So Many Books, So Little Time! Here’s the next installment in my, “Books Off the Shelf” series. I decided with Christmas just around the corner, now would be a good time for this review.
Claus: Legend of the Fat Man (Claus Series Book 1) by Tony Bertauski
Rating 8 out of 10
Santa is not just about the presents. See something deeper in this mythological figure. A story that’s meaningful. Find a cast of gritty, compassionate and courageous characters that make the journey to mythological fame despite their shortcomings and frailties. Pull away the veil of magic, reveal the difficulties of love and loss and struggle with life.
Because Santa Claus is much more than presents.
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.
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.
If you’d like a fresh take on the story of Santa Claus’s origin, then this is the book for you. Bertauski offers up a delightful tale in which the Santa family, three warm bloods—a husband, wife, and their son, make their way on an expedition to the North Pole in the year 1818. What they find there is more than they had bargained for as they fall directly into the middle of an elven civil war.
The Santa family’s trip from arrival to “Ho Ho Ho” Santa with the white beard and all, is a whirling trip with enough unknowns and potential disaster to keep a reader guessing.
Bertauski does a marvelous job of blending traditional Christmas stories including Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman amongst others, putting a twist on them, and then combining those familiar tales with a completely new fantasy world.
This is a fun read, beginning to end, and though it is called Claus, it’s really a SFF novel that could be enjoyed any time of the year. So, check it out, and read with joy.
If you’ve read Claus or any of Bertauski’s other books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a message below. And if you have suggestions of books to review, please let me know. If it is Science Fiction or Fantasy, there is a good chance it is on my shelf or should be.
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Ryan J. Doughan