Dark Waters was finally released in August. It’s been a few years since I read the first two books, and to prepare for it, I decided to do a reread of Small Spaces and Dead Voices. I figured there was no better time to do it than in October.
A bit of history…
When I picked up the series, I originally read them from the library. It’s been one of my backburner goals to add to my collection of Arden books, and since I liked the series so much, I knew I would eventually end up with copies for my shelf. I didn’t get around to it until August of 2021. But better late than never, right? So it’s been quite some time since I read Small Spaces.
Small Spaces is one of my favorite books, and I wanted to see if my memory of what the story was is actually how it reads. I remember having a lukewarm reaction to the first few chapters. However, upon my reread, I have a much better appreciation for the characters and details. I also noticed how atmospheric the story is. The October scenery in the town, Evansburg, fit well with the earlier chapters, which—initially—seemed quite ordinary, if not a touch eerie with the title incorporated into a warning for Olivia “Ollie” Adler.
In the beginning, Ollie comes off as kind of brash, but I get what’s being portrayed here. I picked up on all the little clues sprinkled in about her character (some of which I missed or just forgot about), and I found her actions—like quitting her clubs and pulling away from people who were just trying to reach out to her—to be refreshingly frank for such a tough topic, but handled in a way that would fit for the target audience. There’s so much I could say about Ollie, but since it’s not alluded to in the synopsis, it would be massive spoiler.
Let’s get spooky….
One of the places where Small Spaces shines is how it creates its own local legends, and ties them into the current spooky happening in the story. Arden submersed the characters in situations where the past (which couldn’t rest both literally and figuratively) and the present collided. The story within the story, also titled Small Spaces, almost acted like a bridge. It was part memoir and part cautionary tale, which also contained some of the much needed answers to the big mystery of the book.
The scares are unique, to say the least. “The world behind the mist,” with the smiling man and his scarecrows, could be downright terrifying. And one of the best parts was how Ollie, Coco, and Brian navigated these challenges while having to face their own fears during a seemingly impossible situation.
Small Spaces is still one of my favorite stories, and it’s a great read for this time of year. I came away from my second foray into this story with a greater appreciation for it. And now, I’m looking forward to my reread of Dead Voices. Until next time, happy reading!