As I've previously said, Katherine Arden is a national treasure, I love everything about her books, please write 800 books a year.
That said...I wasn't AS jazzed about this one, and it feels like a betrayal. Like maybe it's my fault...
There was a twist in this that I liked and didn't see coming, but as I've also previously said, I don't typically try to "guess" what's happening. I like to go along and see what happens. Other readers will probably figure things out. I think what bothered me the most, sadly enough, was how much more "middle school" this felt than the last one. Strange, I know, but Small Spaces was mysterious and scary and Ollie was a bad ass. There was mystery and ominous warnings and strange people who weren't really people. But in Dead Voices, it seemed incomplete, yet repetitive. We understand that it's cold, that they're trapped, that there are ghosts. And it's cold. And it's snowing and they're trapped. Oh, and it's cold. By the time something really gets going, it's far into the book. The finale also seemed confusing and rushed and I wasn't really sure what happened.
- lines like "please help me, I can't find my bones" - delightfully creepy
- mirrors - I love all of the stories and mythology behind mirrors
- Coco kicking ass and not doubting herself so much and getting some gd self-esteem like YASS GIRL
- frost-bitten ghost girls in rows of beds with ice over their eyes, um hello?? Spooky stuff at its finest.
- romance that seems weirdly convenient and I'm not into it. Not everything needs to be wrapped up into a nice bow, like the skiing trip that only allows five people, which just happens to include two of the parents and the three kids.
- the three kids seeming to have only each other as friends and no outside activities or friends?? Coco used to have a crush on Brian but now, he's like her brother? But then again, I don't really remember being 11/12. This actually does seems plausible, now that I'm thinking about it.
I've read that there will be four of these books because these kids seem to attract all the creepy things, and there will be one for each season. I think fall is the creepiest season - and no, not because of Halloween. Look at Something wicked this way comes - the dead foliage, dry branches snapping, hint of cool in the air, when the whole world seems to be holding its breath and waiting for the cold of winter. Snow just can't compete. And I have no idea how she will make spring and summer scary, but she is Katherine Arden, and she is the queen of them all.
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