Gothic Blue Book VI | A Krampus Carol edited by Cynthia Pelayo & Gerardo Pelayo is an unsettling collection of short stories and poems that center around the darkness of the holiday season that is usually so jolly and bright in most movies and books.
You’re going to need a hot chocolate or two to sip while reading this one!
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the editor in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Gothic Blue Book VI | A Krampus Carol edited by Cynthia Pelayo & Gerardo Pelayo
First of all, how wonderful is that cover art by Abigail Larson?! I’m obsessed with the tone it gives off immediately. The color choices are so perfect and I love how the tongue and the red in Krampus’s eye pops. And just look at those teeth!
This entire collection was wonderful. There are so many tales here with great range from light horror, to the deeply unsettling, all the way to the full-on brutal. I loved never knowing what to expect next!
My favorite stories from the collection include:
- The Aspirant Heiress by Deanna Baran
- A Creature Was Stirring by Samson Stormcrow Hayes
- Black Lace Binding by Laurel Hightower
- All Through the House by Amanda Cecelia Lang
- Secret Santa by Gary E Lee
- All Quiet on the Northern Front by Kara Race-Moore
- Hell’s Bells by C L Raven
- Krampus by Austrian Spencer
- Here We Come A-Caroling by Angela Sylvaine
Here are my thoughts on each tale or poem:
The Aspirant Heiress by Deanna Baran
When a woman is brought home after the death of her father, she also learns her brother had passed. She soon realizes that something dark is going on…
This one had me so nervous for the main character! I was rooting for her and didn’t want anything bad to happen. The ending was so intense!
The Night of Epiphany by Nico Bell
When a girl struggles with tradition after her mother passes away, she is determined to do her own thing. But she’s about to learn the consequences…
My heart broke for this poor girl. I can’t imagine the pain she was going through but I totally understand the determination of doing your own thing. What a terrifying ending.
When the Leaves Go by Die Booth
Wandering around town one day, this man spots a passageway he hasn’t seen before. Little does he know, walking down this path will change his life.
I loved the pacing of this one! And the description was lovely. It was really easy to fall right into this setting.
Yule Log by T.M. Brown
Dying of the plague, this older couple are not on the same page. One wants to stay in but the other wants to go get their last rites. Unfortunately only one of them can see the darkness looming.
What a heartbreaking tale! These poor people.
Candy Cane by Jeff Carter
A short tale about a girl that’s off doing her own thing and isn’t too bothered by the bullies.
I love that this one equally leaves me satisfied and wanting more. What a creepy ending!
The Boy Who Tricked Krampus by Malina Douglas
Deciding to be naughty this year, this boy plans to meet Krampus! And oh boy does he get to meet the legend.
This kid made me chuckle. I could see this one transforming into a longer tale!
Sugarplum by Kevin M. Folliard
When a man is traveling back home, he can’t help but stop in for a drink. After being questioned by the bartender, he quickly regrets the pitstop.
What a great tale about appreciating what you have and making the most of your life without rushing to the next thing.
A Creature Was Stirring by Samson Stormcrow Hayes
When a wicked little boy has plans to steal Santa’s gift bag, things don’t go as planned and the boy meets another Christmas creature.
This one certainly took a terrifying and brutal turn! Phew!
Black Lace Binding by Laurel Hightower
When a little girl named Claudia finds a book that magically shows one new page at a time, she’s shocked to learn that each scene is something that will happen in her life. Some are fun, everyday events. But when she see’s one of fire and death, she’s spooked. But still, she can’t help but be drawn to the book.
This is such an unsettling plot idea! What would you do if you found a book that could predict what was going to happen? Would you look, or would you hide it away?
Letters to Krampus by Matt Jean
What’s the one wish that his classmates, teacher, and even his own brother have for Christmas this year? For Connor to be punished for his wickedness. Krampus is ready to grant that wish.
While it got my blood boiling to see how this kid was reacting to everything, the visit from Krampus was wonderful.
I Am a Fortress by Shane Douglas Keene
A wonderful poem about a boy protected from the harm that keeps trying to come his way.
All Through the House by Amanda Cecelia Lang
When a boy makes a wish for his abusive father to be taken away, that wish is wonderfully granted.
What a brutal tale that packs such a gut-punch.
Secret Santa by Gary E Lee
When curiosity gets the best of this young kid, she meets Santa and leaves the event with a scar…
My goodness, this Santa was TERRIFYING.
A Desk Fit for a Purpose by Madeleine McDonald
When a woman finds a wonderful desk that she plans to sell for MUCH more than she haggled for it, she thinks she has an easy win with this sale. However, Krampus isn’t going to let her get away with her wickedness.
A Very Good Actress by Sarah Michelson
In this tale, a nanny is sent to a small town to watch the two young children while the parents work.
This one had some wonderful gothic-horror vibes! But man, wIth how much this character was trying to prove to us that she was nailing the role, I was so afraid for what may happen to the children!
After Krampusnacht by Victoria Nations
I LOVE tales when people team up with Krampus! This one captured such wonderful payback.
When She Visits by Cindy O’Quinn
A heartbreaking little tale of loss.
The Path by Kathleen Palm
This tale was heartbreaking from beginning to end. This poor kid!
The Last Noel by Hailey Piper
When a strange being knocks on the door, the little sister opens it… the older sister takes off after the being that snatched her sister, not knowing whether she will be able to keep up and bring her sister home safe.
Phew, that ending!
Queen of the Wassail by Jennifer Quail
A dark tale of sacrifice for the good of the town.
The Wreath by Monique Quintana
This one was intriguing! I mean, a protective wreath with the face of a doll stitched on that watches out for this girl? I’m in!
All Quiet on the Northern Front by Kara Race-Moore
When a group of young men are sent out to look for supplies during times of war, they run into the enemy. But there’s something else watching them that is far more dangerous that the germans.
This one was heartbreaking as it covered times of war. The description of the frozen mud alone will send a chill up your spine.
Cast Away Stones by Mary Rajotte
Such a dark tale of devotion and faith and how quickly things can turn when the powerful beings are forsaken.
Hell’s Bells by C L Raven
When Mari Lwyd and her nightmare crew knock on a door, the family has to invite them inside for dinner and drink. But that soon turns to blood and mayhem.
What a terrifying tale! And that ending!
The Holly King’s Spawn by Sage Ravenwood
A beautiful little poem about the changing of season.
Creature of Darkness by Lawrence Salani
When a creature terrorizes a small town, a man whose son had gone missing is determined to find this creature and end it. But of course, what he finds isn’t what he has expected.
This one was so eerie! The settings the author creates are wonderfully dark and dreary!
Christmas Eve by K.R. Smith
A tale of sheer determination! I caught myself holding my breath a few times while reading this one! At each pass, I feared the worst.
Krampus by Austrian Spencer
It all starts off as fun and games, but doesn’t it always? When an app that rates children on whether they are naughty or nice goes viral, the naughty children begin to die.
I LOVED this one! What a dark idea and such a brutal storyline.
The Dark-Eyed Boy by M.C. St. John
A tale within a tale, this one will leave readers reeling! Krampus never forgets…
Here We Come A-Caroling by Angela Sylvaine
When a young girl finds a book of carols, she can’t help but steal it and hide it away, knowing that it is forbidden to sing. Thinking that the tale of carolers coming to take you away was just a myth, she doesn’t fear the danger until it’s on her front steps.
This one was so terrifying! What a world it would be if people were unable to sing, especially at Christmas!
The Yule Cat by Sara Tantlinger
What a spooky poem to end on!
My Final Thoughts on Gothic Blue Book VI | A Krampus Carol
It was awesome to read this collection the week leading up to Christmas! But now I think I’ll go watch a cheesy Hallmark movie to lighten the mood a bit. ;-D
Horror fans, don’t miss this one for your holiday reading this year!
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