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"Readers will find the adventure satisfying, the interpersonal relationships and conundrums realistic and involving, and the holiday overlay a cut above the traditional seasonal read." - Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
The Christmas Curse of Krampus
by Devin Arloski
This Tale is best suited for parents to read to their children or for children to read on their own ages 8-12. For adults who are children at heart. For lovers of Christmas, and lovers of Krampus lore.
Midwest Book Review, 9/7/22
Curses and mystery aren't typical holiday reading, but Devin Arloski's The Christmas Curse of Krampus: Secrets in the Ice continues his tradition of providing a holiday story with a twist for children who look for more than the usual Christmas themes.
A year has passed since Max's original involvement in a Christmas curse, and the holidays are once again fast approaching as December 4th opens the story.
A mysterious letter that warns, "I found them" could be from Santa, portending another adventure that draws Max and his father even as they are still settling down from last year's Christmas explosion.
Things are now better between Max and his father, and he hates to rock that boat. He's also managed to keep these past events secret from even his best friend Mina. It's unlikely she'll be open to the possibility that Santa is real, much less the magic that surrounds him.
Forced to make adjustments in his relationships for the sake of undertaking a new mission, Max finds himself once again immersed in a Christmas mystery that sends him into an icy world where Krampusnacht is threatened by his involvements. Greenland's Inuit mythology and a host of creepy creatures coalesce to make this story a far different experience than the usual holiday read.
Forced to tell his dad and Mina, the truth, Max finds himself on a new adventure with his best friend that even threatens the wise leader Santa.
While The Christmas Curse of Krampus: Secrets in the Ice needs no prior familiarity with its predecessor in order to prove thoroughly engrossing to newcomers, those who have read the first book will be in a better position to appreciate the protagonist and plot's evolutionary process.
Advanced elementary through middle grade readers will find the adventure satisfying, the interpersonal relationships and conundrums realistic and involving, and the holiday overlay a cut above the traditional seasonal read.
The action is fast-paced as the important adults in Max's life join in to rescue him from an impossible situation.
The result is another winning story that turns the usual holiday theme on end with an exciting adventure backed by Santa and, this time, reaching out to involve Max's parents and friends in unusual ways.
Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
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Midwest Book Review- 3/6/2022
The Christmas Curse of Krampus is a children's book that will appeal to pre-teens. Eleven-year-old Max follows a light in the forest away from the Christmas festivities in Germany and into a world that contains the unexpected. There, he confronts a terrifying beast, is rescued by a friendly stranger, and is challenged to more closely examine his own beliefs about Christmas and family as he ventures into a strange world of curses and threats. These are not the traditional trappings of a holiday story, but provide a storm of confrontation and accompanying wisdom that test Christmas beliefs, faith, and the underlying chemistry of Christmas in unusual ways. As Santa and others interact and Max comes to realize the real power of Christmas, advanced elementary to middle grade readers receive a vivid story that is anything but the usual holiday feature. While some might believe the Christmas spirit could be lost within the angst and struggle that this story embraces, one of the pleasures of The Christmas Curse of Krampus lies in its unique ability to blend the trappings of a horror story and German backdrop with a holiday atmosphere:
"His mom had always taught him to help those in need, and he often found himself agreeing to things he didn’t want to do. It didn’t matter anyway; there was no turning back now.“Are we going to take out your sleigh?” Max asked, a little excited at that thought. “No, I only take the reindeer out on Christmas Eve. It’s too risky to endanger the reindeer on Krampusnacht when Krampus and his Darklings are at their most powerful.”
As Max learns new spells and faces his darkest fears, the Christmas spirit burns ever brighter in a story that will attract kids both for its holiday and horror themes. Its underlying messages about family and love (based on the folklore of the alpine regions of Germany and Austria) and its depth creates a standout in Christmas literature. This warm, uplifting story is highly recommended for kids and read-aloud parents who look for vivid, original tales the entire family can share and discuss.
-Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review