I’m glad to see a rise in popularity of non-traditional myths like Krampus. Granted, the tried-and-true legends we all grew up with are still potent to an extent…but we as a society need more diversity when it comes to older generation tales. Therefore, I find author Matt Manochio’s take on Krampus a refreshing delight; I had the pleasure of reviewing THE DARK SERVANT earlier this year, and now I have the pleasure of discussing the follow-up novella, TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT.
If you are not familiar with TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
Dark servants clash!
Medieval maiden Beate, who’s grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures. Standing in her way—beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards—are Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens.
Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman—lest she wind up like Gisela.
Unlike THE DARK SERVANT, which is set in modern times, TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is set back in medieval days. And while some readers might frown at this, I personally enjoyed it. I like the idea of how a supposed myth can span centuries and still be terrifying.
Like its predecessor, TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is written well and flows at a nice clip. Because it is a novella, the character development is not quite as in-depth as THE DARK SERVANT, however this does not detract from the story at all. If anything, the lack thereof allows the reader to jump into the story (and horror) at a much faster pace.
My favorite aspect of this novella is the sort of rivalry Krampus and Frau Perchta share. Both characters are larger than life, and both ooze personality (in a weird sort of horrific way), so seeing them clash is a real treat.
TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is a big win for me, and I highly recommend it. Manochio once again shows his imaginative prowess with this tale, and I cannot wait to see what he does next. TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is available now in eBook form.