Thanks to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces.
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.
Back in June I reviewed the previous book, Small Spaces, which I absolutely loved and thought it was perfect for middle-schoolers. While there are a couple of things about Dead Voices that I didn’t like quite as much, for the most part I think it’s a solid follow-up.
I’m going to get my two small issues out of the way. First, Brian was missing for a good chunk of the story, and I really found myself missing him. While I’m not psychic, the way this series is being written I think he’ll play a larger role in the third book though, which kept my disappointment down to a minimum. This intrepid trio are stronger when there’s imput from all of them going into solving a problem. Granted, for most of the second half they’re separated, but Ollie and Coco still manage to work together in a fashion. The big takeaway is that this is a team and they’re stronger for it. Also, there are a couple of loose ends that left me a little frustrated, but honestly, neither of these two issues spoiled my enjoyment of the story.
So, on to the good stuff! The setting of an isolated, haunted ski resort whose lobby is filled with taxidermy is awesome! Any adult reading this who’s a Stephen King fan will of course be reminded of the Overlook Hotel, from The Shining. As for the kids, it’s just a perfectly eerie and creepy setting which is bound to give them goosebumps! This time Coco takes the lead for part of the story and it’s pure joy watching her gain more confidence in herself. There are plenty of familiar horror tropes sprinkled into the original plot and I think this will delight budding horror fans.
Overall, Dead Voices is a wonderful second installment in this middle grade horror series that successfully combines genuine scares with themes of love and friendship. I love for the most part how the characters have further developed and how Ollie, Coco and Brian each get to tell parts of the plot in their POV. They’re extremely likable and easy to relate to. There’s an interesting dynamic developing between Ollie’s father and Coco’s mother, which has me intrigued as to where that leads and how it will effect the relationship between the girls in the next two books. I HIGHLY recommend this series to horror fans 4th grade and up, particularly readers who enjoy authors like John Bellairs, Joan Aiken, Neil Gaiman, and Mary Downing Hahn.
Penguin Random House Website @ https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com
Barnes and Noble @ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-voices-katherine-arden/1129963492#/
Books-A-Million @ https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780525515050
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. Please visit her at: https://mobile.twitter.com/arden_katherine and http://www.katherinearden.com
Blog Tour Schedule
August 19 – The Midnight Society @ https://midnightsocietytales.com ~ Inspiration Collage
August 20 – Fangirl Fury @ https://fangirlfury.com ~ Review + Inspired by the Book: Baking Recipe
August 21 – Teachers Who Read @ https://teacherswhoread.com ~ Review + Author Guest Post: Why spooky for middle grade readers?
August 22 – Bookishgals @ https://instagram.com/bookishgals_/ ~ Creative Instagram Picture
August 23 – Liezel and Angie’s Book Blog @ https://liezelsbookblog.net ~ Review
August 26 – Word Spelunking @ https://wordspelunking.blogspot.com ~ Inspired by the Book: Baking Project
August 27 – By Hook Or By Book @ https://cadburypom.wordpress.com ~ Review
August 28 – Vicariously & Voraciously @ https:// http://www.vicariouslyvoraciously.com
August 29 – The Book Deviant @ https://bookdeviant.wordpress.com ~ Review