Wicked Game by Lily Vega

GAME
Wicked Game by Lily Vega
Reindeer Games
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Holiday, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

All’s fair in love and war when the Reindeer Games are in play!

Santa didn’t give bad boy Elf Brody his Christmas wish. Instead of sexy Beryl, he’s stuck with goody-goody Holly for a partner. But Brody discovers the best gifts aren’t always wrapped in the fanciest paper and Holly is so sweet, she melts on his tongue.

First impressions don’t always tell you the full story about someone.

Brody’s character development was nicely done. I’ll admit to not being a big fan of this character at first due to how he treated the elves and other creatures around him. He wasn’t a particularly friendly guy at first, to say the least. Seeing how he evolved over the course of the plot, though, did end up changing my opinion of him as well. By the final few scenes I was rooting for him to find his happy ending!

The chemistry between the two main characters never felt quite right to me. While I liked them as individuals, they were about as different as two elves could possibly be. Because of this I struggled to understand what they saw in each other. Had only one of them narrated the storyline there might have been more opportunities to show what was attracting them to each other and what they shared in common.

The world building in this tale was strong. While Brody and Holly were the focus of the plot, there were so many hints about what their lives were like in the North Pole that I could easily imagine how their entire society operated. The subplots never overshadowed the main plot. Instead they created a richly layered backdrop for the main characters and made me wish for a prequel or a sequel because of how intrigued I was by everything that was going on.

Wicked Game should be read by anyone who has ever judged a book – or an elf – by its cover.

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