Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Claus: Legend of the Fat Man" by Tony Bertauski

In honor of the holiday season, I have started reading “Claus: Legend of the Fat Man.” Having grown up watching all the Christmas Holiday specials, the basics of this story were already familiar to me. This version, however, was a bit different, though no less entertaining than all those wonderful old holiday cartoons.

In this book, Nicholas Santa, his wife Jessica, and their son Jon have gone on an adventure seeking to reach the North Pole. They began the journey by ship, then hired some Inuit guides to help them travel the remainder of the way. However as the weather in this extremely northern portion of the globe turns horribly bad, their guides abandon them during the night, taking the food & other supplies with them. Abandoned as they are, with only one tent for shelter, they are surely doomed.

In an attempt to find help for his family, Nicholas is separated from them and captured by a group of elves who haves lived undetected at the North Pole for centuries. Their leader intends to use Nicholas to deliver a plague that will wipe out all of humanity.

In the meantime, Jessica and Jon are rescued by a rival group of elves who do not wish to destroy anyone. They had left their homes when Jack seized control and have been on the run ever since.

This book tells the story of both groups of elves and how the North Pole came to be the home of the jolly man we have come to know as Santa Claus. I found this to be a very interesting and unusual tale. It was both quite different and very similar to the various versions of his story that I remember from childhood. Everything was well thought out & explained in a way that made it seem quite reasonable, and I consider this one to be well worth reading this holiday season. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

This was the Boxed set version, so it also contained two other books. The second one was “Jack: The Tale of Frost.” This book takes place about 200 years after the end of the first book, and tells the tale of both Jack Frost and his best friend. It shows how technologically advanced they have become, and how those advances have benefited humanity as a whole. But it also shows that the elven who was once known as Janack still has a great hatred of the “warmbloods” and how he had ages before laid plans to destroy them. Now that those plans are nearing completion, what will become of the human race?

I thought this was a very interesting story. While parts of it were quite obvious as to what was going on, that made them no less entertaining than the parts of the book that weren’t so clear at first. Yes some of his tale was included in the first book, but only peripherally. The majority of Jack’s story was more than just a tale told from a different perspective.

The third book in the box set, “Flurry: Journey of a Snowman” was just as good as the first two books in the collection. In this book, Oliver and his mother are returning to her childhood home to live with his grandmother as Oliver’s mother had lost her job and they had nowhere else to go. Oliver’s grandmother is extremely strict and there are a great many rules that they must follow if they are going to remain living there. There is also a great mystery surrounding the estate. There is no wifi or cell signal at the house, though there is an old windmill on the property that appears to be electrified. At night there seems to be something wild and dangerous roaming about outside. There is also a living snowman that sometimes appears and seems to be quite protective of Oliver.

All 3 of the books in this set are quite enjoyable and I would recommend reading them this holiday season if you have the time. Of the three, my favorites were “Claus: Legend of the Fat Man” and “Flurry: Journey of a Snowman.” I’m glad I took the time to read all 3 of them and would encourage others to read them as well, but those two were the ones I liked best out of this collection.

I hope everyone has a great holiday. Merry Christmas!

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