We recently dove into the dark whimsy of “The Merry Dredgers” by Jeremy C. Shipp, and it was a delightful and enchanting read!
The story centers around Seraphina, a “princess-for-hire” (and petsitter and whatever other side job she can find on her freelance app). She gets a series of postcards from her free-spirited sister, telling her she is living with a group called “The Merry Dredgers” at an abandoned amusement park, but not to worry, as they are not a cult. Of course Seraphina thinks they are nothing else but a cult and her worry turns to panic when she finds out her sister has been in a serious accident leaving her in a coma.
Seraphina sets out to find out what happened to her sister by infiltrating the group. She finds a quirky crew of misfit characters who make up the Merry Dredgers, and embarks on a series adventures that will include some frightening and dangerous supernatural occurrences that are at times fun, at times scary, and always poignant.
Shipp’s writing style is imaginative and whimsical, filled with vivid descriptions and clever wordplay that bring the fantastical setting of the Merry Dredgers to life. The author has a knack for creating unique and memorable characters, each with their own quirks and personalities that make them truly endearing.
One of the strengths of the book is its humor. The witty banter and comedic situations that the Merry Dredgers find themselves in had me chuckling throughout the story, even when our heroine finds herself in trouble. However, beneath the darkness and humor, there are also deeper themes of friendship, acceptance, and the importance of embracing our differences, and finding ourselves.
The pacing of the book is quick, with a series of episodic adventures that keep the story engaging and dynamic. Each new challenge Seraphina faces with the Merry Dredgers face bring unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next.
“The Merry Dredgers” is a delightful tale that will captivate readers of all ages. Jeremy C. Shipp has created a fantastical world filled with magic, humor, and heart, making it a must-read for anyone who loves a good adventure filled with quirky characters and imaginative settings. Highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy and light-hearted humor!
Seraphina Ramon will stop at nothing to find out the truth about why her sister Eff is in a coma after a very suspicious “accident.” Even if it means infiltrating the last place Seraphina knows Eff was alive: a once-abandoned amusement park now populated by a community of cultists.
Follow Seraphina through the mouth of the Goblin: To the right, a wolf-themed roller coaster rests on the blackened earth, curled up like a dead snake. To the left, an animatronic Humpty Dumpty falls off a concrete castle and shatters on the ground, only to reform itself moments later. Up ahead, cultists giggle as they meditate in a hall of mirrors. This is the last place in the world Seraphina wants to be, but the best way to investigate this bizarre cult, is to join them.
Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of The Atrocities, Bedfellow, and Cursed. Their shorter tales have appeared in over 60 publications, including Cemetery Dance, Dark Moon Digest and Apex Magazine. Jeremy lives in Southern California in a moderately haunted Farmhouse. Their twitter handle is @JeremyCShipp.