Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2)

Arden, Katherine. Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2)
August 27th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Coco, Ollie and Brian are glad to be going skiing with Coco's mom and Ollie's dad, who has won a  trip to a new ski resort called Mount Hemlock in Vermont. The weather is horrible, and the car trip is difficult because of all the snow on the roads. At one point, Coco thinks she sees a man in the middle or the road, but no one else does. When they finally arrive, the owners, Sam and Sue Wilson, tell them that the power and the generator are out, but they have some things that are powered on propane. It's still somewhat of an adventure, and Ollie's dad pitches in to cook. The next morning at breakfast, a brash young reporter for a ghost hunting magazine, Mr. Voland, breezes in, wolfs down pancakes, and proceeds to tell the Wilsons that having a haunted hotel is a good business move. Mount Hemlock has a good chance of being haunted, given its history as an orphanage where at least one girl died because of the woman who ran the place, who then killed herself out of remorse. There was also a skiier who disappeared in the area a couple of years previously, and Coco knows that this is much too much like the bus trip to the farm in Small Spaces. Sure enough, there are some clever twists, and soon Ollie is trapped behind a mirror, in an alternate world with the orphans and Mother Hemlock, and Coco and Brian have to fight forces of evil to get her back. The thing with the forces of evil is that they don't play fair, and Coco has to use all of her wiles and resources in order to save her friend.
Strengths: I think the reason that Small Spaces has been so successful in my library is that the ghosts/spirits of evil really do want to kill the children! This continues, with the forces being angry they were thwarted the first time-- there's a nice twist I did NOT see coming and I don't want to spoil. The kids work well together, and there are all sorts of good details, like a ouija board and a chess games (Darren Shan's Demonata, anyone?) where they have to really think and plan in order to outwit their opponents. I am always a sucker for a book where people are snowed in, and that it is a ski lodge with creepy taxidermied animals that seem to move... *shiver*.
Weaknesses: At some point about 3/4 through the book, I got kind of confused about how Coco thought she was going to get Ollie out, but I quickly got back to speed. I wish that Brian had played a larger roll, but I imagine he will get his chance in the next book, since Ollie was the main character in the first book.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing! I just wish I had read it in the winter instead of the summer!

Harmonic convergence of Renaissance Day (students who meet certain criteria going to the pool), study groups rather than language arts classes visiting, and a cross country meet today lead to this very casual outfit. Denim skirts are my go to rather than jeans.

I'm not coaching this year, but offered to help get the team over to the park and help with place cards.

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