Reviewed by Alex Binkley
Everyone knows Twas The Night Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, those wonderful holidays stories. Now Ottawa writer, Kass Williams, has added a new tale to that illustrious list.
The Elf Conspiracy is a tale of geeky teenagers, called upon to thwart plans of a group of disgruntled elves to overthrow the 'Fatman' (Santa Claus). But the elves are not Santa's only problem. He also has to contend with a wife who makes Sarah Palin seem normal. In The Elf Conspiracy, Mrs. Claus is no other than a 'spooked' CIA agent looking for plots and for other troubled souls, including a demon.
At the heart of the story is how adversity restores Santa’s enthusiasm for a job he’s had for ages. Much as the Grinch gains redemption and a place among the Whos (whose enjoyment of Christmas initially annoys the Grinch and then wins him over) or as Rudolph’s nose is finally respected for its usefulness, the events in The Elf Conspiracy rekindle St. Nick’s zest for his special role in the world. The story is also about Christmas bringing family and friends together, and not for what’s under the Christmas tree. And as the Grinch famously discovered, “Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.” That message resonates through all the humour and plots of The Elf Conspiracy.
Drawing on classic Christmas tales and trappings, along with goings-on that far too often pass for news, Williams has masterfully employed her sharp sense of humour and vivid imagination to concoct a wonderful tale that should amuse young and old. And stay tuned, Williams has two more books coming in the series.
The Elf Conspiracy is published by Able Communications.