Book Reviews

Anthology Review: Let It Snow by Red Tash

Let it Snow! edited by Red Tash
Series: N/A
Genre: Holidays | Short Stories
Length: 170 pages
Published on 1st November 2012 by Red Tash Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD | WHSmith
Red Tash: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Purchased for myself from Waterstones

*2013 eFestival of Words Best Anthology Finalist*

Happy holidays and welcome to our quaint little holiday collection of zombies, crazies, fairies and treasure-hunters (and more)!It’s the end of the year as we know it, and you’ll be feeling fine as you peruse this collection of “season’s readings.”

Let It Snow! is packed to the rafters with thoughtful gifts for you to unwrap from the comfort of your cozy reading chair. After all, there’s snowplace like home for the holidays! Are you ready to branch out beyond the tree’d and true? Stay inside and read and you’ll be saying “Let It Snow!”

Let It Snow!
Season’s Readings for a Super-Cool Yule!
Ten eclectic stories in off-beat holiday settings

A Laurents County Landfill Christmas, by Red Tash
Silent Night, by Jack Wallen
Crazed in Christmas City, by Jessica McHugh
A Manlove & Kickerdick Xmess, by Axel Howerton
The Snow Wolf’s Gift, by Tim Tash
A Serial Killer Christmas, by Mercedes Yardley
Old Mexia Christmas Brew, by Claudia Lefeve
The Pratty Who Saved Chrissmuss, by Marian Allen
Believe, by Connie Roberts-Huth
Hau’oli Hanukkah by T. Lee Harris

I grabbed myself a copy of Let It Snow in preparation for Christmas 2013 seeing as though I missed my chance to read it in 2012. I’m also pretty sure it’s still free should you want to get one reading for the end of this year.

Before I begin reviewing these short stories I want to point out how I very rarely give short stories a five star because they always seem to be too short or missing that little oomph, but within this whole collection not one of the tales was bad, in fact not even an “okay” story can be found.

I really, really, enjoyed it.

A Laurents County Landfill Christmas
(This review is taken from when I first read this story in The Wizard Tales Vol I-III)
TROLL OR DERBY SHORT STORY OMG YAY. I hadn’t read this and it was really sweet, about Harlow organising a Christmas get together with Deb and her family and a few other characters from the book, I just loved it and all the magical happenings. I really want to visit their market and eat all their food even though it’d be bad for me I don’t care it sounds great.

Silent Night
“Candlelight flickered off the glasses and sequinned dresses of the more feminine attendees…there were some in attendance of questionable gender.”

First of all big props to a nod at trans people, taken out of context and looking back on it the quote can appear abrupt and rude but trust me this character is well, a maniac?

This short story is about the creation of the Zombies which John is showing off to his rich and powerful colleagues as they plan to well, more or less, take over the world. He wants money, he wants it now and he doesn’t care how dirty his hands get. This was such a thrilling read and such a different setting to the previous story. I really enjoyed it and would love to read more of the authors work.

Crazed in Christmas City
I really enjoyed this one, I’d have to say it was probably my favourite of the lot because I love reading about Lunatic Asylums and how differently each author envisions them. This one focuses on Avery as she attends the Christmas party which she’s thrilled about as she spent the previous year heavily drugged. What I liked most about this is we never find out if Avery is guilty or innocent of her crime but I’m happy to believe she’s innocent. I would love to read more about Avery and her world, particularly the boy she stumbles into.

A Manlove & Kickerdick Xmess
This follows Arthur and Jurgen, two explicit performers and lovers but for this story, are attempting to be polite chauffeurs. I say attempting because they’re driving around a rude politician and his son to dinner, and later on to sort out the son and “make him a man”. This is a fairly fast paced short story, and a lot happens to lead up to a great ending where the politician gets what he deserves.

The Snow Wolf’s Gift
Sayenne is a shape shifter, recently entered our world and saves a wizard who’s broken his leg, shortly after arriving the two are attacked by a Dragon and a fight breaks out, the wizards’ son appears with a wolf pack and helps the two to safety. I really enjoyed this story because I don’t read enough fantasy and whilst we weren’t told much information about each character, you can tell that they have an interesting and full adventure ahead of them which I need to look into reading.

A Serial Killer Christmas
This one took me by surprise because whilst it’s about a serial killer, in this story he doesn’t actually kill anyone, just simply prepare for her arrival and how he intends to kill her beautifully. It was an odd story in a way because the killer seemed likeable and almost childish in some ways and this gripped me into wanting to know more about him and how he ended up this way.

Old Mexia Christmas Brew
This is possibly one of the more confusing stories as its set in an alternate reality in the future, with the development of time travel they’re fighting in a rebellion, but for this story, that is not the focus. The focus is Chase and Jenny, and how he likes her and they go on their first date. Their actual date is really cute in a not so obvious way as she wants to make other peoples evenings more Christmassy and full of happiness! Oh also there’s a few hints that he can somewhat see the future which is pretty interesting.

The Pratty Who Saved Chrissmuss
I had to point out the previous story was one of the most confusing because I think this one holds the exact title of being most confusing and that is because its not quiet clear where its set but I’m about 90% sure its not Earth, books can talk/read themselves and things aren’t pronounced quiet correctly. This story follows a librarian on her way home for the holidays and she’s followed by two others as her nephew or cousin (sorry I can’t remember now) owes them money but luckily the book reads tales of Christmas to save the day!

At first I thought the narrator was a male and I don’t know why, so a bit into the story I had to quickly shift how I was imagining Eloise. Eloise is a physic and uses her gift to help police in murder cases, this particular one is a little girl murdered by fake Santa. I really liked how this story progress and developed but also how the events surprise Eloise too, this helped it feel like a special event and surprisingly warmed your heart, considering the some of the things that happen.

Hau-oli Hanukkah
Last but not least, Josh is an ex-operative currently working on photographing archaeological items, finds himself stuck and unable to return home for Christmas. Whilst remaining in Hawaii he crashes at Dora’s and she provides him with a surprise to help make the holidays be more fun, god this sounds dirty but its not, I promise haha, anyhow before the story is over Josh has to make full use of all his skills to stop thieves from ruining Dora’s job. Its fairly quick paced but for me, was probably the weakest of stories, through no fault of the author I had trouble connecting.

5 stars / 5 stars

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