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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Progress: 16%
Paris: The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd
Progress: 63%
Unnatural Creatures
Maria Dahvana Headley, Neil Gaiman
Progress: 40%
Ashes of London
Andrew Taylor
Progress: 20%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 64%


— feeling cold
Claus: Legend of the Fat Man - Tony Bertauski

by Tony Bertauski


I didn't actually expect much from this one after getting it free, then I started reading and got caught up in it pretty much immediately.


It made me stretch my imagination and continually surprised me with some very original fantasy elements. I found it very interesting at first, but it began to lag around 19%. Too much gloating from the villain, obvious plot points dragging out. That sort of thing. I began feeling like I just wanted to get it finished to complete this year's Christmas reads before December ended.


With a story like this, you pretty well know what the ending will be before you start. The story of how Santa Claus becomes Santa Claus. The story is all about the journey. There were some interesting ideas; elves broken into factions, fantastical magic that might have been a little too convenient at times and the story of a family going on an adventure to the North Pole that goes horribly wrong. I did find that premise a stretch. Only an idiot would make such a journey insufficiently prepared.


Overall I thought this writer can write and I'll try something else by him, considering he sent the first books of three other series for free, but I think I'll give his other winter character books a miss (one about Jack Frost, the other about a snowman). The plot for Claus seemed too forced and I expect those might be similar. It will be interesting to see what he does with stories that don't have to fit into a mold though. There is some definite writing talent there and I'm definitely up for giving him another try.