‘Gothic Blue Book VI: A Krampus Carol’ edited by Cynthia Pelayo – Review

*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


If her mom were here, Anna would suck it up and spin the flax and scrub the toilets and help with the cooking. Her mom made it fun, but her dad just went through the motions. Surely, he didn’t believe in a crazy witch that lurked around on Epiphany cutting out people’s guts and replacing them with trash. The story always seemed ridiculous, even when Anna was little. It never scared her. It just annoyed her that a witch would do all of that as punishment for not cleaning and cooking and spinning fabric.

Talk about overkill.

Anna rolled on her side and let herself sink inter her mattress. Tomorrow, her home would fill with relatives. She knew the amount of chaos the Epiphany feast caused. A tiny seed of an idea sprouted in her mind. She rolled it over and gave it room to grow. A smile spread on her face as it fully developed.

This would be her last Epiphany.

– ‘The Night of Epiphany’ by Nico Bell.

Synopsis –

A collection of short horror stories and poems resurrect the spirit of the Gothic Blue Book. Gothic Blue Books were short Gothic fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century.

Burial Day Books presents its sixth Gothic Blue Book, A Krampus Carol. A Krampus Carol is a celebration of folklore and myth around Christmas, Yule, the cold winter months and Santa Claus’ opposite, Krampus.

Thoughts –

Capturing the atmosphere and the traditional feeling of the story of Krampus, a northern European myth and legend, is no easy feat and yet A Krampus Carol manages it time and time again. With over thirty dark tales of yuletide horror, many featuring the horned demon directly, and a contributors list of many diverse and accomplished authors, this is one collection that will become a staple of my end of year readings.

Throughout this collection there is an emphasis on traditional folklore, on cold winter nights, and on the monsters that can stalk them when the veil is just thin enough. In the story ‘The Night of Epiphany’ by Nico Bell readers are treated to a YA story of grief and family traditions, where deviating from her late mother’s usual Christmas plans could stand to be deadly. ‘Candy Cane’ by Jeff Carter is a short, sharp, and more abstract tale of the dangers of bullying. Or, if you prefer to can delve into a more more modern take on the idea of the naughty list with Austrian Spencer’s story ‘Krampus’ which is a bleak and yet comical story of an app out of control.

This was certainly a collection that extended the Christmas atmosphere for me at the end of December, and one that I am sure will give readers a dark and cosy reading experience into the new year as well.

A Krampus Carol is a stellar collection of yuletide horror sure to give any horror fans chills that have little to do with the winter season.

About the Editor –

Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo is the author of LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING, and POEMS OF MY NIGHT, all of which have been nominated for International Latino Book Awards. POEMS OF MY NIGHT was also nominated for an Elgin Award. Her recent collection of poetry, INTO THE FOREST AND ALL THE WAY THROUGH explores true crime, that of the epidemic of missing and murdered women in the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Science in Marketing, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Psychology. Cina was raised in inner city Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children. Find her online at www.cinapelayo.com and on Twitter @cinapelayo.

Read and Review –




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