When Ollie’s dad wins early tickets to a new ski resort, they take Ollie’s new friends Coco and Brian, and Coco’s mom, along with them. Their first night there, a storm snows them in, and soon everything stops working. Ollie and friends soon realize that ghosts are keeping them there.
Why this book?: I enjoyed the first book in this series, Small Spaces. You can check out my first review through the link. I’m also in a big mood for spooky stories, so this seemed like the perfect fit.
Thank you to Friya Bankwalla for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Being in a very specific mood for a long time was extremely difficult, especially when very few books were fitting the bill in my head. So when I found out that Small Spaces, a book that captured my exact spooky needs, was a series, and that the sequel was coming out soon, you have no idea how happy I was. Dead Voices is very similar in voice to Small Spaces, with so many atmospheric and creepy descriptions that I couldn’t get enough of. There were so many creepy scenes that called my mind back to classic horror films, but it still fit the tone of a fun, middle grade novel.
I was at first unsure if I would like Dead Voices as much as I did Small Spaces, for one particular reason: it seemed to take on too many stereotypical haunted house ideas, and pack them all into one short time frame. A lot of stuff was happening right away, and it just didn’t seem to follow the idea of building tension at all. The moment you find out there are ghosts in the ski lodge, the kids are constantly running away from them and experiencing them. It was just too much right away, with no build up at all. However, I have to admit, that this story did end up using this non-build up very well. Once you’re used to it, Arden flips this on it’s head.
With Small Spaces, Ollie, Coco, and Brian were not that close. But with this one, you have the friendship that they built up because of the events of the first, and seeing how it has effected them and their friendship is really interesting! It was nice to see that they still argued and didn’t always get along, but that they were still friends and trusted each other unconditionally. I feel like Arden could have done better with Brian’s part in the book, but there’s always the next.
While I thought the ending was clever, the reasoning just didn’t make sense to me. It was also wrapped up fairly quickly, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. It made me question why Arden would include some things at all, especially when they never came up again. It wasn’t until I found out that this series is going to have four books that I understood where it was going. However, I had to look outside of the book to find this information, so I still believe that it could have been handled better.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
Dead Voices is a fun addition to the story of Small Spaces. Arden crafted the story very well, and I love the intricacies that she worked on. While I feel a few parts of the story could have been developed or explained better, it was still an fun read, and I can’t wait for the next one.
Would I Recommend?
If you’re looking for a fun horror story (that isn’t actually horror, just spooky), with expert story telling and well-crafted characters, I’d definitely recommend this series. I’m honestly surprised with how much I like this series, especially when I didn’t like Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale that much. However, I can say that if you didn’t like that series, you might like this one!
Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crepes to guiding horse trips. Currently, she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
Published: August 27th, 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 256
Genre: Middle Grade/Horror/Fantasy
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.
Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie’s watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.
With Mr. Voland’s help, Ollie, Coco, and Brian reach out to the dead voices at Mount Hemlock. Maybe the ghosts need their help–or maybe not all ghosts can or should be trusted.
Dead Voices is a terrifying follow-up to Small Spaces with thrills and chills galore and the captive foreboding of a classic ghost story.
Follow the Rest of the Tour!
August 19 – The Midnight Society – Inspiration Collage
August 20 – Fangirl Fury – Review + Inspired by the Book: Baking Recipe
August 21 – Teachers Who Read – Reviews + Author Guest Post: Why spooky for middle grade readers?
August 22 – Bookishgals – Creative Instagram Picture
August 23 – Liezel and Angie’s Book Blog – Review