Novella Review for “Peppermint and Pentacles” by Melanie Karsak


Melanie Karsak is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. After reading Hauntings and Humbug: A Steampunk Christmas Carol, I knew I wanted more of her fantasy holiday stories. She was offering the novella Peppermint and Pentacles for free so I snatched it up. This is the third story in her Steampunk Red Riding Hood series, but it can be read as a stand alone. I didn’t have any trouble understanding what was going on but there were references to past events that I didn’t quite get. After how much I enjoyed this, though, I will be reading the rest in the series. This review will have spoilers.


Up on the housetop werewolves howl
Out jumps good old Agent Louvel
Down through the chimney chasing monsters quick
Feeling far less jolly than Old Saint Nick

Red Cape Society Agent Clemeny Louvel is used to chasing werewolves across London. But when she’s reassigned to a special case just days before Christmas, she learns that she’ll need more than a silver bullet to keep everyone on the nice list.

Peppermint and Pentacles is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe. This Christmas-themed tale can be read as a standalone but is best enjoyed as book 3 in the Steampunk Red Riding Hood Series.

My Thoughts:

  • Rating- ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was my first experience with Karsak’s steampunk Red Riding Hood world and wow, I loved it. The Victorian England setting with a fantasy twist was everything I wanted. I was even more thrilled when I realized this was a story about Krampas! I’ve been wanting a holiday read featuring the Santa Claus antithesis and this novella gave me that.

I also loved the characters, especially Clemeny. Clemeny is not like other girls BUT not in an annoying way. She is an agent with the Red Cape Society, basically law enforcement for supernatural creatures. I particularly loved this because there is a video game I adore called Dark Parables: The Red Riding Hood Sisters. If you’re into PC gaming and like fantasy, check that out.

This story was a unique tale with strong characters, great writing and a sprinkle of holiday goodness. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, I don’t think you’d regret reading this.

Final Thoughts:

This won’t be the last of the Melanie Karsak holiday reviews because I also bought her Goblins and Snowflakes novella. I just can’t get enough of her work because not only are her stories really good, but the novella length is perfect for me during this busy time of year. I’d love to know if you’re interested in reading anything by her or already have! Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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