Billy Christmas is a wonderful start to a series of strange and interesting adventures, as we go into a magical and darkly dangerous world. The warm natured and good-hearted Billy soon discovers that world, which was right under his nose all along. He has the weight of the world way beyond any young man, who is only in his early teens, as he is trying to find his missing father. As the reader, I kept cheering him on, especially since nothing ever seemed to go his way.
Mark A Pritchard wrote an interesting and enjoyable read that leaves you guessing until the end of the book. The author also created some unusual characters, which were human, animal, and plant. They come alive through wonderful descriptions that allow the reader to see and feel the story. This book is written with a web of both fantasy and real. There's a combination of relationships that are tested showing weaknesses and strengths, as well as fears and bravery, which are displayed in the opening of the story for the reader to absorb.
It's Christmas time and Billy's father disappeared on Christmas day, almost a year ago. Since then, Billy has been the man of the house, trying to hold things together for his mother's sake because of her severe depression after her husband's disappearance. Unusual things start to happen as soon as Billy brings home what appears to be an unusual Christmas tree, with decorations to boot.
When Billy’s father mysteriously disappears and his mother responds by becoming more and more reclusive, Billy maintains hope that his father’s absence is not by choice—despite the rumors and taunts of his classmates who believe otherwise. Twelve days before Christmas, Billy acquires a magical tree with a dozen ornaments, each of which holds a clue to finding his father. In order to do so, however, Billy must solve one puzzle each day, so he enlists the help of his best friend Katherine, not realizing that in doing so, he has placed them both in grave danger. The forces of evil that have captured Billy’s father are revealed to be manifest in the landscape of their very own small hometown outside of Oxford, England, as well as in some of its seemingly benign inhabitants. A beautifully woven narrative with rich, compelling characters, this novel is sure to strike a chord with any fan of fantasy literature.