Author: Felicitas Ivey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 55 Pages
At a Glance: A retelling of The Nutcracker with a gay twist that moves too fast for a short story.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Thijs and his older brother, Rik, are spending Christmas Eve at their uncle Yvo’s annual gathering. For Thijs, it’s the first time he’s been there in almost a decade.
Thijs has vague memories of the magical Christmases spent with his uncle. But he doesn’t know if the images in his mind of the enchantment that happened while he waited for Santa are dreams, memories, or the product of years of therapy for an accident he doesn’t remember. He just knows when he stopped visiting Uncle Yvo, the dreams stopped too.
Are his dreams of a prince waiting for him every Christmas Eve just dreams? Tonight might finally be Thijs’s chance to learn the truth.
Review: I’ve always been a big fan of The Nutcracker. I’ve gone to see it performed on stage several times, I own several copies of the ballet—different versions of course—and I’ve seen just about every adaptation on film as well (including the Barbie one, and no, I’m not ashamed). So when I saw this short story on the Advent Calendar I was thrilled. Mixing my love for The Nutcracker with a m/m romance? The added bonus that it’s written by an author I’ve enjoyed in the past? I’m all for it!
Taking over for Clara is Thijs, a young man who has spent many magical Christmases with his Uncle Yvo (think Drosselmeyer), but he cannot remember them due to a horrible accident in which his parents are killed. This is his first Christmas with his Uncle again, and he meets and dances with some wonderful women despite his older brother, Rik. When midnight strikes Thijs finds himself downstairs, and the familiar Nutcracker scenes emerge.
I really wanted to like this story more than I did; however, it was just too short and too much was packed into the pages. Had it been expanded into a novel, I would have been all over it. Thijs’s personality rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t be sure how old he really was because he behaved much younger. When the ending came, it was too abrupt and left me wanting more. I wanted to see the entire Nutcracker story unfold, and then some.
For those looking for a quick story, and aren’t as invested in The Nutcracker as I am, this would make a great read. If you’re as big a fan, tread carefully and don’t expect it to explore everything in detail.
You can buy Nøtteknekkeren here: