Friday, April 13, 2018

Book Review: 'Christmas in Transylvania' by Sandra Hill


Think of one of those famous mini sized chocolate candy bars filled with nougat and caramel and peanuts. That is what Christmas in Transylvania; A Deadly Angels Novella is like. Lots of sweetness because of the holiday, different flavors due to the many characters that populate the tale and nuts for the serious nut case that causes problems for the heroine. It’s a short, fast tale showcasing Karl the Vangel, and Faith the human woman who touches his heart. Yes, this novella is like a mini Snickers bar and just as delicious – but non-fattening.
Because this is a short novella, Karl has to move fast. My head is still spinning from his going from zero to sixty in nothing flat. My understanding is that his attachment to Faith had been building for a while, but it was an unconscious decision on his part. The moment for action came with some unsettling news and since Karl is at heart, a hero, he didn’t second guess himself. He took charge and that was exciting.
Faith was a woman beaten down by life among other things. She’d lost her mojo due to circumstance of being influenced by the wrong person. With Karl, I got to see her recover and see the woman she was before she made a fateful decision. Through his love and support, I also got to see her bounce back and take an interest in life again. It was a feel good moment.
Nothing feels as good as passion realized; I just never thought of candy when I think of sex. After reading this story, that impression sure has changed. Wow.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a vangel story without the villain putting in his two cents’ worth. Jasper is such a deviant. So are his underlings. He continues to be the ultimate villain – he may bumble a bit but a reader is never left in doubt as to his 100% evilness – completely unredeemable. Yay for the good guys!
Michael the Archangel shows up and I absolutely, totally and completely adored his reaction to The Chipmunks’ music. I also happen to agree. The twins popped in with their enchanting and charming way to drop a few info bombs on the heroine, thus propelling the plot along even faster. But how can any heroine panic from such news when delivered by such two adorable poppets eating lollipops? It was a cute touch.
There was a lot to enjoy in this novella to be sure. The only drawback was its rushed feeling. The initial villain was brutal and the author made that abundantly clear but the afterwards was too fast a closure for me. True, it was good for everyone else but it aided the ‘rushed’ feeling. Then the big to-do planned by Jasper was a nonevent. I got to see the planning and the devilish glee of his anticipation, but no action. Everything dramatic or suspenseful takes place off stage. I suppose for time’s sake it had to, but it translated as telling to me, and not showing. I am also getting a bit bored with the ‘moonwalk’ references; I think there needs to be a new dance move, what, I have no clue, but the current dance has lost its charm for me. The character, however, remains engaging and interesting.
Christmas in Transylvania gives fans of the series a treat. It doesn’t offer up any surprises or dramatic revelations. This is purely a fun, entertaining and lighthearted read that is very appropriate for its title. Many scenes are smile inducing and the descriptions of all the holiday decorations were simply gorgeous. I’d love to see a place decorated like that for real, especially the tree. That was an amazing tree. I definitely recommend this to readers who are looking for light holiday fare that includes vampires and angels and drunken cookie bakers. It’s really sweet.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.