Kendare Blake delves into historical fiction with her true-crime-inspired novel All These Bodies, taking readers on an investigative journey behind a murder spree that left a fifteen-year-old girl covered in blood.
I am a fan of Blake’s Three Dark Crown series; let us start there. I have been sitting at this computer for hours trying to piece together what I wanted to say about All These Bodies. Although I have to admit, I am still struggling to put my thoughts and notes in order.
I knew what I was getting into when I requested an ARC from the publisher. I read the description of the novel, describing it as a true-crime-inspired tale, following a young girl who will only speak to a boy not much older than herself. I was under no illusions that this novel would have a fantasy. However, when Blake snuck in the paranormal and supernatural, I admit, I was drawn in.
However, the void created by that tidbit was never filled, leaving me a little unsatisfied.
All These Bodies is a good story, it has excellent pacing and moves in a very organic way, but the supernatural element felt like a lingering distraction.
I wanted to know more about Marie and her mysterious partner; I was captivated by that mystery. The friendship between Marie and Michael gives off the right amount of tension for the plot.
Furthermore, the flow and pacing of the novel were very organic. The reader can tell that this is a story Michael is telling someone. He goes back to the beginning of his story, of how he first meets Marie drenched in blood standing in a room of bodies, and it is an excellent way to break up his interviews with Marie.
As for Marie, she comes off as older than fifteen, which is to be expected given everything she has gone through. Moreover, in her story, she does not go back to the beginning. However, again, it is organic. The way she answers Michael’s questions and tells her story in a non-linear way makes the story more engaging because of how realistic it feels.
All These Bodies has a natural fluidity that captures the rising tension of the mystery, keeping the reader engaged.
Nevertheless, it did not need that supernatural element.
All These Bodies has enough mystique to keep the reader engaged. With good pacing and rising tension, the organic build between the characters captures the reader. Furthermore, while that supernatural/paranormal element keeps the reader guessing what is and is not real, it is unnecessary.
Like this review?
|Pub Date: September 21, 2021||Page Count: 304pp||Age Range: 14 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-0-0629-7716-8||Publisher: Quill Tree Books||List Price: $18.99|