SPFBO 8 Finalist Friday: Review of Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater


What is SPFBO 8 Check out Mark Lawrence’s post here to look at this year’s entrants, judges and allocations list.

This year I am teaming up again with the ladies from The Critiquing Chemist.  We recently announced our finalist. To check out all the Finalists simply follow this link.

Our finalist this year was Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson – if you haven’t read it – I highly recommend it – seriously, grab yourself a copy and tuck in. It’s positively delightful.

Today is our final finalist review for #SPFBO 8.  Reviews for Scales and Sensibility, The Thirteenth Hour, Tethered Spirits,  Mysterious Ways, A Song for the Void, The Umbral Storm,  Fire of the Forebears and a Touch of Light can be found here here, here, herehere, here, here and here  Myself and the Critiquing Chemist have been posting finalist reviews every Friday and this is our final review

So, to my final review which is for a book that definitely took me by surprise.  Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater.


Well, Small Miracles is a very easy book to read.  I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed it and this isn’t the first time I’ve read a book by this author (in fact one of her books was a Semi Finalist of ours last year) so I already had, not unreasonably, high expectations.  So you could be forgiven for asking why this book took me by surprise. Well, I enjoyed Good Omens, but at the same time I’m not the biggest fan and so, with the understanding that this was a story written with that in mind (or at least a homage to that work), I did go in with some doubts.  But, this is a different kettle of fish altogether.  Yes, I can see the similarities, but, at the same time this has a much smaller frame in mind, the storyline doesn’t have world wide implications, more small scale ripples, and it simply won me over.

The Fallen Angel of Temptations, Gadriel, is kind of suckered into taking on a job that should be a piece of cake, in payment for some gambling debts. Of course, nothing is ever quite so easy and what at first seemed to be a doddle of a job turns out to be quite the opposite.

So, I’m going to say nothing more about the plot.  This is a fairly straight forward, contemporary story involving a number of characters trying to deal with loss.

Why did I like this.  Well, it’s well written, the characters are easy to like and the pacing is spot on.  I became attached to the people here and I was really entertained by the story. I thought it was really well executed and perfectly charming.

To be honest this is a really easy, utterly addictive book to read.  It’s not particularly long but it packs a fantastic punch.  I cared about the characters, I found myself eager to pick the book up (in fact, given this is relatively short I almost read it in one sitting) and I was completely won over.

The only criticism I have for this book is that it made me want chocolate, biscuits, cakes and just goodies in general.  Seriously, have something to hand when you pick this up, a nice warming cup of chocolate and a few cookies couldn’t go amiss and would fit perfectly with the delicious feeling that this read elicits.

An absolute winner.

Our rating 9.5 of 10 stars

Don’t forget to check out the Critiquing Chemist’s review which can be found here.


4 Responses to “SPFBO 8 Finalist Friday: Review of Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater”

  1. Dawn

    A good book and I’m rooting for it to win this year! I’ve been a fan of her writing since reading Half A Soul, her entry in 2020’s SPFBO. I love her Regency Faerie Tales trilogy.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, well, you got your wish. SM won the competition and it was well deserved. I still hold a very dear place for Miss Percy as well.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I didn’t have the best luck with one of her other books, but I do love the sound of this one.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I loved this. I thought I might struggle a little because of the ‘Good Omens’ homage – which wasn’t my favourite book tbh, but this – I loved it. It’s really well done to be honest. It’s layered in a way that everything starts to have meaning, little ‘in jokes’, the characters are likable and it’s just lovely.
      Lynn 😀

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