The latest book that I’ve just completed was another from the wonder that is Matt Haig. This was his new Christmas book, A Boy Called Christmas, telling the story about how a little boy called Nikolas came to be known as Father Christmas. The two books of Haig’s I had previously read I loved so I really did have high hopes for his new project. However I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment after completion. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good read and sure to be a Christmas classic, I guess I just had built up incredibly high hopes.
The story started with Nikolas as a poor young boy living with his dad in a small, cold barn. His dad wasn’t able to afford anything each year for Christmas until he was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to find some elves. After a short stint in the care of his horrible aunt, Nikolas goes off to find the elves and search for his dad with the company of just a little mouse. It’s not long before Nikolas is able to find the elves, as well as other creatures including reindeers, pixies and also his dad’s party.
Initially the elves are hesitant of him, but he is able to quickly (probably too quickly) gain their trust by saving an abducted child elf and soon becomes the leader of the Elfhelm. To be honest with you, not too much happens after this point. It took about 2/3rds of the book for Nikolas to find the elves and gain their trust so there isn’t too much room for the rest. We don’t even properly see how Christmas starts. We see Nikolas get older, put together his famous costume, but its not made explicit how he starts delivering presents or quite how it’s possible.
Overall it is a good read; it’s exciting, good characters and really gets you in the Christmas spirit. The elves and their city are wrote about well, the little things that turn Nikolas into Father Christmas are well inserted, and throughout it’s a believable story. However the book is quite rushed; the language is quite childish but it’s probably more of a kids’ book anyway and the dad/humans need more of a role. Overall, a decent read but probably a one time read, 7/10.