book review, buddy read, horror, Middle Grade

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

Imagine a trip to the Overlook hotel, for a middle grade audience, and then turn the dial up to 11. You get Dead Voices.

Our three young hero’s from Small Spaces, Ollie, Coco and Brian, are back. Two months after their terrifying Halloween school trip, Ollie’s dad wins a ski vacation, so off they go for a week of fun, with Coco’s mom making it a party of five.

Unfortunately, they get snowed in, the power fails and worst of all, the ski lodge is haunted. Can Ollie, Coco and Brian survive the night with the Dead Voices?

This is my July Buddy Read with Jonny from Jaunts and Haunts. We enjoyed Small Spaces so much last month that we decided to jump into the sequel for our next buddy read, and boy, am I glad we did!

This book is amazing!

This time around Ollie shares the point of view with Coco. Small, clumsy, pink haired, underestimated Coco was my favorite character from the first book, so I was glad to see her part elevated in the sequel.

Ollie’s still missing her mom, and, despite her friends, finds a new stumbling block in the growing relationship between her dad and Coco’s mom. This explains many of her choices throughout the book.

Brian is the voice of reason, but unfortunately is quite sidelined in this novel. I hope that he will have a stronger focus should there be another book in the series.

When it comes to the horror, one of the things I love about Arden’s work is how spooky her writing is for a middle grade audience. While the first half of the novel is an atmospheric introduction to the lodge and its ghosts, the second half kicks everything up a gear with a gripping mystery to go along with the chills.

As with the first book, there are some nice literary allusions for the adults (and well read kids).

I award Dead Voices

*MC=Mister Cat. Temporary rating.

Dead Voices is available for $9.12 ebook and $8.99 print book on Amazon.


Click here to read my review of the first book in the series, Small Spaces.

Click here to my buddy read with Jonny @ Jaunts and Haunts for Small Spaces.

8 thoughts on “Dead Voices by Katherine Arden”

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