Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man - Tony Bertauski

So this was a freebie that I grabbed because the blurb sounded intriguing.  I don't normally enjoy YA focused books and tend to avoid them for the most part, but something about this blurb grabbed me. 

Boy, was I ever pleasantly surprised!

It grabbed me from the get-go.  A very interesting premise, a different - very different - take on the myths and legends of Saint Nick and Santa and his elves and the reindeer.  The way the author weaves the stories we know into this new and different narrative was delightful!  I have to admit that I think the story might owe bits to the Santa Clause series of movies as well as some of the old animated Christmas specials we watched as kids, including 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town' from Rankin/Bass Productions.  But it's all woven together with such fun and delight that you recognise the similarities and go, cool!

Don't get me wrong, there are some dark moments here, and some not very nice actions, and that's good, because I wasn't looking for saccharine sweet. 

The only thing that really bothered me was near the end when the villain of the piece, Jack (it's always Jack, isn't it?) gets all 1970s pop culture icon crazy person.  See, the story takes place in 1899 and while the elves can do alot of magical stuff, I don't think they managed time travel, so where that personality came from, I don't know.  It just felt a bit out of place.

Anyway, I couldn't put it down and the fact that it had lots of short chapters only helped the 'just one more chapter' road I was on. :)  Fun read!  And fascinating take on some of our best-loved tales.  I think I'm going to have to read the others in the series. :)