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Book Review: How the Supervillain Stole Christmas, by Charles Payseur

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Book Review: How the Supervillain Stole Christmas, by Charles Payseur

Book Info

Book Series
2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug
About the Author
Charles Payseur lives and writes in the frozen reaches of Wisconsin, where he enjoys the craft beer and excellent cheeses of the area a bit more than is strictly healthy. Along with his partner and growing herd of pets, he avoids doing household projects by reading and writing, and his short fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming at Strange Horizons, Nightmare Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, among others.
Publication Date
December 01, 2016
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Rex Devious (Dr. Devious to meddlesome do-gooders everywhere) can go toe-to-toe with superheroes without blinking an eye. So picking out a Christmas present for his new boyfriend should be no problem. After all, he and Sanjay seem perfect for each other. But with a terrible track record for finding gifts that won’t scare his potential partners away, Rex is paralyzed with insecurity. Until, of course, he decides to change tactics. Instead of having to pick out that perfect present, why not just destroy Christmas altogether? If his nemeses (or his conscience) can’t stop him first, he might just become the supervillain who stole Christmas.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Super cute, but something is missing
Cover – Nice
POV – 3rd person, 1 character POV
Would I read it again – Yes.
Genre – Christmas, Holiday, Superhero/Supervillain, Science Fiction, Romance


WARNING: There may be SPOILERS ahead!

This was a cute little Christmas short, but I felt like something were missing, that meant I couldn't give it a higher rating. Rex was an intriguing supervillain and I liked that we got to see him acting out some supervillain tricks, while also talking about previous victories and failures. Even though there were a few glimpses of Superheros, they didn't have a disproportionate amount of time given to them which was refreshing.

I did feel that the title was a little misleading, since *SPOILER* Rex never manages to actually steal Christmas. In fact, by the end of the story he's done a Grinch-esque 180º twist from hating Christmas to celebrating it with those he loves.

The romance between Sanjay was cute, but tame. I didn't see much chemistry, outside of a few stolen kisses and the final sex scene. Which, in a similar was, didn't quite fit with the story. I found that the romance was given less attention than it could have had, since the whole story was about Rex and Sanjay's relationship; some memories or a few more meetings would have been nice, just to equal out the emphasis on the budding relationship. The sex, however, felt a little too clinical and well set up. I think the story didn't really need it in detail; just the suggestion of them going into the bedroom would have been enough, since there was nothing else that could have been interpreted as 18+ in the rest of the story.


The story was cute, Christmassy and sweet. I just felt that a few things were missing.


Favourite Quote

“It felt odd to say it aloud, like it was some plea to the universe to just...let this one work. Yes, occasionally he tried to blackmail world governments or blot out the sun itself, but didn't he deserve love too? Didn't he deserve to actually have a relationships last to the New Year?”
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