Small Favors by Erin A. Craig #bookreview #YA #darkfantasy #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

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.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I’ll be waiting in line for her third no matter what it is.

Don’t be deceived by the calming, flower-filled cover. Inside is a chilling, dark fantasy that will make you hesitate before entering the woods ever again. I count the movie The Village directed by M. Night Shyamalan as one of my favorites, and this book shares many similarities with it – a small, tightly knit community, strange activities in the town, deadly creatures in the forest, and a MC who’s determined she and her family will survive. There are also shades of Stephen King’s Needful Things with some of the townfolks’ deepest desires being fulfilled.

The first few chapters introduce readers to a simpler kind of life and allow them to become acquainted with the isolated town, its residents, and their daily activities. Ellerie’s idyllic life of learning beekeeping from her father, cooking with her mother, and playing with her little sister begins sliding away a piece at a time after a supply party goes missing. Visitors, a rare event, show up in town, and one is especially intriguing to her. Whitaker’s motivations were a mystery to me throughout the story, and I wasn’t sure if I should trust him. Soon the town is plagued with deformed animals, strange bouts of weather, and a lack of food before neighbors turn against each other in vengeance and hatred. I’m talking a serious spiraling of events, folks. Some of these scenes aren’t for the faint of heart.

This slow burn dark fantasy pulls you in a page at a time, and before long you’ll notice the book is super glued to your hands. It felt like 350 pages instead of nearly 500 to me. Fans of The Village, Needful Things, and dark fantasy will spend several engrossing hours reading Small Favors and shutting out the world around them. Just be careful when you go into the woods.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

27 thoughts on “Small Favors by Erin A. Craig #bookreview #YA #darkfantasy #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

  1. This sounds like a really good read, Teri. If you devoured 500 pages, it had to be good. I tend to steer away from anything over 350, but in this case, I can tell it was worth it. And, I love the honey dripping from the book title. Nice touch! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not as gothic as House of Salt and Sorrows, but it’s dark. With it being such a gradual process, it’s almost as if the characters can’t see what’s happening, until they wake up one morning and wonder how they got there. Thanks for dropping by!

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  2. The cover does sound deceiving! I love the way this one sounds though. The Village is one of our favorite movies as well—really all of his movies are awesome though. I’m definitely adding this one, Teri. Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually the flowers are part of the field where the bees are housed in the story. I know nothing about beekeeping, but it was clear the author did her research, and I learned several things about it. So interesting! Thanks for visiting, Miriam!

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      1. That makes sense, Teri. The cover would tell pay of the story not just for making an attractive cover. I don’t know about beekeeping either but I need bees for pollenation. I may learn something from this book also.

        Liked by 1 person

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