Santa hasn't missed a request in 493 years—until Suzy Anderson asks for her dead father back. Santa isn't prepared to let this one slip by, so he kidnaps computer-hacking elf Bernie, gathers his reindeer, and breaks into Purgatory. Unfortunately, the resulting miracle shakes the balance of belief, and the North Pole is put under Holy Quarantine. Santa's spirit is taken, and Bernie and the reindeer must return to the afterlife to bring him back, risking everything to make sure that the spirit of Christmas isn't lost forever. Teppo (The Court of Lies) creates a complex situation, building on his previous novelette "A Christmas Wish (Redux)" and using Mandelbrot, Dante, and Shakespeare as a roadmap through the afterlife and the fallout of the team's journey. The shift between the journey to Hell and Bernie and Rudolph's life afterward is disconcerting and abrupt, but eventually the story comes back to the main themes of belief and grief. Christian mythology is present, but the secular aspects of Christmas are more prominent. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015 Release date: 11/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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