Tag Archives: dark fantasy

Recommended Book: ALL THE MURMURING BONES by A. G. Slatter


ALL THE MURMURING BONES
A. G. Slatter

Macabre sea deals, crumbling manors, and haunting magic that infiltrates all the nooks and crannies of this world make this a novel worth falling in love with.

We follow Miren, the last of the O’Malley line, who have, through the centuries, been blessed with bounty from the sea, with riches that made them powerful and influential in their seaside town. But now, that magic is disintegrating; the O’Malley family is crumbling, with Miren being the youngest, the sole first-born daughter who might be able to change the family’s fates. But with everyone around her wanting to use her, she must combat her birth-right and seek answers to the disturbing questions about her family’s history and the truth about how they had gained their prosperity.

Between the narrative are short fairy tales of a dark variety. Each one is an engaging fable of the O’Malley history, steeped in layers of wonder and danger, each one adding another clue to the mystery that echoes back centuries, concerning children being sacrificed to the mer.

Miren is an engaging character, a young woman who is both feminine and powerful, using all her knowledge and ability to seek out the secrets that had been hidden from her. I highly recommend this tale to anyone who loves gothic strangeness, who loves the darker edges of merfolk, who wants engaging mystery and all their fantastical creatures to be haunting rather than bright.

Content warning: there is child death discussed within this book.

Thank you to Titan Books for an eARC of this title.


“How Many Crab Pots Does it Take to Destroy a Neighborhood?” Published in Dark Moon Digest


Dark Moon Digest Issue #42 by [Various, Lori Michelle, Max Booth III]This story, man.

See, I grew up in a bayside community in Maryland. A little bay. Not the big Chesapeake. But even little bays feel huge when you’re little yourself.

We’d throw crab cages off the end of the dock and see bobbing milk jugs along the edges of the bay that marked where others had done the same. Old Bay is a staple where I’m from, practically an appetizer. Blue crabs adorn art pieces, sports team jerseys, and fill plenty of bellies, some people using crabbing to offset grocery costs.

Thing is though, I’m not a fan of crab. Not a fan of Old Bay, and the joke that I’m not Marylander enough to be a Marylander occurred more than a few times in my youth. I would crack crab legs open for my younger siblings, but I would never eat it myself.

So I thought, why not use that difference in me, play with the crabs who aren’t too fond of this fondness that Marylanders have for them.

I set this story in a bayside community, with a young girl investigating strange occurrences, partially to tap into my own history, partially to capture that sense of feeling off in one’s own skin, in one’s own home.

And then things turned creepy quite quickly.

You can find this issue with my story, “How Many Crab Pots Does it Take to Destroy a Neighborhood?,  on Amazon or on Perpetual Motion Publishing’s site.


April 2019 Recommended Books

One of the books I read this past month was Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu–read to my daughter. There were so many references to other famous stories and fairy tales that I realized she wasn’t familiar with yet, so we got an abrupt jump to the length of our list of to-read together.

As for my favorites, these stories I’m recommending because I enjoyed them the most out of everything I read :)

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The Ingenious by Darius Hinks
(Dark Fantasy)

This was my absolute favorite book of April. The description of the City drew me to this novel in the first place–a city that absorbs people, culture and even land and then moves on after a few years to another place, creating a setting filled with thousands of years of possibility and differences. The whole of the story held a haunting, somber feel while you follow a woman dealing with layers of addiction who yet is still striving to stand up to the heavy expectations thrust on her at an early age. I found the story powerful and the writing beautiful, painfully beautiful at times when it seems as if Hinks was mixing the fugue-filled state of Isten within the storytelling.

The Reluctant Queen & The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
(High Fantasy)

It’s not often you read about a woman heroine with kids. Not unless the kids are dead, long moved beyond needing mothering or the kids show up at the end as part of the happily ever after. So maybe I’m a tiny bit biased, but I loved getting to read from the perspective of a woman who doesn’t have illusions of grandeur, doesn’t have the desires that spark grand, sprawling adventures and is making most of her choices based on what’s best for her family rather than the rest of the world. And the world of Renthia is still its conflicted self, dark, yet filled with possibility. There were a few obvious plot threads, but when the world is this magical and the story fun, I care far less about being completely surprised at every turn. (Yep, The Deepest Blue is on my list to read come May! Already have it on my bookshelf taunting me!)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
(Mythological Romance)

I read Circe last year and absolutely adored the story, so picking up its predecessor this year was a no-brainer. I admit, Achilles wasn’t what I expected. I thought there would be more focus on the retelling of the Iliad section of the novel, less focus on Patroclus and Achilles growing up. More grittiness and less drama, yet I found I loved it regardless of expectations. This novel is essentially a crème de la crème of gay fantasy romance and while it’s not so much a retelling of Greek myth, it uses the setting beautifully. And now I have to wait for Miller to write a new book because there is no more back-list to mine.

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A mention I want to add: I read Foundation (Isaac Asimov) for the first time in April. I’d read all his robots books as a youth and loved them; have reread The Caves of Steel multiple times. While I found Foundation interesting, it wasn’t as eye-opening and intriguing as I think it might have been had I read it while still young enough to be surprised by some of the changes to the economy. I also read Hyperion for the first time, however, I’m holding out on a complete opinion until after I read through more of the series. So much world-building though!