2 out of 4 stars
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The Elf Brief, a novel by Jordan David, is a Christmas tale following Noel, a diligent young elf, on his quest to document the proceedings of introducing the new Santa Claus in order to make future transitions easier for future Santas. On his quest, he discovers secrets hidden behind the bureaucracy of the North Pole. This book is the first in the Magi Charter series, and upon finishing it, there’s obviously a lot more to happen.
I’m someone who likes creating a movie in my head when I read, and this one definitely has the feel of a 90’s Christmas movie, even though it’s set in the 21st century. I saw someone on this website comparing it to The Santa Clause, which I would say is fair. Although, where the North Pole in the movie is all about happy fun times, The Elf Brief is set in more of a workplace environment that’s constantly covered in early December Christmas decoration. Another point to be made about that is that, like cult classic Christmas movies, they’re only relevant from late November to the end of the year. It’s not really something you would read approaching Valentines Day.
It’s definitely not a bad story. David wrote it in such a way that it appears to be whimsical and childlike but still made it very clear that it was set in an office space. As I was reading it, I notice Jordan would sometimes lose that balance and then bring it back full force as though he’d just remembered to. In fact, the book doesn’t seem to be very well edited at all. There are tonnes of contextual spelling errors throughout the book that a word processor would not likely pick up but a reader certainly could. Things like using the word ‘breads’ instead of ‘beards’ or ‘decide’ instead of ‘decided’. If someone were to ask for an example of the dangers of self-publishing, I would pull this book up.
I found this book entertaining and charming, perfect to pull someone into the Christmas spirit. The idea was there, and if there was enough content to create an entire series, then clearly there were a lot of ideas. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and need at least some semblance of editing in your fiction, then it’s not the book for you. I give this novel a 2 out of 4. It’s not a bad book, but there are language and spelling errors, and some places where the writing seems forced that I personally find too unappealing. On the other hand, the nice thing about writing an entire series is that there’s a lot of time to improve, and I’m sure that’s the case.
I would recommend this book to someone who can read something just for the story and not for the language, and is looking for a good fantasy that doesn’t have all the faff of creating an entire world from scratch. It’s definitely not just for adults and more children who are a bit more confident with their reading skills could pick it up, that is, if they are also willing to overlook the spelling in some places. Like I mentioned, Christmas themed books tend to be specific for a certain time of the year, but that is something entirely up to you.
The Elf Brief
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