- everyone else has already done it
- I don't have the way with lists that Jeremy Shipp does
- I've got tons of list in my own life already
Nick and Cicely are friends. They also are cursed. Each person's curse is different and each curse is relatively minor, all things considered, yet each affects their lives in deeper ways that bring gloom and foreboding. They go to work to discover who has cursed them so they can try to lift the curse.
I read it in 2 days. I couldn't put it down. Not only was the writing compelling as I tore through it to find out who had set the curse, I also was increasing anxious and worried as I went because I was terrified that one of the characters I knew would be the perpetrator. Terrified? Yes, that is just how fond I became of Nick, Cicely, Gordon, Abby, and the others. Although I will pause here to say that Cicely's quirkiness was relentless and I felt relieved when she became anxious enough to drop it for a little while. The story did horrify me several times but without ever having to completely show me something horrible. He knew just how far to engage my imagination without rubbing my face in something horrific. That is a rare talent and surprisingly considerate of the reader.
Although Shipp has a talent for humorous writing and likable characters, he has a talent for something far deeper ... internal conflict wound around caring for others. We see this in Nick's thoughts and the others' actions. By the end of the books, we have seen people act on levels of sacrifice, redemption, and love that was almost ... I've got to say it, right? ... Catholic. I say "almost" because Shipp isn't Catholic, but he's got a groundedness in caring about the truth, reality, and the human person that is palpable.
Oh, and the lists? Nick thinks in lists and it becomes a habit that any reader soon wants to mimic. The amazing thing is how Shipp carries a lot of the action of the book through those lists.
Well done indeed.
So well done, in fact, that although I read the book in pdf form on my new Kindle (yes, you know, you know), I have put it on my Amazon wish list. I want it for reals ... in my own hands-on edition.