Title: Vampire Claus
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 112 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Fantasy, Holiday
At a Glance: Vampire Claus is a fascinating take on the vampire genre, and I’d love to see more of Taviano and Paul’s relationship now that Taviano has a territory
Reviewed By: Jenn
Blurb: A lonely vampire and a fearless mortal with no instinct for self-preservation. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
‘Twas the night before Christmas, but what’s stirring is a little more dangerous than a mouse.
Taviano is nearly two hundred years old and never wakes in the same place twice. Weary and jaded, the vampire still indulges in memories of childhood Christmases in Naples. He lingers in shadow, spying on mortals as they enjoy the holiday.
When Taviano spots a handsome young man in Boston loaded down with presents and about to be mugged, he can’t help but intervene. Soon he’s talking to joyous, naïve, strong-willed and funny Paul, a short-order cook who raised funds to buy Christmas presents for LGBTQ children. Before he knows what’s happened, Taviano is wrapped up in Paul’s arms and then in his schemes to get the presents delivered by Christmas morning.
A vampire turned into a Christmas elf… What could go wrong?
Review: I enjoyed watching melancholy and depressed Taviano perk up and gain a new zest for life after rescuing the outgoing Paul from a group of muggers. Their banter with each other was entertaining and I felt they had natural chemistry. I absolutely loved Taviano really getting into the part of Santa at the LGBT shelter for teens, and how he acted it up to give them just a bit of magic.
For a short story, a lot of backstory was squeezed into the pages, with most of it being quite natural as Taviano and Paul start to share their pasts with each other. Paul’s complete lack of fear for what Taviano was seemed a little unrealistic, though I empathised with his method of putting off the panic until you’re alone or have the time, as it’s something I would do; yet it would have been nice to see or have mention of Paul dealing with it, mentally, at some point.
I’d have loved to have a few more back characters that weren’t just enemies intent on attacking our main characters, as it would have added a bit more oomph to a wonderfully written world. The only concern I would have is the sex scene that could be taken as dubious consent despite the author’s best efforts, through Taviano, to ensure that Paul is happy and fully aware of what he’s doing. This didn’t occur to me until writing this review; however, I felt it important to mention the possibility, and Tavianio’s efforts to make sure it’s fully consensual, just in case it could cause issues for somebody.
While the author kept some of the traditional myths of vampires, they also managed to show their own twist on the mythos. In fact, it was a fascinating take on the vampire genre, with the vampire being a literal demon or other entity that possessed the hosts. The description of his hunger and actions of Taviano dealing with his demon made me think that the author intended that the ‘bloodbeast’ demon that possessed him was a metaphor for greed and envy, the idea that people who gain power or money just want more. I’d love to see more of his and Paul’s relationship now that Taviano has a territory, and the blood beast seems to be getting more sentient and clearly has plans.
You can buy Vampire Claus here: