From the author of the novelization ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, ‘The Christmas Spirits’ is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, following the journey of George Moore, a futures trader, as he meets surreal beings that change him and attempt to make him understand the meaning of Christmas.
Being a huge fan of the original novel, I had quite high hopes for this as the other retelling of the same story that I have read; ‘I Am Scrooge’ by Adam Rose, was really enjoyable. However, I found this to be quite an irritating retelling. From the first few pages, it was almost too obvious that it was a retelling of the well-loved classic, and to be honest, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I understand that with a retelling, the author can’t just tell the same story in a different setting, there will be the author’s own spin on it, but in this book, the characters weren’t even enjoyable, never mind likeable, and the events that take place are mostly just confusing.
The back of the book promised a book to “give today’s readers goosebumps as big as pudding bowls – and maybe draw a tear or two as it reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas.” but overall I found this disappointing. I wasn’t scared in the slightest, finding it more surreal in parts than actually frightening, and the message was clear from the beginning, as it was thoroughly explained how much George liked money.
One thing that I did like about this book is that the writing style was such that it was a really quick read. At only 200 pages, the writing style moved the story along quickly and it didn’t take long to get through at all. Another thing that I liked about this book were the illustrations that were dotted throughout the story. They were very dynamic images that had a lot of movement to them and they really added to the action, but they also made it really obvious which parts of the story would later be brought up again and would be important in some way.
I did actually quite enjoy the ending. Obviously, with this being a retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’ it was obvious that George would eventually change his ways and learn from his mistakes, but I really liked the way the story was wrapped up and it really fit the modern setting. Overall, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book to buy, but if you see it in a library as I did, give it a go! You might enjoy it more than I did