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Dark Waters

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New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces and Dead Voices. Having met and outsmarted the smiling man in Dead Voices but fearful of when he'll come again, Ollie, Brian, and Coco are anxiously searching for a way to defeat him once and for all. By staying t New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces and Dead Voices. Having met and outsmarted the smiling man in Dead Voices but fearful of when he'll come again, Ollie, Brian, and Coco are anxiously searching for a way to defeat him once and for all. By staying together and avoiding remote places, they've steered clear of him so far but their constant worry and stress is taking a toll on their lives and friendship. So when Ollie's dad and Coco's mom plan a "fun" boat trip on Lake Champlain, the three are apprehensive to say the least. They haven't had the best of luck on their recent trips and even worse their frenemy Phil is on the boat as well. But when a lake monster destroys their boat, they end up shipwrecked on a deserted island. This isn't just any island though. It's hidden from the outside world in a fog and unless everyone works together to find a way to escape, they won't survive long.


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New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces and Dead Voices. Having met and outsmarted the smiling man in Dead Voices but fearful of when he'll come again, Ollie, Brian, and Coco are anxiously searching for a way to defeat him once and for all. By staying t New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces and Dead Voices. Having met and outsmarted the smiling man in Dead Voices but fearful of when he'll come again, Ollie, Brian, and Coco are anxiously searching for a way to defeat him once and for all. By staying together and avoiding remote places, they've steered clear of him so far but their constant worry and stress is taking a toll on their lives and friendship. So when Ollie's dad and Coco's mom plan a "fun" boat trip on Lake Champlain, the three are apprehensive to say the least. They haven't had the best of luck on their recent trips and even worse their frenemy Phil is on the boat as well. But when a lake monster destroys their boat, they end up shipwrecked on a deserted island. This isn't just any island though. It's hidden from the outside world in a fog and unless everyone works together to find a way to escape, they won't survive long.

30 review for Dark Waters

  1. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    #1) Small Spaces ★★★★☆ #2) Dead Voices ★★★★☆ we have a cover 👀 ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[trauma, graphic snakebite, serious physical illness of a parent, dead body, death of an uncle, death of a mother in a plane crash recounted, shipwreck (on-page), graphic animal attack (snake, theme), bullying recounted (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram #1) Small Spaces ★★★★☆ #2) Dead Voices ★★★★☆ we have a cover 👀 ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[trauma, graphic snakebite, serious physical illness of a parent, dead body, death of an uncle, death of a mother in a plane crash recounted, shipwreck (on-page), graphic animal attack (snake, theme), bullying recounted (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shruti

    I need this book yesterday. 1. Small Spaces - 4 stars 2. Dead Voices - 4 stars I need this book yesterday. 1. Small Spaces - 4 stars 2. Dead Voices - 4 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    First of all, that cover? Amazing. It's definitely my favourite of the series. But this didn't nudge out book two for sheer spooky creepy excellence, unfortunately. Now spring (following fall and then winter themes for books one and two), this trio of besties are still researching ways to defeat their nemesis the Smiling Man. Their adventures have taken a toll, as has their preoccupation, and so they jump on the opportunity to spend some time outdoors, away from small spaces and mirrors and any s First of all, that cover? Amazing. It's definitely my favourite of the series. But this didn't nudge out book two for sheer spooky creepy excellence, unfortunately. Now spring (following fall and then winter themes for books one and two), this trio of besties are still researching ways to defeat their nemesis the Smiling Man. Their adventures have taken a toll, as has their preoccupation, and so they jump on the opportunity to spend some time outdoors, away from small spaces and mirrors and any situation that might provoke another encounter, and go sailing. But they still can't escape a brush, and more, with the otherworldly forces. This particular scary story didn't grip me quite the same way as the last book; Arden still did a great job with the vibe, and sending a few twists along the way (the ghost in this story was so good, and heartbreaking), but the story didn't feel as tight or focused. I wish it had been longer, had spent more time building some suspense, digging into the feeling of isolation or more. But maybe that's just the adult in me talking. That said, this did feel more like a build up to the cliffhanger and thus the big finale to come in book four. I still did enjoy it, though, and especially loved seeing the parents get mixed into things, as well as a new friend. Mostly, I'm just excited to reread/binge this series when book four comes out. If you, or the younger human in your life, is into the spookier side of things ala Goosebumps, I definitely recommend. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    Super quick read, but not nearly as scary as book 2. The cliffhanger, though. Now I have to wait who knows how long for the last book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J. Lieutenant of Barad Dur

    2.5 stars. Absolutely average. This story had no heart-racing-faster actions, no creepy moments (except one, hence the two and a half stars). It ended so abruptly, I was completely lost. First book is the best. Second.. so-so. Third-a total debacle. I'm afraid how I will feel about the fourth one. 2.5 stars. Absolutely average. This story had no heart-racing-faster actions, no creepy moments (except one, hence the two and a half stars). It ended so abruptly, I was completely lost. First book is the best. Second.. so-so. Third-a total debacle. I'm afraid how I will feel about the fourth one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    jocelyn

    firstly, LOOK AT THIS VERY EXCELLENT COVER. secondly, i am psyched we're getting some springtime water horror with the best mg crew. firstly, LOOK AT THIS VERY EXCELLENT COVER. secondly, i am psyched we're getting some springtime water horror with the best mg crew.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    As a huge Goosebumps nerd from when I was a wee one, Katherine Arden has brought me back to my childhood with this spooky middle grade series and I’m absolutely loving it. I somehow snagged copies of the first two books as arcs and managed to force myself to wait the long forever drawn out wait for this third installment in the Small Spaces series. Each book has had a paranormal / spooky encounter in three very different settings following the lives of three friends who found their friendship th As a huge Goosebumps nerd from when I was a wee one, Katherine Arden has brought me back to my childhood with this spooky middle grade series and I’m absolutely loving it. I somehow snagged copies of the first two books as arcs and managed to force myself to wait the long forever drawn out wait for this third installment in the Small Spaces series. Each book has had a paranormal / spooky encounter in three very different settings following the lives of three friends who found their friendship through the trials of the first book, Small Spaces. There are little hints from past books sprinkled throughout each following book so I would suggest reading them in order, but it also could stand as its own book if you’re willing to be a little lost on some of the backstory to the characters. I found myself wondering at times if I’ve either gone soft in my horror genre or if this book might actually scare the pants off of a reader or the actual target age range! Because honestly these books can get a little creepy, I love it so much! It’s so cool to see an author who can move so effortlessly through age groups and genres and still produce these amazing stories. I’d highly suggest reading these especially around the spooky fall months coming up! You won’t regret it! Happy reading 🎃! 🐠!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    In this third installment, Brian, Ollie and Coco face down a terrifying creature from the lake. It's Brian's turn to shine as the main focus, and the book opens at the inn his family runs. Brian's parents are worried about him, since his grades have slipped some and he only hangs out with Ollie and Coco since that strange field trip back in the Fall. Brian tries to reach out to his old friend, Phil, only to fine him drawing scarecrows. Coco immediately thinks that maybe Phil doesn't have amnesia In this third installment, Brian, Ollie and Coco face down a terrifying creature from the lake. It's Brian's turn to shine as the main focus, and the book opens at the inn his family runs. Brian's parents are worried about him, since his grades have slipped some and he only hangs out with Ollie and Coco since that strange field trip back in the Fall. Brian tries to reach out to his old friend, Phil, only to fine him drawing scarecrows. Coco immediately thinks that maybe Phil doesn't have amnesia from their first encounter with the Smiley Man. The trio head out for a boat trip on Lake Champlain to try to spot Champ (Vermont's answer to the Loch Ness monster), only to find themselves aboard a boat with Phil and his uncle. Suddenly the cryptic clue left by the Smiley Man outside of Brian's house come together, but will it be too late to save themselves and their family? Book four is going to be a long, agonizing wait, ya'll!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    That was a real spooky book just like the first two, though not as scary as Dead Voices. The pacing was a bit weird, I felt that the ending came very abruptly but still, that cliffhanger!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Fryman

    Available NOW! One Sentence Summary: The gang (plus a newcomer) is back for the Spring episode and this time they are up against the lake monster of Lake Champlain and not everyone will make it home! Reminds Me of: A Harry Potter-esque friend group set in a Goosebumps novel. Three Reasons You Should Read This: 1) This series is perfect for MG readers looking for something spooky! 2) How can you pass up a spooky book about a lake monster? 3) The ending! *gasp* One Thing You Should Know Before You Pick Available NOW! One Sentence Summary: The gang (plus a newcomer) is back for the Spring episode and this time they are up against the lake monster of Lake Champlain and not everyone will make it home! Reminds Me of: A Harry Potter-esque friend group set in a Goosebumps novel. Three Reasons You Should Read This: 1) This series is perfect for MG readers looking for something spooky! 2) How can you pass up a spooky book about a lake monster? 3) The ending! *gasp* One Thing You Should Know Before You Pick it Up: While you could pick this book up out of order and simply enjoy the spooky adventure, I would highly recommend reading at least the first book (Small Spaces) if not also the second one (Dead Voices), too. You'll get a lot more of the references the main three friends make about their back stories. *Disclaimer - I received an early reading copy for review from the publisher via Edelweiss.*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I didn’t like this one. 🥺 Dead Voices was SO good, it scared the shit out of me for ages after I read it a couple years ago, as a fully grown, 25+ year old adult. This just fell flat. It felt like the author wanted to have Ollie be missing and saving her be the final battle against the Smiling Man, and needed a vehicle to get the story there. And this is what we got, two years later. It’s not even 200 pages, we don’t deal with the Smiling Man. It was like a side quest! It read a lot like the Scoo I didn’t like this one. 🥺 Dead Voices was SO good, it scared the shit out of me for ages after I read it a couple years ago, as a fully grown, 25+ year old adult. This just fell flat. It felt like the author wanted to have Ollie be missing and saving her be the final battle against the Smiling Man, and needed a vehicle to get the story there. And this is what we got, two years later. It’s not even 200 pages, we don’t deal with the Smiling Man. It was like a side quest! It read a lot like the Scooby-Doo chapter books I read as a kid. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just not this series. I found the sentence structure really choppy, it felt like there were a lot of unnecessary commas and weird stops. I even wondered at one point if this was written by a ghost writer, instead of Katherine Arden, it felt so different than the first two. Also interesting that it’s included Phil, again probably to create the whole picture of the seasons and the books and have it all come full circle. Feels weird to bring him in now though, when it’s just been the three of them. I thought it didn’t really fit the “spring” vibe it was meant to have either. A desolate cold island doesn’t yell spring to me. But maybe it’s a hard season to make spooky. 🤷🏼‍♀️😅 I dunno, this one just really missed the mark for me, and I’m disappointed. I’d been looking forward to it for months. 😔 FAVOURITE QUOTES “The door flew open and slammed against the far wall, with a scream of hinges and shower of dust.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Even though Ollie, Brian, and Coco are no longer besieged by scarecrows of Small Spaces, and have fought off the Smiling Man in Dead Voices, they are still wary of things that go bump, especially in the day time. After spending some rainy days at Brian's family's inn, the group is looking forward to a brief boat outing while Coco Zintner's mother is interviewing Dane Dimmonds, who runs a tour boat on Lake Champlain that specializes in local history, especially abo E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Even though Ollie, Brian, and Coco are no longer besieged by scarecrows of Small Spaces, and have fought off the Smiling Man in Dead Voices, they are still wary of things that go bump, especially in the day time. After spending some rainy days at Brian's family's inn, the group is looking forward to a brief boat outing while Coco Zintner's mother is interviewing Dane Dimmonds, who runs a tour boat on Lake Champlain that specializes in local history, especially about the mythical serpent, Champ. The kids, along with Ollie's dad, Mr. Adler, and Ms. Zintner, pack their bags and set off on their adventure. When they meet Mr. Dimmonds, they are surprised to find Phil, a school mate, there. Phil is Dimmond's nephew, and helps out on the boat. He was also involved in the terrifying bus trip, and claims not to remember the scarecrows, although he does admit to having horrible nightmares about them. He has also been less than kind to the other kids, especially Ollie, and admits to Brian that he has met someone who matches the description of the Smiling Man in town. Since there was a strange, blackened circle with mysterious words on it left at Brian's inn, the children are already on edge. The boat trip starts out okay, but when Phil is fishing, he catches a small sea serpent, and the voyage takes a disastrous turn. Mr. Adler prevents Phil from getting bitten, but sustains a wound himself. Mysteriously, the engine on the boat goes missing, and the boat starts to fill with water. The kids and Ms. Zintner manage to save Mr. Adler, but Mr. Dimmond is carried off by the water. The group ends up on an island that hadn't appeared on any of the maps, and must try to survive the cold temperatures and lack of radio contact while dealing with Mr. Adler's wounds. There are plenty of creepy things on the island: a forest of hanging fishhooks, abandoned snake skins, and a creepy cabin with the skull of "Tommy" that a crazed, axe-carrying man seems to think is still alive. Could these two be connected with the early 1800s ship, the Goblin, that disappeared in mysterious circumstances? Ollie's biggest concern is saving her father, and since all of the bad things that happen to the group seem to be connected to the Smiling Man, will he somehow be involved with the group's plight? Strengths: For whatever reason, my students LOVE murderous ghosts, scarecrows, or other paranormal creatures. I'm sure they will be onboard with murderous sea serpents and ghosts of sailors! I love the way Arden takes perfectly benign, pleasant scenarios and gets us all cozy around the fire before making everything slide sideways into terror! It's like plunging into a cold pool on a really hot day-- all the more shocking! Mr. Adler is a great character, and his injury is used to great psychological effect as well; Ollie has already lost her mother, so she doesn't want to lose her father, who has stepped up so well to try to fill in the emptiness in Ollie's life. Phil's appearance, and his experience of being involved with the scarecrows, adds another layer of interest. I enjoyed the fact that lots of Vermont-specific background is included; Robert Frost's poetry, Lake Champlain, and (of course) Champ! Weaknesses: We didn't see as much of the Smiling Man in this one, and I would have preferred seeing the group deal with his oily evil rather than the spirit of ancient mariners. This ended a bit abruptly, so I'm sure that this character will play a larger role in the next book. What I really think: My students will be waiting in line for this new installation, and I can't wait to see how the story wraps up in the summer installment. What a great way to structure a series around the seasons, and four books is just the right length. Perfect for fans of the new crop of middle grade horror like the work of K.R. Alexander and Joel Sutherland, and Hermon's Hide and Seeker, Currie's Scritch Scratch, Lawrence's The Stitchers, Brown's The Forgotten Girl, and Ireland's Ophie's Ghosts.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jiny S

    This third book in the series follows the previous two with its own trapped-survival-horror theme. Really great story that reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Sea monsters, ghosts, and sunken ships are all things I love to read about. The story flows very well, and parts of the story are deliciously creepy! Not a big fan of the cliff hanger but it's forgivable of it ties into something epic in the final book, like a plan Ollie comes up to defeat the smiling man (I don't know). This third book in the series follows the previous two with its own trapped-survival-horror theme. Really great story that reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Sea monsters, ghosts, and sunken ships are all things I love to read about. The story flows very well, and parts of the story are deliciously creepy! Not a big fan of the cliff hanger but it's forgivable of it ties into something epic in the final book, like a plan Ollie comes up to defeat the smiling man (I don't know).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    Holy cliffhanger, Batman....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aranza♥︎

    These books are always a shot of adrenaline and they are so fun to read. I can’t wait to see how everything ends.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marilee

    Ah! I wasn't expecting that ending! I need the 4th book, like now! Ah! I wasn't expecting that ending! I need the 4th book, like now!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Krisette Spangler

    I absolutely loved the cover art for this book. It really hooks your interest in the story. When is book four coming? How will I wait to find out what happens?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This was my least favorite of the series so far but it was still really, really good. And that ending 😱😱 I can't wait to get my hands on the final book! This was my least favorite of the series so far but it was still really, really good. And that ending 😱😱 I can't wait to get my hands on the final book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    The stakes have never been higher in this third installment of the Small Spaces quartet by Katherine Arden. “Dark Waters” takes us to a seemingly inescapable deserted island that’s haunted by ghosts and monsters. Can Ollie, Coco, Brian and their new friend Phil figure out a way out of the Smiling Man’s next terrifying game? Or will they find themselves and their parents trapped there forever? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Chilling and tense, this next read is sure to get your skin crawling as the dark game continues... u The stakes have never been higher in this third installment of the Small Spaces quartet by Katherine Arden. “Dark Waters” takes us to a seemingly inescapable deserted island that’s haunted by ghosts and monsters. Can Ollie, Coco, Brian and their new friend Phil figure out a way out of the Smiling Man’s next terrifying game? Or will they find themselves and their parents trapped there forever? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Chilling and tense, this next read is sure to get your skin crawling as the dark game continues... until next time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Rose

    4.5 Stars. A great new installment in this series! This series is consistently creepy, always delivering a decently scary mystery/ghost story while the Coco, Brian, and Ollie grow as people in their fight against the Smiling Man. I loved the haunted island, giant monster, early spring vibes this one had! My one complaint is that the cliff hanger made it feel unfinished, but over all another great middle grade horror and I can't wait to see what happens next! Thanks to Edelweiss+ for the advanced 4.5 Stars. A great new installment in this series! This series is consistently creepy, always delivering a decently scary mystery/ghost story while the Coco, Brian, and Ollie grow as people in their fight against the Smiling Man. I loved the haunted island, giant monster, early spring vibes this one had! My one complaint is that the cliff hanger made it feel unfinished, but over all another great middle grade horror and I can't wait to see what happens next! Thanks to Edelweiss+ for the advanced copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    KC

    In this third installment, the gang sets sail in search of Champ, that fabled monster in Vermont's Lake Champlain. But their excursion did not go according to plan. After becoming shipwrecked on an island that did not appear on any map, the group finds themselves fighting off a land traveling snake-like sea creature. Will they get off the island and escape danger or will they fall victim to a historic curse? In this third installment, the gang sets sail in search of Champ, that fabled monster in Vermont's Lake Champlain. But their excursion did not go according to plan. After becoming shipwrecked on an island that did not appear on any map, the group finds themselves fighting off a land traveling snake-like sea creature. Will they get off the island and escape danger or will they fall victim to a historic curse?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shainna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. That ending was unfair. Especially since I thought there were like twenty five pages left, but I turned the page and there were EXCERPTS FROM BOOKS 1 & 2! I can't help but compare this to the third Harry Potter book in that a) both are book 3 and b) the main villains make almost no appearances in the respective books. Voldemort is discussed, but never actually shows up. The Smiling Man/Seth likewise has no direct appearance in this book. He knocks on the door and leaves a message, he meets with That ending was unfair. Especially since I thought there were like twenty five pages left, but I turned the page and there were EXCERPTS FROM BOOKS 1 & 2! I can't help but compare this to the third Harry Potter book in that a) both are book 3 and b) the main villains make almost no appearances in the respective books. Voldemort is discussed, but never actually shows up. The Smiling Man/Seth likewise has no direct appearance in this book. He knocks on the door and leaves a message, he meets with Phil, and he talks with Ollie, but since the book is from Brian's POV, we don't see the Smiling Man. At one point, though, I did wonder if the Smiling Man was pretending to be Ollie. Book 4 better be out like next month!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    There was a no denying that Katherine Arden is a fabulous writer. She is a master at suspense and can make you feel chills even in summer. That being said, Dark Waters was not her best book. First, Coco, Ollie, and Brian from the first two books would have been super suspicious of this boat trip. Ollie was just naturally that way while Brian and Coco have learned to be. Also, Coco and Brian would have known what was up with Ollie and would have demanded answers. If this had been the first book I There was a no denying that Katherine Arden is a fabulous writer. She is a master at suspense and can make you feel chills even in summer. That being said, Dark Waters was not her best book. First, Coco, Ollie, and Brian from the first two books would have been super suspicious of this boat trip. Ollie was just naturally that way while Brian and Coco have learned to be. Also, Coco and Brian would have known what was up with Ollie and would have demanded answers. If this had been the first book I had read by Arden, I would have been impressed, but there were a lot of issues that don’t match up with her other books.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

    While it wasn't quite as strong as the first two in the series, this was still full of chills and genuinely frightening moments. A few pieces were left very open-ended this time around purposefully as it set up the ending of the series in the next book, but I missed the more direct interaction with the major villain this time around. I'm excited to see what book 4 will focus on as its major theme! While it wasn't quite as strong as the first two in the series, this was still full of chills and genuinely frightening moments. A few pieces were left very open-ended this time around purposefully as it set up the ending of the series in the next book, but I missed the more direct interaction with the major villain this time around. I'm excited to see what book 4 will focus on as its major theme!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharanya

    I was unsure about this one -- deserted on an island??? Sea monsters??? BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY SCARY!!!! Like, really scary. I did want to see more of the Smiling Man, though -- hopefully he'll be in the last book! I was unsure about this one -- deserted on an island??? Sea monsters??? BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY SCARY!!!! Like, really scary. I did want to see more of the Smiling Man, though -- hopefully he'll be in the last book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alina Nshanyan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was so fun. I definitely got creeped out at times, but I still think the second one is the scariest so far. I saw the plot twist coming with Ollie jumping off the boat, but it still hit when it happened. I’m so excited for the last one now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    lauren ♡

    when i first started this i wasn't sure if i was going to love it as much as small spaces and dead voices, because it just felt a tiny bit flat compared to the first two? bUT the ending rly won me over (view spoiler)[(queer coded gay pirate ghosts ftw) (hide spoiler)] !! i listened to the audio book again and just like the first two it totally heightened the experience, the narrator does such a good job!!! i love this world and these characters so so much. if you want something fun and spooky to when i first started this i wasn't sure if i was going to love it as much as small spaces and dead voices, because it just felt a tiny bit flat compared to the first two? bUT the ending rly won me over (view spoiler)[(queer coded gay pirate ghosts ftw) (hide spoiler)] !! i listened to the audio book again and just like the first two it totally heightened the experience, the narrator does such a good job!!! i love this world and these characters so so much. if you want something fun and spooky to read then pls read this series!! it's the best. and i can not wait for the next book!!! that ending!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Krys

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. My review is based on an uncorrected text so any quotes used here might not be in the final product or changed. *** “Brian belatedly realized that if you told a lot of lies, even if it was for a good reason, like trying to keep people safe, it started to get hard to trust that other people were telling the truth.” Dark Waters by Katherine Arden is book 3 of what is going to be a four book series. Sp Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. My review is based on an uncorrected text so any quotes used here might not be in the final product or changed. *** “Brian belatedly realized that if you told a lot of lies, even if it was for a good reason, like trying to keep people safe, it started to get hard to trust that other people were telling the truth.” Dark Waters by Katherine Arden is book 3 of what is going to be a four book series. Spring has come and we find our band of friends, Ollie, Brian and Coco, a bit jumpy after everything they’ve experienced and waiting for something else to come around the corner because the Smiling Man isn’t done with them yet, he told them so after all. They just don’t know when he’ll pop up again. While the friends are hanging out together at Brian’s family inn one day the lights flicker out and the door starts to open, saved only at the last minute by Brian’s parents returning they find a note left behind at the door signed by S. (Three guesses who that could be and the first two don’t count.) Coco’s mom tells them about a trip on Lake Champlain she’s taking for work to write about a boat tour that explores the lake and looks for their very own lake monster, Champy, and invites everyone along. Brian is excited for this chance to have a break of being scared every second and looks forward to being on the water. Things get awkward when Brian runs into his old best friend Phil while surrounded by his new best friends Ollie and Coco and things take a dramatic change for the worst when it turns out that there just might actually be a lake monster and they find themselves stranded on a mysterious island that is haunted by past events. *** What I loved about this book, this book is Brian’s book. Book two we didn’t see much of Brian and he is aware of how Coco was the star of their last encounter with the Smiling Man and he just wants to do better and offer his support to his friends. And he gets to. “He’s lived in dread for months, but now that something bad had happened, he felt calm. Somehow actual, specific danger was better than danger that you imagined but couldn’t see.” Brian heads their survival on the island and works together with Coco and Phil most of the book handling problems. Ollie is a little more reserved this book, for good reason, but it was weird seeing her sidelined like that. What I didn’t like? That ending and knowing a I have awhile to wait to find out how that’s going to be resolved. How am I expected to wait patiently after that ending? 😂 while this maybe wasn’t my favorite of the three books so far I can say I definitely still really enjoyed it and look forward to the last book of this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler In the third installment of Arden’s Small Spaces series, we catch up with Ollie, Brian, and Coco. After having met and outsmarted the scary Smiling Man, they are now searching for a way to permanently defeat him. While they think they’re safe for now, they know the Smiling Man will come back and when the friends hang out together, first hints are shown—flickering lights, doors opening without the slightest of touch that raise their h Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler In the third installment of Arden’s Small Spaces series, we catch up with Ollie, Brian, and Coco. After having met and outsmarted the scary Smiling Man, they are now searching for a way to permanently defeat him. While they think they’re safe for now, they know the Smiling Man will come back and when the friends hang out together, first hints are shown—flickering lights, doors opening without the slightest of touch that raise their hackles. When Coco’s mother tells them about a trip she has to take for work on Lake Champlain, the trio is all too happy to tag along. What promises to be a fun adventure derails quickly when Brian’s old best friend Phil shows up on the boat and the lake monster Coco’s mother is investigating turns out to be more than just a legend. Stranded on a mysterious island, the gang will have to do their best to stay alive as past events come back to haunt them. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    !!!!!!! DELICIOUSLY SPOOKY !!!!!!! . . . We are big, BIG fans of the SMALL SPACES series at my school. We have 10 books on our choice summer reading list, but SS was chosen by over HALF of the incoming 7th and 8th graders. Last year #lunchbunch (virtual) listened to me read aloud SS and DEAD VOICES and then we Skyped w author @arden_katherine , which was amazing. So yes. We are UBER FANS. . . . And this third book in the series did not disappoint! The action starts up quickly and never lets go. We get !!!!!!! DELICIOUSLY SPOOKY !!!!!!! . . . We are big, BIG fans of the SMALL SPACES series at my school. We have 10 books on our choice summer reading list, but SS was chosen by over HALF of the incoming 7th and 8th graders. Last year #lunchbunch (virtual) listened to me read aloud SS and DEAD VOICES and then we Skyped w author @arden_katherine , which was amazing. So yes. We are UBER FANS. . . . And this third book in the series did not disappoint! The action starts up quickly and never lets go. We get a new main character, Phil, Brian’s former best friend from the hockey team. This time even the adults are in danger and afraid of the monsters. And the monster in question? Champ, the snake/fish monster of Lake Champlain in Vermont. 🐍!!! . . . Best of all? The end is an intense, nail biting cliffhanger that has me dying for book 4. I cannot WAIT to put books 2 and 3 in the hands of students this fall. . . . Book 28 for #30booksummer

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