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All That Consumes Us by Erica Waters Review - A dark academia book that I finally loved

Read Time: 4 minutes
Published On: March 26, 2024
All That Consumes Us by Erica Waters

All That Consumes Us by Erica Waters is the latest addition to the dark academia subgenre.

About "All That Consumes Us"

Author: Erica Waters

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Dark Academia

Page Number: 416 pages

Audible Listening Time: 12 hours 17 mins

Goodreads Rating: 3.82/5

My Rating: 3/5

Erica Waters lures readers into the captivating world of "All That Consumes Us," a dark academia novel brimming with atmospheric dread and a refreshing dose of queer representation.

We meet Tara, a working-class student burdened by loans and yearning for escape. When a tragic event opens a door into the prestigious Magni Viri society, Tara finds herself whisked away from her mundane life into a world of scholarly pursuits and tantalizing secrets hidden within the ivy-covered walls.

The initial setup is undeniably enticing. Waters masterfully crafts a gothic ambiance that chills and intrigues. The allure of a mysterious society steeped in tradition promises a thrilling exploration of ambition and its potential to corrupt. We eagerly follow Tara as she navigates this new world, her initial excitement tinged with a healthy dose of suspicion.

However, the narrative unfolds with uneven pacing. The first third feels sluggish, bogged down by world-building that could have been more tightly woven into the plot. While the atmosphere remains captivating, the initial spark of intrigue threatens to dim.

The relationships within the story also present a mixed bag. The blossoming romance between Tara and Penny, while undeniably cute, suffers from a lack of development. Their connection feels rushed, leaving the reader yearning for a deeper emotional investment. Similarly, the concept of a "found family" developing amongst the first-year students holds promise, but the interactions lack the necessary depth to fully resonate.

The central mystery, initially captivating, unravels in a way that leaves some readers frustrated. The big reveal might raise more questions than it answers, and the overall plot logic might not withstand scrutiny. Plot holes and underdeveloped aspects of society's inner workings can leave the reader feeling unsatisfied.

Despite these shortcomings, "All That Consumes Us" shines in its commitment to diverse representation. The inclusion of characters who are disabled, non-binary, and part of a healthy queer romance is a welcome addition to the dark academia genre.

I have read many dark academia books such as The Secret HistoryDivine RivalsNinth House, and The Atlas Six. Although it’s a very popular genre, I haven’t liked any of the books much. All That Consumes Us was one better than average for me.

All That Consumes Us by Erica Waters

Amazon Blurb of "All That Consumes Us"

Ninth House meets The Dead and the Dark in this gothic dark academia novel that delves into the human capacity for great love, great art, and great evil.   Magni animi numquam moriuntur. Great minds never die.

The students in Corbin College’s elite academic society, Magni Viri, have it all—free tuition, inspirational professors, and dream jobs once they graduate. When first-gen college student Tara is offered a chance to enroll, she doesn’t hesitate.?  Except once she’s settled into the gorgeous Victorian dormitory, something strange starts to happen. She’s finally writing, but her stories are dark and twisted. Her dreams feel as if they could bury her alive. An unseen presence seems to stalk her through the halls.  And a chilling secret awaits Tara at the heart of Magni Viri—one that just might turn her nightmares into reality; one that might destroy her before she has a chance to escape.

All That Consumes Us will pull readers into a hypnotizing, dark reverie that blurs the lines of reality and shows that the addictive nature of ambition—and its inevitable price—always claims its due.

Buy "All That Consumes Us"

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Waterstones | Audible

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