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This is the second book I’ve reviewed by Chris Coppel. Thank you to the author and Blackthorn Book Tours for providing me with a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was a very different book than LINER by the same author, which I reviewed not long ago. (You can check out that review here.)
If you’re looking for a light-hearted Christmas story with elements of fantasy/magic and a touch of romance, you might enjoy LOGISTICS by Chris Coppel. It’s not at all what I thought it was! Once I got to about page 93 I realized what was going on, and the rest was very magical and heartwarming.
The character arc is definitely evident here with the MC, Holly. She had an emotionally distant upbringing and it filtered into her adult life and the way she saw the world. But through science that leads to an unexpected family reunion, and a little bit of magic (ok, a lot!), her heart softens and her views change for the better.
The book starts out in 1981 and then switches to more or less present day. There are explorations of the harsh working conditions in foreign countries and the ignorance of other countries in the interest of financial gain (in case this sort of thing is triggering). And at first, the hard-working, dedicated, independent work-a-holic of an MC is on board. Her past has hardened her, turning her into an unapproachable minimalist who’s a creature of habit and strong-willed.
There’s something about her past, though, that’s unexplained. A strong pull to a certain part of the world. Strange emotional responses to things that she can’t understand… yet.
I got an almost Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibe from the story, as a matter of fact! Except, Christmas!
Coppel puts a very unique spin on certain aspects of Christmas and it includes some modern-y fantasy stuff to explain how it all works. Quite imaginative! And many holiday-themed stories are for children but this one has an MC in her 40s, so it’s an adult-centred story for sure.
From the cover copy:
After being abandoned at the age of two and a half, Holly Hillman was raised without whimsy or fantasy. She was taught that there were no such things as Santa Claus, fairies, elves or any other accepted fantasies that help a child deal with the harder realities of life. Now in her forties, she is the CEO of a Fortune 400 company. She rose to the top through hard work, but also by living without distractions or social attachments. Despite her rigidly ingrained dedication, Holly was content with her life, having never lived by any other tenet. Everything was perfect until she was required to give her DNA as part of a health check leading up her company’s merger with an Asian conglomerate.
The results of her test unlocked the secret of her unique ancestry, leading to her having to confront a fantastical truth that would forever change her views on life and reality itself.
About the Author:
(From his website)
Chris believes that stories should be able to transport the reader to different places, where they can experience events and dimensions that have never been considered. Chris is able to write gentle fable-like adventures (Lucy) as well as opening the pages into dark and terrifying stories where dimensions co-exist with indescribable evil (Legacy).
Chris Coppel was born in California and has since split his time between the USA and Europe, living in California, Washington DC, Utah, Spain, France, Switzerland and England.
Chris has held senior operations positions for both Warner Bros. and Universal Studios. Chris also held the position of Director of Operations for UCLA’s Film School where he also taught advanced screen writing. Chris and his wife Clare spent many years helping animal rescue with Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. Before joining Best Friends, Chris was President and Managing Director of the Home Entertainment Division of Testronics in Los Angeles.
Following in his father’s footsteps (Alec Coppel wrote Vertigo among many other successful movies) Chris has written numerous screenplays as well as the novels Liner, Lucy, Lakebed, Legacy, The Lodge and Luck.
Chris is also an accomplished drummer and guitarist.
You can connect with Chris Coppel on Twitter @ChrisCoppel and on Instagram @chris.coppel and his website at www.chriscoppel.com.