A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory

But tonight was not a typical night. This was the night that Saint Nicholas visited.

Title - A Christmas Horror Story
Author - Sebastian Gregory
Publication Date -8th December 2014
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - eBook (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 160

 The blurb

On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house...
Forget the jolly old man in his red, big-buttoned suit. Because another creature is up on the roof, preparing for his annual visit to little children everywhere. 

With a belt of knives round his waist, a writhing bag on his back and a Santa-sized appetite, he's a little... different to the St Nick you might be expecting. 

And you can leave out all the carrots and mince pies you like... but it's you he's after. 

A horrid Christmas to all, and a terrible night. 

Every white Christmas has a dark side. 

Don't miss A Christmas Horror Story, the gruesomely festive new story from Sebastian Gregory. 

Becca's thoughts

I'd like to begin by saying a huge thank you to the fabulous publishers Carina UK for providing me with an eBook copy of A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory in exchange for an honest review, and also a huge thank you to the bloody brilliant Sebastian, for quite simply, having such a weird and wonderful mind. His stories are immense, and A Christmas Horror Story only highlighted this fact.

After reading Seb's The Boy in the Cemetery, I knew that I'd found something special. Reading that was like being transported into another world entirely. A dark and dreary world full of disease, slime and creatures lurking in every corner. The Boy in the Cemetery truly opened my eyes to Sebastian Gregory's seriously creepy style and fantastic ability to create worlds beyond your own imagination, and so, when I learnt of A Christmas Horror Story, I was more than ready to experience 'the Seb effect' for a second time. 

There's a dark side to me. Amid my love for romance and hearts and flowers and pretty love stories, I also have a love for the strange and unusual. I have no idea where it comes from, probably my reading of Point Horror books during school, or my watching of numerous Goosebumps episodes, but nevertheless, it's there, and Sebastian Gregory seems to sing right to it. Despite the stories that he writes being completely fictional and involving mythical, fairy-tale like beings, I'm open-minded and very enthusiastic when it comes to reading them. I guess I'm still quite childish (I still have days where I have Goosebumps marathons) and enjoy allowing my imagination to be taken a crazy journey, and Seb does this for me. 

When the cover for A Christmas Horror Story was revealed, I was overjoyed. It was exactly how I had imagined it to be. It has that traditional look about it. There's no glitz or glamour, it's not completely over the top, yet it still gives you a slight chill down the spine. Adding the title to that, and you've got yourself a proper Christmas horror story that is sure to make you think twice about welcoming Santa into your home on Christmas Eve. It's simple yet so, so effective, and I just couldn't wait to get started! 

The story itself was written brilliantly. Seb takes us to different Christmas Eves in time, all involving different children but all with the same outcome, until finally landing and remaining with Katie, Emily and Jake. With their mother working at the hospital and a snowstorm snatching away electricity and any chances of communication, the three are left alone at home. Little do they know that what awaits them on Christmas Eve is not a jolly Santa in red buttoned suit with a sack full of presents, but something far, far more sinister. 

Seb's characters were fantastic. Although we're introduced to quite a few children before Katie, Emily and Jake's story really takes off, each of their unique meetings manages to stay with you. The three main children that we stick with are a close-knit bunch of siblings, Katie being the oldest and taking sole responsibility of their safety and well-being. Their relationship was a typical one expected of siblings, sometimes bickering, other times teasing, but most importantly, Katie is prepared to risk her own life for Emily and Jake, and it was beautiful. I felt that the bond between the three was a strong one, and with their mother away working and their father having passed away a year before, it was truly unbreakable, and they refused to do anything except stick together. I had so much respect for Katie's character, and without sounding like I'm blowing my own trumpet, she kinda' reminded me of myself. The youngest of the three, Jake, was quieter than the others, and had a ritual before going to bed, where he told Katie to shut the shutters on the windows and ensure that all the doors within their home were locked. Katie, like the protective big sister that she was, did this willingly, wanting to know that her little brother felt safe. It was adorable! The fact that Jake didn't feel safe without these measures being taken added an element of eeriness to the story, as if he knew something that they didn't, and it was incredibly chilling! 

I loved the uniqueness of this story. The fact that it wasn't a typical Christmas story of love and gifts and Christmas trees. It had that wow factor that makes it stick in your mind long after you've finished reading it. The creature which replaces Santa Claus is not one to be wished for, and Seb's descriptions of it, much like in The Boy in the Cemetery, were absolutely fantastic. Seb knows how to creep you out and make you think twice about tip-toeing across the landing when the lights are out. He knows how to get right within your imagination and provide you with images that aren't so cute or appealing. For his different approach to writing and amazing style, I absolutely love this author and his work. Seb is the person that I go to when I need a break from my usual genre. His work is out of this world. 

Becca's Books is rating A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory with FIVE CUPCAKES! A creepy, twisted turn on a traditional Christmas Eve, with horror slipping down the chimney rather than presents! Thanks so much Seb and Carina UK! You're brilliant!


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