St. Nic, Inc.

Fiction - Adventure
226 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

SR Staley ( is an award winning author he currently lives and teaches in Tallahassee, Florida. A full-time member of the faculty of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, he is the author or editor of five non-fiction books on public policy and four novels. His most recent novel is "St. Nic, Inc." a re-imagination of the Santa Claus myth as a reality-based adventure and thriller published by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. "Tortuga Bay," his fifth novel and the sequel to the "The Pirate of Panther Bay," continues the swashbuckling adventures of Isabella, an escaped slave turned pirate captain.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

St. Nic, Inc, is an action and adventure thriller written by SR Staley. Peter Peary is a washed-up explorer in his early twenties. He excelled in school, graduated on a fast track and was making waves as the consummate explorer until the fateful trip to Mount Everest where a squall claimed the lives of his group as well as his mentor and father figure. The trip up to the North Pole with his friend Sheila Livingston was hard to fund as no one wanted to trust him anymore, but Sheila was finally able to procure sufficient funds for their sled and dog team. When Peter regains consciousness, he’s in some sort of hospital room, and his head is throbbing. His nurse, Jeff, is kind and considerate and is, Peter notices, rather short. Quite a few people in this hospital, or medical facility, are little people. Peter has difficulty remembering the circumstances that led his being here, and his attempt to leave the facility leaves him totally confused and under guard.

SR Staley’s action and adventure thriller, St. Nic, Inc. is quirky, fun and very clever. Peter, descendant of the famed Arctic explorer, finds himself embarking on a grand adventure indeed, as he attempts to understand just what he’s landed himself in this time. Nic Klaas, the driven CEO and computer genius, is a great foil for Peter, and I enjoyed watching as the two damaged psyches work at establishing rapport. I’ve never read anything like this book. You know where it’s going based on the modern mythology, but Staley takes you there via a marvelous and exciting thriller that has some pretty unpredictable turns. I enjoyed St. Nic, Inc. It’s especially bound to appeal to those of us who've never quite gotten the hang of growing up, and it’s highly recommended.

Eduardo Aduna

St. Nic, Inc. takes one of our most beloved children's story and injects it with true reality. A reality where an extensive bureaucracy runs a worldwide logistics network whose primary goal is to distribute child-friendly leisure products — otherwise known as toys. Yes, Santa is a multi-billion dollar operation that's years ahead of the world in terms of human resource practices, systems technology, and geo-engineering. This clandestine charity operation is threatened by both external and internal forces. Now Nicole Klaas, together with her stolid security head, Jeff Wells, must deal with the sudden arrival of two explorers — who may be spies for a government agency hell-bent on uncovering the truth about the North Pole.

SR Staley's realistic take on the Santa story borders on the satirical, and delves into several relevant social issues that make this read more than just another fiction novel. His take on discrimination of people with dwarfism alone is cause enough for several sleepless nights of thought. At its heart, St. Nic, Inc. is a story about how a fictional tale would fare in today's world. It is Santa's Batman Begins, complete with action-packed scenes, internal character struggles, and sometimes meaningful dialogue that can fuel your imagination just enough for you to overlook plot holes and characterization lapses.

The book's concept is great. It is the perfect "What if?" scenario and SR Staley did a good job of milking it for all it is worth. He seems particularly adept at describing dull bureaucratic machinations and turning it into a fascinating read. The best part of the novel was when he was describing the history and inner workings of the company. You could feel the warm glow of pride and excitement emanating from the pages. Fictional novels are meant to take readers on a wild, speculative ride and St. Nic, Inc. achieves that — and doesn't even need a flying reindeer-drawn sleigh to do so.

Mamta Madhavan

St. Nic, Inc. by SR Staley revolves around Peter Peary who finds himself in a hospital bed after a fall in the north of the Arctic Circle. Peter Peary is on an expedition to the North Pole when the accident happens. There are many people suspicious of his presence there and they are not willing to let him go. Peter has to work his way out now. The story has a Chief of Security who is suspicious with a lot of questions to which Peter has no answers, and the Drug Enforcement Agency of the Caribbean Division which is planning a raid into the Arctic and the Little People.

Set in the North Pole, the story is adventurous, taking readers through intrigues, follies, delusions, thrills and imagination. It is a gripping story involving a lot of action and the characters and the plot are original, pulling readers into the story. The characters are portrayed well and they complement each other by seamlessly connecting together the sub plots with the main story. The story, though set in the North Pole, takes a turn from the usual fabled theme of Santa Claus and his reindeer, and leads a reader down a different and unexpected track. The action is real as Peter works his way through the plot to find his own footing in the hospital where he feels he is a prisoner. The narration is detailed and gives a lot of clarity to the plot and the scenes as they unfold.