I received a review copy of this novel for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Not only did the cover for Krengel and the Krampusz draw me in, but the synopsis was deliciously intriguing. I love it when Christmas and horror are mixed together, and the results of the mixture in this novel inspire chills comparable to being stranded out in a blizzard.
The language Norris uses to tell this story of Krengel and the Krampusz was mesmerizing, and though it took me time in the beginning to get into the rhythm, I couldn't imagine the book being written any other way. His rich and vivid descriptions stand out in my mind, and I reread some parts of the story because I found myself thinking, did that really just happen?? And yes, yes, it did.
The book begins, and Krengel is shown to be a young boy who's spoiled, sheltered, and an all-around brat. Not how we picture Santa to be, right? There's also the Krampusz, who's demon-like and somehow co-exists with Krengel as though they share a body but have two separate minds. Different versions of Krengel's birth have been told. Some say Krengel had a twin whom his mother killed. Others say Krengel strangled his twin in utero. Still others say Krengel's twin was born deformed. None of these versions are happy as you can see.
When Krengel throws a fit to be included in an all-boy traveling choir led by a monk, his father basically pushes his son into the monk's care. With that one decision, the novel really starts and horrific events soon unravel. Krengel quickly finds out the other boys in the choir hate him, and just one of the reasons being that he can't sing at all.
In telling this dark tale, Norris engages all five of your senses, and you thoroughly feel like you're also living through the horror of unimaginable events unfolding before you. There were times I cringed and squirmed and felt relieved I did not live in this world he has created. I highly recommend Krengel & the Krampusz to every horror fan out there - this novel is an imaginative scare fest with intelligent and terror invoking writing. Norris is a master of the skill needed to re-imagining our beloved Santa Claus into the stuff of hellish nightmares. This is Christmas horror at its finest.