Review: TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT by Matt Manochio

It’s that time of the year when the days get shorter, the nights get darker, and people begin to set their sights on the season, putting up trees, hanging wreaths and garlands, and disemboweling unwary victims in the forest. At least, that’s how Matt Manochio celebrates it in TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT.

twelfth-krampus-nightTWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT synopsis:

Dark servants clash!

Medieval maiden Beate, who’s grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures.

Standing in her way—beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards—are Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens. Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman—lest she wind up like Gisela.

I love finding good, seasonal horror stories to read around this time of year. Morbid as it sounds, a good blood and guts, scare the hell out of you horror story is just the ticket. But when it comes to Krampus stories, I find them to be more miss than hit most of the time. So I was delighted to discover that, in spite of my skepticism TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT fits into the latter category.

I read–and reviewed–Manochio’s novel SENTINELS awhile back and really enjoyed that story, which is why I was willing to take my chances with a Krampus story. And like that story, one of the things that stands out the most in TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is the often bumbling, always comedic interactions between the villains. The exchanges between Frau Perchta and Krampus are often violent and always good for a–sometimes uproarious–laugh.

Another similarity I noticed between TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT and SENTINELS is Matt’s impressive ability to create convincing settings. The story is always action packed and full of almost constant motion but, thanks to Manochio’s descriptive prowess, the reader is able to maintain a sense of place without really having to try. This wins major points with me as I often find myself frustrated with trying to figure out where the hell a given scene is located in space and time.

All in all, TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT is a delightfully bloody, always fun adult fairy tale that would do the Brothers Grimm proud. If you haven’t read Matt Manochio yet, this lightning fast, satisfying novella is a good place to start.


You can purchase a copy of TWELFTH KRAMPUS NIGHT right here.

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About Matt Manochio:


Matt Manochio was born in 1975 in New Jersey and graduated from The University of Delaware in 1997 with a history/journalism degree.

He spent the majority of his 13-year newspaper career at the Daily Record in Morris County, New Jersey, where he won multiple New Jersey Press Association Awards for his reporting. He wrote about one of his passions, rock ‘n’ roll giants AC/DC, for USA Today and considers that the highlight of his journalism career.

He left newspapers in 2011 for safer employment, and currently lives in New Jersey with his son.


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