Author: Erin A. Craig
Publisher: Publisher (date)
Hardcover, 480 pages
Dark Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.
As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.
I adored House of Salt and Sorrows, so when I saw Erin A. Craig was coming out with another dark fantasy/horror fairy tale retelling, I knew I had to read it.
Small Favors is a twist on a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, but instead of straw being spun into gold we have the gold of honey dripping fresh from the comb. I do wish the bees had been a bit more involved in the overall story, though. They’re such an integral part of it for some scenes and then suddenly just… aren’t.
Ellery lives in a quiet, small town that’s huddled in “God’s hand,” a sheltered valley in the middle of a creepy and sinister forest. All the bells and Gathering and Elders and whatnot give it a very The Village sort of vibe, which I loved. What is it about small, secluded villages that lends itself so well to a horror setting? I really loved the dynamic between Ellery and the rest of her family, and between all the villagers. Small town dramaaaa!
I love this sort of dark fantasy, quiet horror. It did get quite creepy and borderline gory at certain parts. I’m quite squeamish and it was the perfect borderline of creepy but not TOO gross for me. I can’t wait to see which fairy tale Erin A. Craig approaches next, and how she will present it in an entirely new, dark and creepy way.
CW: Animal death, gore, violence, murder, birth defects (animal)
And because it’s a personal trigger that I was leery about, I want to specify – nothing bad happens to the baby(s).
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.