Author: Lauren Owen
Publisher: Random House
Released: August 2, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Small Angels was one of BOTM‘s August choices immediately caught my attention. They haven’t had a ton of horror novels lately, yet this month seemed full of them! You can imagine my delight there. Anyway, Small Angels was one of those options, promising horror, gothic fairytale vibes, and LGBT characters. Yes, please.
Chloe and her fiance, Sam, have been planning their dream wedding for months. Unfortunately, their preferred venue was double-booked, leaving them with few choices. While most of the townspeople would have looked elsewhere, Chloe thought it would be perfect to use the little church up the road.
The one that hasn’t been used in years and that the townspeople know better than to approach. Small Angels may look like a quaint and endearing little church, but it is deeply tied with the history of the family that once owned it.
“He walks amongst the whispering trees
And this will ever be so
No help of ours could set him free
From the woods where roses grow”
Okay, if you’ve been searching for an atmospheric read that will make you in, you’ve got to read Small Angels. This goes doubly so for all those readers that enjoy fairytale vibes of the dangerous fae variety.
There was something so intriguing about this novel. I think the story didn’t reveal itself all at once. Instead, readers had to bounce around multiple timelines and perspectives, hoping to finally learn what happened at Small Angels.
The mystery helped build the horror, at least in my mind. Seeing all these little hat-tips to classic fae tales was…harrowing and compelling, in equal measures. My brain couldn’t help but craft theory after theory to explain what was happening.
Of course, all my theories ended up being wrong – but I’m okay with that. Small Angels was still an exciting read with a much more familiar history than I had anticipated. There were some perspectives and stories I wish had been more fleshed out. Sam, for example. His appearance in the story is fairly significant (since it is his wedding that kicks it all off), and yet his place in the history of this town seems to stem solely from being related to Kate? I feel like more could have been done there.
Anyway, I’m trying to say that Small Angels clearly did a good job getting inside my head. It made me curious about every little detail of this world. Fantasy horror readers should absolutely give this one a try.