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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
JB Michaels' sequel, The Tannenbaum Tailors and the Brethren of the Saints, builds upon the previous story, taking the characters to a new level of adventure. Relishing the victory of saving Santa’s magical Snowball, Captain Brendan’s Tannenbaum Tailors crew enjoys Christmas Day with Jack. Yet, Brendan is uneasy, something feels wrong. As the team watches Jack play with his miniature bullet train, unwelcome guests fly from the train - termites! Yikes! While conducting an investigation of the train, Brendan suddenly vanishes. The team searches for answers – what is the connection between the termites and Brendan’s disappearance? Among the branches of Jack’s tree the Spiritless lurk, setting traps for the crew. This is just the beginning of a race against time. The crew repeatedly finds themselves facing desperate and impossible situations. Seeds of doubt are planted, their hope is challenged – could the Spiritless really be hiding among them? The Spiritless are relentless. They have a plan, a wicked strategy to invade and conquer the North Pole. Led by a mysterious black-bearded man, they will not stop until they have destroyed Christmas forever.
Mysterious and magical, JB Michaels tailors his narrative with the same meticulousness the Tailors use to care for their trees. Each word is thoughtfully chosen, each chapter builds upon the other, creating a glimmering story of adventure. “Year Zero” provides an enticing narrative hook. It is a mystifying and auspicious beginning that propels a lasting promise of hope later revealed in the story’s plot. Michaels is beyond imaginative; he takes the reader into a realm of marvel and wonder. The story is spunky, witty, humorous and filled with endless action. There is never a dull moment. It contains surprising, precisely timed turns of events which heighten the suspense. Furthermore, inspiring truths are woven into the fabric of the plot; forgiveness, the power of love to conquer evil, the resolve to fight when all seems lost, the true meaning of family and the importance of remembering and honoring the sacrifice of others. As a firm believer of keeping Christ in Christmas, I admired the referencing of the biblical message and the depiction of prayer by the characters. The explosion of light piercing the darkness and releasing healing leaves an unforgettable and lingering impression. Miracles do happen. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?