Supernatural Square: Three friends find themselves snowed-in at a haunted ski lodge armed only with a Ouija board and a book of matches.
Ollie, Coco and Brian have tried to put what happened in the land beyond the mists behind them. When a free trip for five is won to a soon-to-be-open ski mountain it seems like a great opportunity to have fun and get away from reminders of the past.
A blizzard is hitting the Vermont mountains especially hard and the expected 8" overnight, heavy enough, becomes a big enough storm to prevent the other guests from arriving at Mount Hemlock, and traps them in the building without no power and only a single fireplace.
No one but Coco sees the man in the road warning them away from the lodge. When the car is stopped, he's disappeared. The taxidermy collection in the lobby seems to keep shifting positions on their wall-mounts and pedestals. The lodge itself has a dark past as an orphanage run by the stern 'Mother Hemlock' and not all the girls made it through the cold winters.
Snowbound, the trio, two parents, the lodge owners and a paranormal journalist, have to confront the ghosts in the dark halls armed only with a Ouija board, a book of matches, and a talent for chess. Ollie's wristwatch, through which her dead mother communicates to her, tells her to beware....
This was another good middle grade horror by Katherine Arden. In many ways this is Coco's book, as it showcases her talent for chess and logic, her mediating role and provides some outside perspective on Ollie's relationship with her dad.
The story skates on the edge of being too simple, but the puzzle was a good one, and the internal logic of the story and the world of 'Small Spaces' is respected. The characters are continuing to grow and with some unanswered questions, I see a lot of room for more sequels down the line.
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