Candy Cain Kills

Shortwave Media. Nov. 2023. 172p. ISBN 9781959565192. pap. $13.99. HORROR
This holiday horror novella leans heavily into 1980s-slasher nostalgia. Teenager Austin is not thrilled to be spending the holidays with his family. Worse, the family learns the cabin where they’re spending Christmas was once the scene of a horrific crime, one that birthed the legend of Candy Cain. Now this dysfunctional clan must band together if they want to survive Christmas Eve and Candy Cain’s murderous rampage. McAuley (Curse of the Reaper) writes a straight-up slasher that bloodily checks all the boxes. Candy Cain is a brutal, seemingly unstoppable killer who sings carols as she kills. A multitude of one-dimensional characters are placed before Candy Cain to mow down, which also shows how creatively she can kill. This book wastes little time in getting to the Christmas carnage, and the pacing feels like it was written specifically for the big screen.
VERDICT This Christmas slasher, in the vein of movies like Silent Night, Deadly Night, is a quick read and a perfect book for gorehounds to devour on a cold Christmas night where there’s a fire in the hearth, some cocoa on the nightstand, and possibly something murderous in the snowy dark.
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