after Abe Lincoln Vamp Slayer

Found this to be slow and difficult to become immersed in. The subject matter and twist is great, the execution was lacking however.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R
  • POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States
  • 03-07-15

Just OK - Hoped for More

I wanted a lot more from this book. While I'm a fan of this author I'd skip this book if I had to do it over again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing; no vampires, zombies, or thrills!

Would you try another book from Seth Grahame-Smith and/or Peter Berkrot?

Maybe if I didn't have to buy it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Seth Grahame-Smith again?

Not if it cost a credit or $.

What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

If I had been reading the book, I would have set it aside because it was rather tedious.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

After Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, I expected something at least interesting and out of the ordinary. This was neither. It's just a routine historical novel set in biblical times.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful