29 December 2014
Rescued by Rudolph
Rudolph!, Mark Teppo
I was attracted by the cover. And the title. And finally by the mind-boggling description on the back cover.
A few days before Christmas, Santa's special elf in charge of operations catches his boss hacking into the Vatican's website; before he knows it, he's been lassoed into a desperate mission. Santa Claus is upset because he has found one final letter from a little girl whose father was killed in an accident at Thanksgiving, a little girl who has asked for Santa to bring her father back. And that wish is one Santa is determined to fulfill, even if he has to go to Purgatory for it.
Told by Santa's special elf Bernard Rosewood, this is a story of adventure and loss, violence and tenderness, and vivid fantasy, in which the very existence of Christmas is threatened by Higher Powers, and only one can affect the rescue: Rudolph himself, not the nasal cutie from television, but a reindeer who has literally survived a hellish accident.
I really, really enjoyed this. If Unholy Night was not your traditional Nativity story, this is definitely not your traditional Santa Claus story. I loved all the little touches: how Santa really does deliver all those gifts in one night, the extraordinary abilities of the reindeer team, behind the scenes at "the Residence" (otherwise known as the North Pole), Mrs. Santa Claus' sizable role, all mixed up with a mind-blowing trip to the ends of the earth, complete with mathematical calculations and lots of firepower.
Note: this isn't a children's story, but older teens will probably love it because the attitude is as snarky as they are. :-)