Tuesday 19 December 2023

Christmas Evil: A Heavy Metal Holiday Novella - N.R. LaPoint

Christmas Evil: A Heavy Metal Holiday Novella
Mistcreek Publishing
ISBN 9798365838482
eISBN 9798215946558

Christmas Evil - NR LaPoint

This was an excellent story! The author at the end states that: 

“First off, thank you for reading through what is admittedly the silliest thing I have ever written. If I got one laugh from you, then I have succeeded.

This project came about because Katie Roome of Periapsis Press approached me about doing a Christmas-themed short story. It… spiraled out of control and turned into this. So, I apologize to Katie for not coming through, and writing a novella instead.

While I usually loathe meta humor (to my mind only Declan Finn and John Ringo get away with it), I threw in some goofy references to a variety of things, usually a reference to a friend’s work.”

He also indicates that there are references to numerous books and authors. Many I recognized. including the Saint Tommy, NYPD Action Figure and the movie poster for Michael Gallagher’s book Body and Blood. He also indicates references to John C. Wright’s Superluminary, and L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Books of Unexpected Enlightenment series both of which I am aware of but have not got around to read yet. But back to the work at hand, the description of this volume is:

“It should have been a routine Christmas Eve,
but when a demon is spotted at Greederly's shopping center,
Santa and his newest elf recruit must act.
Riding Santa's modified rocket tank
and armed with enough firepower to shake the gates of Hell,
the pair discover a conspiracy that goes deeper
than just a demon trying to get a girl to steal a doll and end up on the Naughty List.
Fistfights, explosions, and magic raptors are jolly,
but can Santa stop the mastermind trying to ruin Christmas before the clock strikes Lunar Midnight?
Or will Christmas joy be lost to some forever?”

A passage that I highlighted was:

“The big man raised a knowing eyebrow and cocked his head to the side. 

“You’re going to tell me you’re Santa, aren’t you?” Mitchell said with a sigh. “Look, I…” He glanced at the almost completely dissolved monster laying in the snow. 

“That was a lesser demon,” the old man said. “It was whispering things to you, terrible things. So, I shot it dead.” 

“Heh… Santa shot a demon…” 

“With a bullet blessed by the pope.” 

“Demons? Santa? I was raised to believe in those things, but… How am I supposed to when…” 

“When places like Greederly’s can treat you so terribly after you’ve worked so hard for them? When you have a wife and child to take care of? I know what you’re thinking.” 

The old man placed a strong, but gentle, gloved hand on Mitchell’s shoulder. He nearly sank under the weight, but he sensed that it wasn’t the physical weight that he felt.”

The sleigh I mean battle tank a modified Mark IV in this tale is powered by:

“Wide awake, and fixed to thick straps and harnesses, were nine utahraptors. The huge, feathery bird lizards greeted Santa with excited coughs and chirps. Santa returned their enthusiastic hellos with pats and cheerful words. He laughed and ruffled their vibrant feathers in turn.”

With the names of called: “On Seraphim! On Cherubim! On Throne and Dominion! On Power and Virtue, on Principality, Archangel, and Angel” named after the choirs of angels. The raptors brought to min Corinna Turner's unSPARKed Series. The Tank was service by Arnold, who had a rectangular face and a severe, militaristic haircut. But one reference to action heroes from my youth. Others with names of Charles, Dolph, Steven, and even a bad guy named Jean-Claude.

But the main focus of the story is saving souls, first of a little girl who was at the top of the nice list who is about to steal a doll. And her father who has been abused and beaten down by the owner and HR department at Greederly’s. So Saint Nick and his helper Reb head out to save Christmas eve for these two.  

“The stable doors opened. Reb entered, loaded with weaponry. Strapped to his back was a heavy rifle chambered in .308. Twin bandoleers crossed his otherwise bare chest, packed with spare magazines and grenades. Now, a red bandanna was tied around his forehead, and he was wearing sturdy boots and dark, camouflage pants.”

And a hat tip to Star Trek’s saucer separation. Oh My! This story did indeed cause a few out loud chuckles. 

Prior to reading this I had only read one offering from LaPoint in the anthology he edited, Swords and Maidens, but I had picked up a few of his novels. After reading this they have jumped way up on the ‘to be read’ pile. This was an excellent read. A great story I can easily recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by N.R. LaPoint:
Dead by Dawn: The Files of Virgil Everness

Raven Mistcreek Series:

Dinosaur Warfare Series:

Contributed to:
Fantastic Middle Schools 4
Fantastic Middle Schools 6
Shoot the Devil
Shoot The Devil 2 Dark Matter

Christmas Evil - NR LaPoint

Dinosaur Warfare 1 Death Planet - NR LaPoint

Gun Magus - NR LaPoint

Raven Mistcreek 01 Chalk  - NR LaPoint

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