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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful addition
Brom has never written for the faint of heart, and "Krampus" is another amazingly haunting story. Brom has a startling way of revealing the darkness that lies within us all. His characters are fleshed out in disturbing ways and often have good intentions but terrible actions. Jesse is one such character, his dreams lost in his inhibitions and his wife leaving him for a...
Published on November 11, 2012 by Sen

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Krampus, my new obsession
I have recently become aware of the Krampus myth and find the mythology very interesting. This is what lead me to this book, and unfortunately I had higher hopes for it. While I enjoyed the interactions that involved Krampus, a more fitting title for this book would be Jesse: The Belsnickel. I was hoping for a lot more Krampus vs Santa Claus and a lot less West...
Published 13 months ago by Robert


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful addition, November 11, 2012
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
Brom has never written for the faint of heart, and "Krampus" is another amazingly haunting story. Brom has a startling way of revealing the darkness that lies within us all. His characters are fleshed out in disturbing ways and often have good intentions but terrible actions. Jesse is one such character, his dreams lost in his inhibitions and his wife leaving him for a man with a dark past. Through a series of event Jesse runs into mythological creatures and a feud as old as time. Horrendous though his adventure is, Jesse learns more about himself than you'd think possible with all the dead bodies.

Brom is an amazing author who I would recommend to anyone. It is rare that an author take the absolute worst situations and show that even in the blackest black we are all connected as human beings.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic holiday story from hell, December 7, 2012
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
I've been looking forward to this holiday season for awhile now--not because I love the extra traffic anytime I get anywhere near a shopping mall, or because I can't hear "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" enough times during these five weeks, but because I've been holding off reading a couple holiday-themed books until the season arrived. Krampus is the first of the two.

It's the fourth book written by renowned fantasy artist Brom, who I came across a few years ago when his first book Plucker came out, a story I'd describe as "Toy Story meets Guillermo del Toro." It was so unique and imaginative that I later read his next two books as they came out, including the fantastic The Child Thief, an adult retelling of the story of Peter Pan who was not as innocent as Walt Disney would have you believe.

Krampus is not for everyone. My children will not be reading it for many years to come, that is, if they choose to read it at all. After all, they might not grow up with the same literary tastes their father has. But one can hope. That being said, I enjoyed the book immensely.

Krampus is a character from European folklore whom parents would warn their children about around Christmas time--if children were good, they were told that Santa would come and leave presents, if they were bad, Krampus would come instead and put them in his sack and beat them. He's the son of the Norse god Loki, and in Brom's tale, has been imprisoned for the last 500 years because of what he perceives as Santa Clause's betrayal so long ago. Now he's managed to escape and plans to exact his revenge on His Jolliness.

Jesse Walker is a down-on-his-luck estranged father and husband who had aspirations of one day becoming a successful songwriter. While sitting in his truck Christmas Eve, contemplating taking his own life, Jesse witnesses something that will significantly alter the course of his life--Santa Clause being chased and attacked by seven devilish figures. Jesse watches as Santa makes it to his sleigh and begins to take off as several of his pursuers jump on board. As the sleigh begins to climb, he hears screams and cries and then sees a sack fall and land nearby. That sack, which Jesse finds to possess magical powers, drags Jesse into the war that has been going on for centuries, a war between the man whose image appears at every turn each December, and the one who December 25th originally belonged to, the Lord of Yule.

Krampus is really a fantastic story. Brom takes his in-your-face writing style and portrays a character that on one page is ruthless and terrible, and on the next, sympathetic and endearing. He successfully incorporates Norse legends along with the origins of the Christmas tree and other customs now so intrinsically tied to Christmas into a highly entertaining and surprisingly uplifting story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror with mythology, November 25, 2012
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This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
Krampus is a page-turning, midnight-oil-burning horror tale. A family from the margins of society, the hardscrabble poverty of Appalachia, is swept into the modern horror of human evil-- meth labs, automatic weapons, and corruption. The story becomes deeper and richer when the thin and rocky soil of West Virginia becomes a battle ground between Krampus and Santa Claus-- the Lord of Misrule against Christian obedience. The human horror tale propels the narrative, with twists and turns, victories and reversals. Krampus and Santa Claus are battling for control of Christmas, but also the nature of worship and celebration. Like Neil Gaimon's American Gods, the modern world has supplanted worship with technology and consumption of material goods.

Well crafted and satisfying novel. The illustrations are gravy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully-crafted, wild ride that does justice to the lore without sacrificing originality., December 3, 2013
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
I always hate when reviews give too much away, or build up one sort of expectation or the other, so I'll try to keep this fairly vague. Even if you aren't thoroughly charmed by the story and characters in this book, the interior artwork is not to be missed. Brom weaves a really intriguing tale, and the paintings and sketches add the extra flavor to make this book really come alive. I was not quite sure what to expect from this book, and found myself pleasantly surprised. The Krampus is a holiday character that has always been near and dear to my heart, so I approached this book with some trepidation. I was a little afraid that Krampus wouldn't live up to my expectations, or that this tale would fall too easily into "good vs. evil," or would be too heavy-handed with either a very religious message in the end, or too heavy-handed with a non/anti-religious message in the end. I found myself thinking ahead as I progressed in the book, speculating on all the different ways it might develop or end, and finding myself delightfully wrong every time.

It's been a long time since I've had a book keep me so easily and thoroughly captivated, and keep me consistently on my toes and guessing throughout.

The style and theme of this book reminded me a tiny bit of "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman (with just a touch of the flawlessly grim mood/setting of "Winter's Bone"), but came across so much more effortlessly, was an easier and more pleasant read, and was much more balanced. I couldn't make it through the entirety of American Gods despite my want to finish it and like it, whereas with Krampus: The Yule Lord, I couldn't put it down. Don't get me wrong: this book ISN'T American Gods, and it isn't trying to be. I was just reminded of a similar underlying theme that ran throughout both books, but Krampus was the one that found the perfect balance, in my opinion.

Most of the characters are presented with wonderful, well-balanced humanity and flaws. The motivations of most of the characters are both understandable and relatable. Even when I didn't agree with a character's viewpoint, or I found the character's flaws disdainful, I could always see where the character was coming from, what their mindset was, and what led them to that particular moment in time.

This book is easy to read and flows beautifully. I couldn't put it down and powered straight through the first day/night it was in my hands. This is being added to my shelf as one of my new favorites. Brom does great justice to the Krampus legend and history, without losing sight of his own, unique voice. This book is not for children, but I would recommend it heartily to any adult that is looking for something unique, dark, and somehow still uplifting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Krampus, my new obsession, January 20, 2014
By 
Robert (Anchorage, AK, United States) - See all my reviews
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I have recently become aware of the Krampus myth and find the mythology very interesting. This is what lead me to this book, and unfortunately I had higher hopes for it. While I enjoyed the interactions that involved Krampus, a more fitting title for this book would be Jesse: The Belsnickel. I was hoping for a lot more Krampus vs Santa Claus and a lot less West Virginia white trash. I think if the author would have focused more on the Krampus story and mythology he would have had me hooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Violence, mayhem, mythology, gods, goats, magic, thugs, domestic violence, murder, and belsnickels., June 29, 2013
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
Audio narration = 5++ Kirby Heyborne does such a phenomenal job narrating this story that I would say that it was probably what I enjoyed most about the book. He brought these characters to life in such a way that I thought there were several different narrators and was surprised to find that this was not the case. I wasn't surprised to find that Heyborne also narrated parts of Cloud Atlas which was also done brilliantly. I look forward to enjoying more audio books with this narrator.

I am almost sad to say that I didn't enjoy Krampus as much as I thought I would. I loved Brom's retelling of Peter Pan in The Child Thief so much that I was anticipating the same kind of dark and disturbing storytelling in this story about a Christmas demon. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't by any means a fun, happy story, it just didn't have that element of creepiness that I expect from this author or that I anticipated with this particular subject matter. How can a story about a Christmas demon known for dragging naughty children off to Hell be anything less than terrifying? Unfortunately, there is a way.

The images of Krampus seem pretty terrifying but for some reason this story presented him as far less than intimidating, and even a little ridiculous at times with all too human-like flaws. Since Krampus is said to carry naughty children off to hell, I thought he would be a bit more imposing with less obvious weaknesses of character. There were definitely some bloody & violent moments involving The Yule Lord but I didn't find him believable as a God or descendant of Loki. Also, the background of the conflict between him and Santa was a little confusing at times, especially near the end. The way this story was resolved was even more baffling. However, an afterword explains a lot of the mythology that the author used to inspire parts of the book and does actually answer some questions.

While several aspects of this book left me less than satisfied, many others I really enjoyed. For example, exploring the origins of the Santa Claus and Krampus mythology and their relationships to the Gods Odin and Loki. I am always fascinated by the way many pagan rituals have been absorbed into Christian celebrations and I enjoyed reading about how that applied to Santa and Krampus' legends. There was also some wicked humor interspersed throughout that I found genuinely entertaining. Those moments when Krampus was attempting to function in today's world was at times amusing and at other times just sad. I would have liked to have seen this explored a bit more.

One of my favorite things about Krampus- The Yule Lord was the main character Jesse. I don't know how many of you watch the TV show "Breaking Bad" but there is also a character named Jesse in that show who consistently makes all the wrong decisions and isn't very likable but somehow has some endearing quality that makes you root for him all the same. Jesse in this novel was much the same and so, in my mind, this is who I saw playing this tale out. This and the incredible audio narration were, in my opinion, this books best qualities. But while I loved Jesse's character, sometimes I felt like what was going on with him overshadowed Krampus' story and I was left wanting more from both.

Overall, Krampus is a story I would recommend, especially for the Christmas/Yule season. There is a lot going on in this story; violence, mayhem, mythology, gods, goats, magic, thugs, domestic violence, murder, and belsnickels. You definitely won't be bored. If you are thinking of reading this, I HIGHLY recommend the audio, it is one of the best narrations I've ever listened to.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the Child Thief, November 10, 2012
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
I've been reading this one with great pleasure, after looking forward to it since the start of the year.

The book has 8 colour illustrations inside, which are a good bonus, but not a reason to purchase, even if you are particularly keen on Brom art, because they have already been released on the net as a preview ( for what it's worth, I found the one of Santa Claus startlingly good, but the others were merely ok and too many of The Yule Lord's henchmen were covered, and they look very similar). There are also a number of black and white illustrations though, which are very nice. So nice in fact that I'd have loved even more of them, like you see for instance with Mike Magnola's illustrated books ( Brom's work is better in my opinion).

What are good reasons to buy this book, outside of the fact that the hardcover is a very handsome edition, nicely bound and with a good feel to it, are the story and the characters. It's the tale of Jesse, a down on his luck average sort of guy, who comes into contact with supernatural characters and items. Jesse's life is very much in a downward spiral, and the grittiness of his modern day life contrasts well with creatures like The Yule Lord and his henchmen, or "Santa Claus".

As a fan of Norse mythology I was happy to see that incoperated significantly into this tale. The main draw is the way Brom writes, it is fast paced yet intriguing, he has a knack for getting you involved. The physical book is 350 pages followed by an interesting afterword, in which Brom explains how he came to the legend of the Yule Lord. I think anyone who was intrigued by The Child Thief will want to give this, his next major offering, a try. I found it at least as good and do genuinely hope Brom continues to write books in this vein.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Story From Brom, January 1, 2013
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Radio Nut (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
Just like his other book, The Child Thief, Krampus is a well written fantasy. The main characters are well described. I particularly enjoyed the adventures of Jesse, as he got caught up got in the fight between Santa Claus and Krampus. As in his other book, Brom paints Krampus and Santa Claus as ambivalent characters. Neither one is wholly good or evil. If you enjoy a good story, you don't have to wait til next Christmas to read this novel. Anytime is a good time to enjoy this well written fantasy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
I just happened by this book while browsing on amazon, and I am completely pleased that I impulsively bought this. The art work is phenomenal, and the story leaves the reader hungering for more. I spent every day after i received this book frantically reading it without end, and at last I truly fell in love. For those who enjoy a bit of a twist to holiday quotidian, this is an excellent piece of literature. You will not be unimpressed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done blend of folklore and mythology, with some dark twists, December 5, 2012
This review is from: Krampus: The Yule Lord (Hardcover)
I got a copy of this book from the publisher for review. I have loved Brom's previous books and was excited to see what he would come up with next. This was a very adult story about what happens when Krampus the Yule Lord faces off with Santa Claus. It was an interesting story and well written

Jesse is a loser whose wife has left him; he wants to make it big as a music star but can seem to play in front of crowds. His life changes when he sees Santa's sleigh attacked by horned beasts. When something crashes into his house he finds something that both Santa and Krampus want dearly; Loki's magical bag. Jesse reluctantly agrees to help Krampus in exchange for Krampus helping Jesse save his family from the criminal low-lifes in the small town Jesse lives in.

This was a very interesting re-imagining about Krampus the Yule Lord. Brom combines traditional folklore with Norse mythology to come up with a tale in which Santa Claus and Krampus throw down in a small town plagued by joblessness and meth.

You can't help by feel some sympathy for Jesse, I mean sure he is a loser...but he is also really in the wrong place at the wrong time. I love the twisted path Jesse's life takes as he joins Krampus and seeks to save his family.

Krampus and Santa are both fascinating characters. Krampus is a wonderful mix of hope, joviality, and naughtiness. Santa can kick some serious butt and is a complex character in his own right.

All the characters in this story are very human and complex, this is one of those books where no one is really good or right. It makes for an interesting read.

This was a well written tale that was entertaining and engaging. I received this as an eGalley and although some of Brom's artwork was present in the eGalley there wasn't a ton of it; I am curious to see what the final book looks like.

This is definitely an adult only book and (as with Brom's other books) doesn't shy away from the darkness of humanity. There is swearing, torture, beatings, and abuse aplenty. If you are a Brom fan you already know he likes to explore the dark parts of humanity.

Brom includes a very well done afterword on the work he did researching the legend of Saint Nicholas. He explains how he came up with the idea to tie Saint Nicholas to Krampus. It made for an interesting explanation and read.

Overall this was a good read; although I didn't enjoy it as much as The Child Thief. Definitely for adults only. This was an interesting blend of folklore and Norse mythology. It was an engaging, fast-paced, and intriguing read. Recommended to those who are interested in Santa/Yule Lord folklore and to those who are big Brom fans. If you like dark and somewhat disturbing urban fantasy I think you will enjoy this book as well.
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Krampus: The Yule Lord
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom (Hardcover - October 30, 2012)
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