Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
I love how this book had two main stories that were taking place separately, before eventually merging together. On one side, there's Krampus, trapped in a cave for five hundred years. He vows to escape, and once he does he's going to kill Santa Claus. On the other hand, There's Jesse, down on his luck, trying to keep his family together and dealing with the wrong people. When he witnesses a man in a red suit--in a flying sleigh, getting attacked by a few devilish looking figures, he comes across Santa's magical sack and is soon introduced to Krampus.
The story is more dark fantasy than horror, contains lots of dark humor, and blurs the lines between good and bad. I found myself rooting for the bad guy--wait, was he really the bad guy? And my feelings toward Krampus changed through ought the story (which I loved!).
Here's the blurb:
One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse's new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, including how half a millennium ago the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.
Now Santa's time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself in his family's eyes, to save his own broken dreams, . . . and to help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.