All the Murmuring Bones Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
For fans of Naomi Novik and Katharine Arden, a dark gothic fairy tale from award-winning author Angela Slatter.
Orphaned as a young child, Mirin O'Malley has been brought up by her grandparents on their isolated, rambling estate Hob's Hallow. Long ago her family prospered due to a deal struck with the mer, the terrifying creatures who live in the depths of the sea: safety for their merchant ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and their fortunes have suffered as a result. When Mirin's grandfather dies, her grandmother puts in train a plan to restore their glory - but at the price of Mirin's freedom. Finding amongst her grandfather's papers evidence that her parents may still be alive, Mirin is determined to escape and discover the truth about her origins. This takes her on a treacherous journey to Blackwater, the estate her parents built when they fled Hob's Hallow, but on arrival Mirin finds the estate in decline and her 'Uncle Edward' in charge: where are her parents, and who is this Edward Elliott really?
A story of mystery and magic and the strange creatures that lurk beneath the waves.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 46 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||08 April 2021|
|Publisher||W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 4,924 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
15 in Gothic Horror Fiction
95 in Dark Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
107 in Gothic Fiction
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‘All the Murmuring Bones’ by A.G. Slatter was simply amazing. I love stories that feature sea lore and mer-folk, so I was very drawn to this novel from my first sight of its stunning cover.
I did a combined read/listen for an immersive experience. The unabridged audiobook is narrated by Aoife McMahon.
The novel’s lead and narrator is Miren O'Malley. Many years previously the O’Malley family had entered into a pact with the mer-folk: in return for the safety of their family’s ships in every generation they would give a child to the sea. Yet for years the family has been unable to fulfil their side of the bargain with the result that their fortunes have declined.
Now Miren's grandmother is determined to restore the family to its former glory and so is manipulating her into marrying a wealthy distant cousin. Thus, when Miren has children, one will be given as tribute to the sea-queen. Yet Miren is determined to create her own destiny.
Slatter has crafted a truly wonderful Gothic fantasy with dark family secrets, witches and magic, and plenty of mythic creatures including those associated with the sea. It is a tale of strong women and also of the men who inevitably seek to control them.
Woven into the main narrative are a number of fantastic tales that are taken from Angela Slatter’s previous collections. In her Author’s Notes she writes: “I wanted to have a world where the tales I’ve told readers in the past are ones that these characters also grew up with.”
In addition, Slatter has created very vivid settings, including Hobb’s Hallow, the O’Malley’s ancestral home, and the mysterious Blackwater estate. These details were very finely drawn bringing an authenticity to her world building.
In terms of the audiobook, Irish actor Aoife McMahon was a brilliant choice. I have loved her work on a number of audiobook titles. She is certainly in demand with over 125 audiobook titles to her credit and has also won a number of awards for the same.
Aoife McMahon’s voice is beautiful and melodic and I felt that it complimented the storytelling style of the novel and brought Miren O’Malley and her world vividly to life.
I adored this book and it is one of the best fantasies that I have read in some time. I was very pleased to read that Slatter is writing another novel set in the same world for publication in 2022. I also will be investigating her back catalogue of novels and stories.
Very highly recommended.
As for the story; it was a pretty slow waffley start and I wasn't sure where it was going at first. It started to get very interesting after the first couple of chapters and was great until about 2 thirds in when it then started to feel like the ending was rushed and I was a bit disappointed at the ending.
On a positive it is well written and the heroin Miren is a very likeable character with an engaging narrative. I loved the folklore references and the gothic connotations (though some of the gothic content was a bit unnecessary to the tone of the story and it felt like two books in one).
I would say it's worth a read but I wouldn't read it again.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2022