CLAUS (Legend of the Fat Man): An Origin Story Book Review

Claus (Legend of the Fat Man) is a science fiction/fantasy spin on the origin of Santa Claus and the entire infrastructure of what we know as Christmas, Santa Claus, his elves and those fantastic reindeer of his!


Claus (Legend of the Fat Man) by Tony Bertauski, is an origins story that takes place in the early 1800s, as a man named Nicholas Santa decides to explore in the frozen artic, looking for the North Pole. His life is about adventure, and adventure is what he's going to get!


In the early 1800s, Nicholas Santa discovered an ancient race of elven who have lived peacefully on the North Pole since the Ice Age, Nicholas finds himself caught up in an elven civial war, the colony’s first. There is a small group of elves always on the run from one particular elven known as the Cold One, Jack. And Jack’s tired of hiding from the world.

Because he's as powerful as he is, there’s no stopping Jack from his plan of world domination. But he has not prepared for the impacts of a human, or 'warmblood' in the form of Nicholas Santa, the only human to ever enter this secret elven colony.

During Nicholas' stressful early days in the colony, the reader is also introduced to high-jumping helium-bladder reindeer, artificially-intelligent snowmen known as A-bombs, and a merry band of big-footed elven to bring peace back to the North Pole.


When I first started reading this story, it wasn't really my kind of pacing, but I tend to commit to whatever I buy into and powered through it. FOR ME, the first third of the book was a bit helter-skelter, but then again, dealing with quirky but smart elves could very well be just like that.

But it's the season for such a tale and as I progressed through the tale, it became more and more compelling. As Nicholas is captured by the Elves, he goes through quite the scary process that Jack wanted executed on him, all the while, his wife and son were found by the fractured colony of good Elves.

Between the two parties, we learn how things are 'science, not magic,' and one by one, we encounter the various facets of the myth of Santa Claus and everything about him.

We even learn exactly how Santa can hit up every chimney in every household in the world...  but I'll leave that for you to discover.

It's a dark origins story for sure (you'll see what I mean if you pick it up) and you find yourself worrying and wondering exactly how it gets to where we know it should end up.


I liked where the story went, was a little confounded by the start, but I don't think I'll follow this up with the book series that Tony has created around his origin.  But my perspective was one where I just came off a fantastically written science fantasy series by Vincent Trigili. So it was a weird transition for me. But if you can tolerate a fully self-indulged evil blue-skinned elf named Jack, you should be fine.

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