Krampus: The Yule Lord
Cover Artist: Brom
Review by Harriet Klausner
Harper Voyager Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780062095657
Date: 30 October 2012 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
On Christmas Eve in a run-down trailer park in impoverished Boone County, West Virginia, Jesse Walker has no reason to celebrate the holiday. Instead the despondent songwriter feels anger and pain when his wife Linda, taking their child Abigail with her, dumped him to move in with a crooked cop named Dillard. He wishes Santa would give him back his family.
Stepping outside, the depressed Jesse is stunned with what he sees. Seven individuals looking like devils pursue a man in a red suit fleeing towards a sleigh with eight reindeer harnessed to the front. The Santa-garbed male leaps onto the sled as the reindeer soar only his pursuer also got on board. Hearing screams coming from the clouds, Jesse notices a sack fall from the sky. He checks out the red satin bag out and realizes that he possesses Santa’s magical sack and plans to use it to won hack his family.
Instead of Ho! Ho! Ho! Jesse finds himself on the run with the horned Yule Lord Krampus chasing after him as he demands the return of the bag that he insists belongs to him. Centuries ago, Santa Claus trapped Krampus in a cave, but the Yule Lord recently escaped and has one objective to destroy his enemy in order to reclaim the Yuletide season from Santa who betrayed him when he took it from him. To do so he and his minion seek the red satin sack that Jesses holds.
Father Christmas gets to Jesse first and they agree prevent the Yule Lord from succeeding with his plan and help the troubled mortal regain his wife and child while ridding the hollow of its crooked cop. Confused by the animosity between the ancient enemies, Jesse prays for a Christmas miracle or two.
Jesse is a troubled protagonist who has not recovered from the two blows delivered by his wife. Before his life shattered from within, he dreamed of being a songwriter, but feared taking a chance on going to Memphis or Nashville; instead he wallowed in self-pity waiting for his break. His encounter with Santa and Krampus gives him the fortitude that he lacked prior to this strange Christmas.
This fast-paced gory holiday horror yarn puts an entertaining, at times jocular, spin to the story of St. Nick. Krampus believes jolly kindhearted Santa is a killer and thief who shows the importance of a good public relations campaign as the tale spun for centuries is that Santa is good and the Yule Lord evil.
Filled with action, fans will wonder whether Jesse joined the wrong side as increasingly it appears to him that Santa is evil. Fans will relish the Yule Lord "is coming to town".