RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2023
GENRE: Dark Fantasy / Horror
BOOK PAGE: https://meerkatpress.com/books/the-merry-dredgers/
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.
BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press | Amazon | Bookshop.org
Seraphina spends her days as a party princess, pretending to be someone she is not. Seraphina receives a concerning set of letters from her free-spirited sister, Eff. Eff has joined a group of like minded people, who she swears are not part of a cult. When Seraphina receives word that Eff is in a coma after an accident at the retreat, she decides to go to the last place that Eff was and go undercover into the group. Seraphina becomes a Merry Dredgers and explores her spiritual energy at a broken down goblin amusement park while trying to get to the bottom of her sister's accident.
The Merry Dredgers is a wild mystery thriller with enchanting and diabolical characters. I was quickly taken with Seraphina's character and her ability to act as a Princess all day and then retreat into the opposite persona when being herself. This was a great skill for Seraphina as she became Corrina in order to infiltrate the Merry Dredgers. I was amazed as she was able to keep the personas separate, never crack as Corrina and remember that she was potentially in a very dangerous situation. The Merry Dredgers themselves are an eclectic group. Their base of operation, the half functional goblin theme park, was a trippy ride that I wasn't quite sure where it was heading. The whole time Seraphina is with the Dredgers it seems like they really might be a harmless group of people intent on living an alternative lifestyle. The writing was able to convey that things just don't seem quite right within the community however, as Seraphina desperately searches for cracks within their facade and clues to who might have hurt her sister.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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.