Disclaimer: I am friends with this author; however, I purchased this ebook for full price.
Another Christmas in July treat, except this novella is less sweet and more vaguely terrifying. Bauer manipulates the Santa Claus trope to create an otherworldly being who fulfills the role of Santa Claus but with significantly less cheer. Kris latches on to Jack when Jack is just a boy but returns to him time and again whenever Jack is in trouble. Kris’ need for Jack is vaguely stalkerish; to be fair, the entire commercial conceit of Santa Claus is rather stalkerish, and Bauer takes advantage of this to good effect. Except this is still a horror story, and the darkness surrounding Kris infects Jack despite his best intentions. Luckily for us, Bauer still manages a happy ending, even while I probably won’t ever look at a mall Santa the same way ever again.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.