The Elf: Nothing’s Quite What it Seems in THIS Winter Wonderland


The Elf

Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro.Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.

318 Pages
David & Duke Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 20th, 2016
Get a copy here!


Quick Reasons: unique, inventive, modern-day “retelling” of Christmas; I actually sort of love?! the plot for this; entertaining, intriguing characters; lacking in world-building; some weird timing issues; I just wanted MORE from this read

HUGE thank you to Max Dune; David & Duke Publishing, LLC; and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.


Okay, penguins. Let me just tell you a thing about this book. Are you listening? Here it is: this book? Has the lock on creativity. A modern-day retelling of Christmas, this book takes you on a wild journey. From start to finish, you’ll be swept up in action, adventure, and one very important question: who is good? who is evil? are there even SIDES here?!

But I think, in the case of this book, there might be TOO MUCH creativity trying to squeeze its way into the pages. Let me explain. I love the plot for this. I love how inventive this story is, how wild the plot twists, how much I was sucked in and transported to a different world. BUT. There’s something….lacking? About the world-building. About the magic. About the TIMING of things. Overall, I found myself stopping several times with what I imagine was a very confused, very scrunched-up look on my face…because as much as I love these characters and these ideas, I also don’t understand quite what happened.





I feel like, to put it another way, this book was rushed in places. I’d LOVE to know more–how the magic in this world works, how the characters know the things that they do, what exactly some of the monsters/creatures we come up against are…. There were so many instances I felt could have been expanded upon, built upon, described more or better–that in the end, weren’t. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong; I still had a huge amount of fun being swept up on this wild journey! I just wish I had been given a few more answers in the process, I guess; I wish I felt like my immersion into this world was built upon more than just a liking of the characters and an interest in seeing where the plot took me. I wish my immersion had, in the end, been much more complete.

Regardless, this was an entertaining, often laugh-out-loud funny read. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters, and seeing how they braved the situations they face throughout. The small shifts in perspective laced between the bigger moments of action helped to more fully round-out and individualize each character. Max Dune took an idea and made it uniquely his own; action, adventure, mayhem and mystery seep from these pages. I cannot wait to see what he does, or where he takes us, next! I recommend this read to lovers of Christmas, “retellings” (of a sort), and whimsically entertaining journeys. This was an adventure; why don’t you grab your merry bag of tricks and dive into it?!

One thought on “The Elf: Nothing’s Quite What it Seems in THIS Winter Wonderland

  1. Pingback: Loved and Loathed (October 2016) | betwixt-the-pages

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