*This book was provided to me by NetGalley and Carina UK in exchange for an honest review*
“On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house,
For a creature is stirring, sly as a mouse.
He skulks on the roof, down the chimney with care,
Keep the fire burning, for the Child Eater’s here…”
As soon as I saw this offered on NetGalley my eyes lit up. Yes I’m a sick, sick woman! Seriously though, with that title and cover all I could think of was Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton. I was not disappointed. The majority of the story is centered around three British siblings Katie, Gregory, and Emily, who are home alone when their mother is stuck at the hospital where she works during a blizzard. The author shows how long the “Kinderfresser” has existed through flashbacks to former victims from an isolated farmhouse in the mid-1500s, to an orphanage in 1833, to a war-torn London street in 1940. No jolly Old Saint Nick, the Kinderfresser is a dark, hairy, sharp-toothed monster who visits on Christmas Eve but not with a sack of toys. Oh, he brings a sack all right, but it’s an empty one which he fills with supposedly naughty children and brings back to his lair where he can roast and eat them. In 16 year old Katie, 12 year old Emily, and 9 year old Gregory though, the Child Eater may have finally met his match. A Christmas Horror Story is deliciously creepy and is told with great glee by it’s author. Fast paced I read it in one sitting. All the children are sympathetic and none of them struck me as especially naughty. The historical flashbacks successfully add layers to this “legend”. The only reason why I didn’t rate this 5 stars was because I didn’t care for the ending which left a huge loose thread. This may have been intentional by the author, but it personally didn’t satisfy me. Otherwise, I think middle-schoolers, YAs and even adults will love this book with it’s sly sense of humor.