It’s not quite Christmas yet as of the date of this review but it is a few days before Christmas in The Naughty List by Perrin Briar. With lists and Christmas, there must be children, as there are in this story. Many of them live in an orphanage, many live on the street. Several of them, as well as a few from more traditional family homes, are missing. When Agent Alice Durand of the Order took on the case of the missing children, four were missing. Within a few hours, she found the actual number of missing children was nine. She was starting out from behind.
The Order was a group of super cops that sought out and defeated evil. Alice’s specialty was werewolves and she wanted to solve the case of the missing children quickly so she could get back to what she did best, battling werewolves. There were few clues about the children. There was the smell of peppermint, a pear left on a bed when pears were out of season, a colly bird and jangling bells. After a long surveillance, she caught the criminal in the act. He was not a werewolf; he was a demon.
This was a problem because Alice wasn’t familiar with ways of fighting demons. Luckily her boss, Ezra Carver was. But the demon could not be killed. If he were, a portal would close to his universe and the children the demon had already captured would be trapped in the demon’s universe. Alice and Ezra would have to find clever demon catching tricks to rescue the children before Christmas. If not, the captured children would be trapped for one hundred years.
Things the reader should watch for in this novel are the character of the children captured. Why were they chosen? Each time there is a disappearance, there are artifacts left behind. What is their meaning? What is going on between Alice and her boss, Ezra Carver?
This is a pleasant tale that I cannot give high ratings because the Kindle edition I downloaded had typos and missing words which make a few sentences gibberish. Rather than try to figure them out (not my job) I ignored them. They were distracting. Then there is the huge note in bold print which are instructions to the author. It appears at approximately Kindle location 1268; I believe this location might change slightly depending on magic I do not understand connected to eBook publishing. Nevertheless, it was unsettling to see an author’s note about how to proceed with the story. Therefore, I gave this novel an Amazon three-star rating.
I recommend this for readers around ages eight to ten. They might have fun making connections to culturally popular stories related to Christmas. Advice to parents, let the young folks make the connections; parents might have fun if they sit back and listen to differing (and younger) interpretations of Christmas myths. Ask them what they think of Grace, the President’s daughter.