Review: The Werewolf Before Christmas by Charles Payseur

WerewolfRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story

Love makes people do stupid things, like get into a bar bet with a giant alien gorilla that may cost him his boyfriend. His perfect, wonderful, amazing boyfriend whose public displays of love and affection have won the admiration of superheroes and villains alike. Ray is even so perfect that all his exes are still friends with him, unlike Alec whose relationships end in screaming, yelling, and tears. He can’t even be in the same room with some of his exes.

Alec doesn’t quite know what he did to win the dastardly and evil MantaRay, but he’ll be damned if he lets Gorillord break them up. Even if it was Alec who accepted the bet. Alec can’t stand the ridiculous soap opera All My Werewolves, a show Ray is obsessed with. He isn’t sure if it’s the bad acting, the ludicrous plots, the silly special effects, or just how much attention Ray gives it, but there’s something about the show that he can’t stand.

If Alec wins the bet — if he can top Ray’s Thanksgiving stunt, which led to a devastated turkey farm, a Caribbean island, and a quickie on the back of Ray’s MantaRay suit — their bar will no longer show All My Werewolves, which means Alec won’t have to watch it. However, if he can’t come up with a dramatic show to prove his own love and devotion to his boyfriend, he has to break up with Ray.

Alec accepts. He doesn’t have much of a choice. The entire bar was watching! Now all he has to do is find the perfect gift for Christmas, and somehow make it big enough, public enough, amazing enough to be front-page news, and impressive enough to wipe the smug look off Gorillord’s face and prove to Ray that Alec not only loves him, but is worthy of Ray’s love in return.

This is a silly, comic-book Christmas story with villains and heroes, magic, mayhem, and science all rolled up together. The world building is slap-dash, the plot is frenetic, the dialogue is a bit simplistic, but, for what it is — an enjoyable short story with a happily ever after involving super villains — it’s a fun read.

Alec is a touch insecure and, from what little we see of his past and his powers, he may have reason to be. His magic is far from perfect and almost never predictable. Sometimes his spells go perfectly, sometimes they don’t, and often he has no idea if what he casts will even work. Compare that to Ray, who is a bit of a genius and a powerful super villain, and Alec has reasons to for his feelings.

But with this being Christmas, the time of miracles and good will towards men, Alec some how manages to make it all work. His gift idea for Ray shows not only an urge to show off, but a man who knows what his boyfriend likes and truly wants to make him happy. Even as he’s putting together his surprise, he isn’t really thinking about winning the bet, he’s thinking about making Ray’s Christmas perfect.

I would love to read a longer story involving these two. If you like super villains  — or super heroes (I won’t judge you) — you should give this short story a try. It’s quick, it’s cute, and it’s worth the read.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

elizabeth sig

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