08 December 2014

Mending Noel by Charlie Cochet

All is not sparkly snowflakes and sweet candy canes in North Pole City. Office workers Tim and Noel do nothing all day but antagonize each other—petty fighting that might be based on hatred… or a heated mutual attraction. It’s up to Jack Frost and his elf-friend Rudy to broach the hostilities and introduce some Christmas kisses, but is the Frost Prince up to the challenge of launching a new romance when someone’s trying to break his holiday spirit?
Have you ever found yourself in the North Pole amongst elves, sugar plum faeries, and reindeer who aren’t actually deer? No? Then you might want to take the time to listen to Mending Noel by Charlie Cochet. Though, I gotta warn you, it takes most of the book to figure out what is going on.
First off, the description of the book leaves out a lot of information that if had been clear ahead of time might have made the book make more sense. (If there is any sense to actually be had.) First, remember the first time you watched the Nutcracker? How confusing it was unless you had someone whispering in your ear the whole time what was actually going on – which was an annoyance in and of itself? Well, take the premise of the Nutcracker, add in a few gay elves, a reindeer who isn’t actually a reindeer but an elf whose job it is to deliver toys at Christmas time, Jack Frost, and some tin soldiers who’ve gone to the dark side and you’ve basically got the premise of the book. Add in that Noel has no idea he’s attracted to Tim (oh yeah – Tim and Noel are the main characters – they take such a backseat to the strangeness that is Mending Noel that I forgot to mention that) so he’s just been treating him like crap for a long time and when he finally the light goes on and he realizes he is actually attracted to tiny Tim – yes, Tim is tiny – well, to be honest by that time I was just sitting there listening wondering what would happen next.
It was kind of like sitting at a stoplight waiting to see if anyone else would run a red light or cross against the lights… only not that exciting.
I think my favorite part of the whole thing had to be the narrator, mainly because he was one of those gifted souls who actually created different voices for the different characters. So any time one of them spoke, I basically knew who it was. So Dave Gillies gets 2 thumbs up.
However, even his gifted voice could not save Mending Noel for me for a first reading. The audiobook was only 1.5 hours and yet it was the longest 1.5 hours I’ve spent. Now that I actually understand the story – and it took about 1.25 hours before I got that far – I have to say I liked it in a strange, fascinated, how-could-anyone-write this, and I-have-got-to-get-to-know-this-author kind of way.
I think next time I listen, I’ll fantasize about how Rudy the head Reindeer actually looks. What? I know the story is about Tim and Noel, but Rudy would be the one I would want to look at.
Rating - Audiobook: 3.5 stars
Rating - Story: 2.5 stars
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