Christmas Dinner of Souls – Ross Montgomery, illustrated by David Litchfield

When you think of Christmas books you immediately think of a jolly Father Christmas, Christmas Trees lovingly decorated with baubles, stockings hung on fireplaces and snow as far as the eye can see. Well let me tell you straight away Ross Montgomery’s ‘Christmas Dinner of Souls’ is a far cry from this. Deliciously dark and totally terrifying this is a real festive treat for lovers of fiendish, fearsome tales. On a dark and lonely Christmas Eve Lewis is banished to the ancient Soul College to make amends for a naughty deed but little does he realise how truly awful his punishment will be. For Christmas Eve is the night where a secret club meets who despise children, warmth, happiness and above all Christmas. Whilst Lewis serves up the most disgusting and stomach turning meals each member takes their turn to tell the most terrifying, gruesome tale. Who will win this despicable contest and how can Lewis possibly hope to get out alive?

This really is the most marvellous of books, I loved how these stories from each of the guests are seamlessly woven into this rather macabre plot. From the haunting ‘An Old Forgotten Scream’ which tells of a dastardly Baron who is tormented by the screams of his dead wife to the cleverly constructed and surprising ‘The Kensington System,’ each of these tales aims to chill your blood. But whilst the reader is being distracted by these ghastly renditions Ross is unfolding an even more intriguing plot as Lewis begins to realise there is more to this dinner than meets the eye. Exquisitely produced with stunning illustrations by David Litchfield this is a gem of a book and perfectly sized to pop into a Christmas stocking. I end this review with a caution, this book is not for the faint hearted but if your child delights in spine-chilling, grim tales then they will be totally entranced by this feartastic book!

Thanks to Faber & Faber for sending me a copy of this gruesome book. ‘Christmas Dinner For Souls’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.

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