Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith


14 Critic Reviews

Grahame-Smith has a lot of fun with Biblical characters, but preserves an aura of sanctity around Jesus himself.
-School Library Journal


From the author of the New York Times bestselling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, comes UNHOLY NIGHT, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It's the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

About Seth Grahame-Smith

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Seth Grahame-Smith is a film and television writer/producer, semi-frequent blogger, and bestselling author. His first novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. Since its release in April 2009, it's sold over a million copies and been translated into 20 languages. Seth is also the Co-Creator/Executive Producer of the upcoming MTV comedy series, The Hard Times of RJ Berger. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
Published April 10, 2012 by Grand Central Publishing. 321 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Unholy Night
All: 14 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 4


Below average
Apr 01 2012

A twist on angels and ministers of grace that feels more like a mercenary exercise than a fully fleshed-out adventure.

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Book Reporter

Reviewed by Ray Palen on Apr 27 2012

The blending of biblical legend with speculative fiction results in a compelling and fast-paced novel that reads like an epic thrill ride.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Apr 23 2012

He’s either a talented and entertaining writer with an affinity for adaptation, or confined to a genre where success depends on the subject matter, not the writer.

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Entertainment Weekly

Reviewed by Anthony Breznican on Apr 13 2012

The unhinged imagination is fun, but it's Grahame-Smith's depiction of sacred figures as flawed humans that makes the book feel like a secret account of events that have been sanitized by legend.

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LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Gina McIntyre on Jun 06 2012

...His new novel reads like a big-budget summer movie...But despite having some larger things to say about one man struggling to come to terms with his faith, it never quite manages to move beyond its action-flick tropes.

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The Washington Post

Reviewed by Elizabeth Hand on Apr 17 2012

In “Unholy Night,” Grahame-Smith manages the neat trick of providing a satisfying and moving new ending to a story that has been recounted untold times.

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USA Today

Below average
Reviewed by Kevin Nance on Apr 11 2012

The author seems a good deal more interested in describing elaborate fight scenes and maintaining a breakneck narrative pace than in developing the characters or exploring the story's emotional or — heaven forbid — theological implications.

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Good E-Reader

Reviewed by Mercy Pilkington on Apr 16 2012

It is a page-turner from the beginning whose actions are a surprise until the last word.

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School Library Journal

Reviewed by Diane Colson on May 01 2012

Grahame-Smith has a lot of fun with Biblical characters, but preserves an aura of sanctity around Jesus himself.

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Deidre Wengen

Reviewed by Deidre Wengen on Apr 03 2012

Grahame-Smith weaves a dark and thrilling tale that twists history with imaginative fiction.

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Why So Blu?

Reviewed by Brian White on May 24 2012

Unholy Night, whether you find it interesting or not, has everything a good story needs to succeed.

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The Guilded Earlobe

Apr 08 2012

While the story is full of humor, it never goes for the easy joke, transporting it beyond slapstick to a fun adventure filled Historical Fantasy.

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Prophets and Popstars

Reviewed by Chris Harrison on May 09 2012

Grahame-Smith’s first century Palestine is visceral and dreamishly vibrant.

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Book Guys & Book Girls

Reviewed by Paul on Mar 23 2012

Seth Grahame-Smith does this all without offending Christians, without challenging, correcting or disputing a single word of scripture... It’s sheer genius.

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