There is nothing more beguiling than the Ocean. The sound of the waves weave a magical song for those that choose to listen. However, there are things that haunt deep waters. (Which is why I don’t go in the ocean…knowing my luck I would get eaten by a shark or something). However, for tens of thousands of years people have flocked to these bodies of water that cover most of the earth. I always wondered what we were looking for. I would imagine it is similar to what modern humans are seeking at the beach minus the cocktails. There is one piece of folklore that seems to remain constant even today…and that is mer people. One of the highest watched shows ever on The Animal Plant was a mockumentary about mer people. Even today there are still sightings of mer people. What I really and truly enjoy about this piece of folklore is that it isn’t just a western phenomenon. All over the world there are mer people sightings. One of the most popular stories about mer people is the story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, but there are so so many other stories about mer people. Now we can add All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter to that list.
A HUGE THANKS to Titan Books for sending me a review copy!!!
Synopsis: A girl whose family fortune has been lost takes to an adventure to find her past before her present becomes her prison.
My Thoughts: I always love when the backbone of a story is hinged on folklore. Especially, when that folklore is so well known throughout the world. Personally, I think that it makes the story so much more accessible to readers worldwide. Slatter really hit the nail on the head in regards to the Mer people and the stories which surround them. This story is truly grounded in fairytale. From the family whose fortune was made and lost at sea to the damsel saving herself. I enjoyed the backbone of the story and I am so very glad that the mer people were left alone, in the respect that Slatter didn’t try to make them pretty or ethereal. They were true to form and dangerous. I am so glad Slatter wrote the mer people exactly the same way that they are in folktales. The damsel and the other characters were really well written. One of the best things about this story was that the damsel didn’t wait to see what fate awaited her. She took her fate into her own hands. That for me was the most important part. It is like taking back many hundreds of years of the damsel being saved instead of saving herself. There was one character I wanted to know more about however, their backstory wasn’t explored. The ending felt a bit rushed to me, but the pacing of the rest of the story was spot on for me. One aspect of the story I really appreciated was that the world that Slatter created had it’s own folktales, which were rooted in our world folktales. That was perfect….it was a beautiful melding of the two worlds.
About A.G. Slatter:
Angela Slatter is the author of the urban fantasy novels Vigil (2016) and Corpselight (2017), as well as eight short story collections, including The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, and A Feast of Sorrows: Stories. She has won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Ditmar, and six Aurealis Awards.
Angela’s short stories have appeared in Australian, UK and US Best Of anthologies such The Mammoth Book of New Horror, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, The Best Horror of the Year, The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, and The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction. Her work has been translated into Bulgarian, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, and Romanian. Victoria Madden of Sweet Potato Films (The Kettering Incident) has optioned the film rights to one of her short stories.
She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, is a graduate of Clarion South 2009 and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop 2006, and in 2013 she was awarded one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellowships. In 2016 Angela was the Established Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Perth.
Her novellas, Of Sorrow and Such (from Tor.com), and Ripper (in the Stephen Jones anthology Horrorology, from Jo Fletcher Books) were released in October 2015.
The third novel in the Verity Fassbinder series, Restoration, will be released in 2018 by Jo Fletcher Books (Hachette International). She is represented by Ian Drury of the literary agency Sheil Land for her long fiction, by Lucy Fawcett of Sheil Land for film rights, and by Alex Adsett of Alex Adsett Publishing Services for illustrated storybooks.