Oct13Snark Tank Radio on November 10th.
Oct02Jeremy C. Shipp’s latest book CURSED. He put out the call on Twitter and I answered. That right there says a lot about Jeremy; he thinks outside the box. Without getting onto a rant about the current status of the publishing industry, it’s things like this that help get the word out. I can say right off, this is a book worth getting the word out about. His thinking outside the box also applies to his writing as well. I knew very little about CURSED before I started reading it. I’d heard a little about it on Snark Infested Waters, which is also where I first heard about Jeremy. About all I knew to expect was something about a curse, and possibly something bizarre. This book has plenty of both, and in the good way. CURSED starts you off right in the middle of the action, following the style of ‘in late, out early’. It was slightly disorienting, but after reading a few pages, things start to make sense. This isn’t bad. The characters themselves are in disorienting situations themselves, so you have a taste of what their lives are like. The characters are very colorful and multi-dimensional. No one feels like a throwaway character. The story is told from the viewpoint of Nick, a very layered character. The narrative reveals what he is thinking, how he feels, and what he says externally to hide these things from the outside world. Cicely is the main supporting character and has a very different outlook on life and is very colorful. Her wit and whimsy adds a wonderful light to the story. Gordon is Nick’s roommate. He is a blind guy and I think that Jeremy must know a blind guy because I felt the character was very real and his blindness is dealt with in a way takes everything into account. The plot revolves around a group of characters who have been cursed in some way, and they are investigating as to why they are cursed, and who or what did it to them. As they learn more about their curses, they learn more about each other, and what it means to really care. The relationships are real and visceral. The plot is paced at a quick pace, but not too fast, like a taxi driver that gets you there in a timely manner without making you wet yourself. The writing is not like anything else I’ve read. It is a very tight prose that is fast to read. Nick makes lists of things and these are written out in the book. It is very different but it flows right along with everything else. It was actually refreshing to read, because it is different. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a menagerie of quirky fun, dark and gritty situations, and internal conflict. It is not an easy book to put down then forget to pick up again. I found myself caring about the characters and really wanting to discover what they want to discover. The mystery is interesting and not a standard whodunit. Something is very wrong in the lives of the characters and each clue as to what it is not only brings them closer to the answer, but puts them in further danger. I did not see the ending coming, even though I knew there would be a twist. It doesn’t come out of the blue, it makes sense when it happens, and that’s how it should be. If you like mystery, strange tales, stories with realistic characters, you will find CURSED to be a cornucopia of all of these things. I give it two BUY THIS BOOKS up! You can even get a signed copy!