Review: 12 Deaths of Christmas

It’s Halloween. The sun has dropped behind the jagged teeth of the nearby hills, outlining them in a watery orange before dousing them in deep blue and black. I haven’t drawn the curtains, I want to see what the veil will bring to my window tonight. I sit, warded against the creep of chill from the glass. My cup of tea is steaming and my dogs bristle against the anticipated ill tonight will bring. What better time than to open the advanced reader copy of 12 Deaths of Christmas, by Paul Sating? There is a crack of lightning, the roll of thunder, as if the heavens themselves are telling me to leave this anthology alone.

12 Deaths of Christmas (Paul Sating Productions, ISBN-13: 978-1732261716) is the highly anticipated second published work of Paul Sating. Sating is known for his work as the author of several outstanding audio drama podcasts including: Who Killed Julia, Diary of a Madman, and the serial audio drama, Subject Found. His work has a way of turning even the brightest of days just a bit foreboding. 12 Deaths of Christmas sees Sating’s work across 12 short stories with themes of Christmas wonderment and winter charity all with a horror twist.

I enjoy a good scary story, just like most of the rest of the world, and Sating has not left me disappointed in this work. The prose is lavished in gore and blood, death, mayhem, and good old-fashioned chill. Centred in the Pacific North West, Sating brings the loneliness of the wilderness to bear on this work. Even those of us far from the desolation of that land will feel the biting freeze of the winter there.

Beware: This is a horror anthology. And it’s not one of those feel good, fluffy horror anthologies. For the faint of heart, you will miss sleep. There are several stories with possible triggering scenes. There is violence, blood, gore, and a heavy handful of ‘what the actual f…?!’ to be found in the pages. Don’t say you haven’t been warned…

But if you love the horror genre (or if someone on your Christmas shopping list does), this is an exciting addition to your Clive Barker, HP Lovecraft, and Stephen King shelf in the library. 12 Deaths of Christmas is in pre-order for Kindle and the paperback is available to purchase on Amazon. Expect the release of this anthology to be on 22 November, 2018.

Genre: Horror (anthology)

Reading Level: Adult

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 sleepless nights (sleepless for more than one reason this time!)

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