We are in the Nightmare villa, the owner of which, the black magician Beelzebub, cheated himself in front of the black lord himself. According to the agreement, Beelzebub was supposed to send epidemics, destruction, and misfortune to all living things throughout the year, but soon the clock would strike the onset of the new year, and the numbers in the report cards were disappointing: the sorcerer could not cope with the evil deeds assigned to him. Caused little damage to the Earth and its inhabitants. The owner is not happy with him. But there are still a few hours left before the end of the reporting period, during which Beelzebub hopes to have time to close all the gestalts. He has no plan and, no matter how ironic it may sound, the sorcerer hopes for a miracle. Maybe some monstrous force will destroy the city? Will a rare species of animals be completely exterminated? Will it sharply reduce the number of humans? Will it poison river waters?
And such power is in the person of his aunt, the sorceress Tyranny, who jumps out of the fireplace like... How like the jack-in-the-box! She didn’t come to help at all, she herself came for help, but a witch plus a sorcerer add up to a terrible, destructive synergy. Together they brew a putrid punch, which they plan to fill glasses with on New Year's Eve and... wish the world all the best, brightest, health, happiness, good luck. But the wish punch fulfills all the proclaimed toasts exactly the opposite. In general, nothing good awaits the planet if the plans of this couple come true.
What can we, pathetic little humans, count on? On the cat and the crow. These two familiars are assigned to the magicians as spies from the animal kingdom and will not allow the triumph of evil. “I can’t do anything, I have paws” - this is definitely not about them. It was they who, on a cold December night, with their eyes covered with snow and their limbs numb, climbed the bell tower so that the New Year's crimson ringing would dispel the evil spell. And who do you think you met in the bell tower? Saint Sylvester! Why? Because Saint Sylvester turns out to be the patron saint of New Year's Eve. This is an interesting, but completely different story; there is not a word about it in this book.
There is only one storyline in this story, which is built around the wish punch. A collision in the confrontation of two forces: to brew the punch of desires - to prevent the punch of desires from being brewed. On the one hand, vile sorcerers who deeply dislike each other; each of them, conjuring over the punch, pursues exclusively his own vile goal. At the other end of the rope, on the contrary, there is a team acting as a united front - natural enemies cat and bird. These are the contradictions.
The countdown goes first to the clock, then to the minutes: will they be in time or not, will they be in time or not? Even the chapter titles are the time remaining until midnight: Seven o'clock in the evening, Quarter to nine, Twenty minutes past nine. Wow, terribly intense!
For middle and high school age. Not suitable for younger children: children will be frightened by the gloomy atmosphere and guests from the underworld (don’t be fooled by the cartoonish cover).