Plot: The template for A Christmas Carol comes into play here, so the idea is not totally new to the world. However, the way the ghosts act and react, and the way Ellie is able to gradually better understand her circumstances and choices are quite delightful, and this novel is a well-crafted reimagining of the beloved holiday tale.
Prose/Style: The author is a very strong and clear writer; he employs a lot of figurative language, and his characters come alive off the page.
Originality: This concept stems from the work of Charles Dickens, but the author's take on the story is a new one, and quite different than the original story.
Character Development/Execution: Ellie is a wonderful, if often hateful, character who is well developed. Quite a few other characters, present and past, also ring true and complex. The author uses a lot of description and clear actions to bring his characters to life.
Date Submitted: July 22, 2021
Reviewed By Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite
I love Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol: it is a must-see every year during the holidays. John C. Derr has written Another Christmas Carol, which is a modern update to the classic story. This time, the character that has a chance to be redeemed is a very driven woman, Ellie Printh. She runs a very successful business but shuns all human warmth and connection. All the elements of the original are there, starting with the first ghost, a person in her past, who has come to warn her about the three Ghosts of Christmas that will visit her that night. The interactions and scenes that follow are all quite original, and we are never sure of the outcome for Ellie.
Taking on a classic like A Christmas Carol is a formidable challenge but one that John C. Derr does well in Another Christmas Carol. Each of his characters is well thought out and fully dimensional. Ellie is a worthy contemporary Scrooge, and I enjoyed the fact that the original story was referenced several times. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is fantastically updated from the original, terrifying in a whole new way. Derr has accomplished a great feat, taking a well-known story and making it feel fresh and new but still keeping the emotional impact of the original. Another Christmas Carol will be enjoyed by those who love Dickens's version and those unfamiliar with the original. Derr has written a story that could become a new Christmas classic.