Why Unholy Night Kept Me Up All Night

It’s a book I picked up on a whim and as often happens when I do that, I had a really hard time putting it down again.

This is definitely not the story the way you learned it in Sunday School. But here’s the thing – it’s strangely much more believable when it’s told like this.     

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith reveals the identity of those mystifying three wisemen who were present at the Nativity.

It explains how it is possible that three fugitives from justice could have ended up in a stable in Bethlehem bearing strange gifts.

It is the story of Balthazar (the Ghost of Antioch), a master thief with his own agenda and quest for revenge, who forms an accidental but necessary alliance with two other criminals along with Joseph and Mary and their newborn baby, when all six of them are being ruthlessly hunted down by King Herod’s men.

There is some real insight into the twisted minds of ancient emperors and kings with mythology and the occult thrown in to add to the thrill of the chase and the flight and the fight for survival.  There’s also a lot of violence and sword fighting and blood and guts.  But bibilcal times were violent and bloody, weren’t they? There’s much history here, however twisted and revised, but that’s what we do with history.  And this is an interpretation that pulled me in and swept me away and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

By taking this very familiar story and filling in the missing bits and making the characters come vibrantly alive, Grahame-Smith has written an epic adventure that’s impossible to put down until the very last page.  Really.  Read it, and see if I’m right.