The Winter Riddle

Sam Hooker. Black Spot, $14.99 trade paper (338p) ISBN 978-1-73240-070-2
Hooker (Peril in the Old Country) tries too hard to be clever with this fantastical yuletide tale. In the Kingdom of Aurora atop the North Pole, Volgha is a princess turned witch who just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately, her tyrant of a sister, Queen Alexia, is always making trouble, often assisted by the god Loki. When Volgha agrees to do a spell for them, she has no idea of the cataclysmic events that will result, putting everyone in the kingdom in danger. Solving the problem requires help from an unlikely source: a man by the name of Santa Klaus. The novel ably weaves well-known fantasy tales with new ideas and offers a fun, fresh take on myth and legend. However, rather than letting readers enjoy the tale, Hooker must remind them constantly that he is the one telling it, making an otherwise pleasant story an exercise in marveling at the author’s faith in his own cleverness. The already disjointed plot falls apart under the weight of the cheeky observations, making this a Christmas clunker. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 338 pages - 978-1-73240-071-9
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