Middle Grade Monday is a feature on The Contented Reader where I review and highlight current or upcoming books in the middle grade genre.

TITLE: Dead Voices

AUTHOR: Katherine Arden

Rating: ★★★★★

PAGES: 256

PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


GENRE(S): Horror, Mystery

The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden - The Contented ReaderBestselling 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.


Dead Voices is the perfect sequel to a spooky middle grade series. It’s eerie and haunting – the perfect fall read!

The Small Spaces series follows Ollie and her friends Coco and Brian. In the first book, they confront the Smiling Man. In this book, they deal with the aftermath, and a new spooky encounter at a ski lodge.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely adored Small Spaces. It’s creepy and super entertaining. And I just love the characters. These feelings are only enhanced throughout my reading experience with Dead Voices.

I love Ollie, Coco and Brian even more in this book – if that’s even possible. They lean on each other so much and I think it’s great. I also love how we see more of Coco in this book. She becomes stronger and more confident in herself. I can only hope we see more of Brian in the future books!

I thought that Small Spaces was creepy and eerie. But I wanted a bit more from it. Dead Voices totally delivers. Arden takes the story to another level. And quite honestly, I love the storyline of this book so much more. There’s small twists and turns that make turning each page so enjoyable. I was expecting this book to be more of a standalone even though it’s the same characters and series. But truthfully, there is more intricate weaving on Arden’s part than I expected. It’s fantastic!

I think this is a great middle grade series but I also think it’s perfect for adults wanting a short mystery. It’s about juvenile children, yes, but it’s so much more than that.

I cannot recommend this series enough. I will be eagerly waiting the next instalment to see what Ollie, Coco and Brian encounter this time! If you haven’t picked this series up yet, please do!

Ghosts like it when you're afraid. It means you acknowledge them.

Favourite Quote

About The Author

Katherine Arden Author Photo - The Contented ReaderBorn in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment 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 crêpes to guiding horse trips. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

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Let’s Chat in the Comments!

Have you read Dead Voices yet? Are you excited for more books by Katherine Arden? What is your favourite book by her?

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden - The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!

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