Title: Small Favors
Author: Erin A. Craig
Pub. Date: July 27, 2021
Genre: YA Historical Horror Fantasy
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 will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible – and if you need a new read…pick this up right now. I audio production is phenomenal, and the book had me wigged out in broad daylight. If you want to check out my spoiler free review for House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin’s amazing and spooky debut – you can click here.
I loved this book. I kind of knew I would, with how much I loved Erin’s debut, I just didn’t expect it to leave me dying and desperate for more. I don’t know if it was widely known or even announced prior to its release that the ending was left open. But let me tell you – I was not prepared. I was legit texting Sammy (We Write at Dawn – check out her review for Small Favors) my reactions since she’d already finished it. And I was raging tbh. I have questions that need answered.
Like, so many questions.
I also just loved the world, the characters – the whole atmosphere Erin created, I just wanted more. Ellerie and Whitaker are so great, and I love their chemistry. I loved the mystery behind it all. Every time I thought that maybe I had things figured out, wham! Plot Twist. And I mean, the whole ending – could not have predicted it. At all. The trajectories the different character arcs take – you don’t really expect it.
Everything starts of so idyllic, peaceful and picturesque. I mean, it’s so vivid. And then as the story goes on, as the characters become more turmoiled (does that make sense – I can’t think of a better word) everything starts to change. I mean, the eldritch/creepy aspect of this book is so wonderfully balanced with the pretty/peaceful – it just plays out like a movie in your head. I felt like I was right there with Ellerie, experiencing everything that was happening in Amity Falls with her.
Also, can we talk about Amity Falls? Erin legit had me wanting to visit there. Apart from the creepy and the ending – I kind of want to go there. It’s such a simple existence and I lowkey want that lol.
As for Ellerie – I loved her. I loved her character so much. Stuck in the confines of what society dictates for women, she pushes back. Not in an overtly loud way, but in a more quiet subtle way. Time and time again she proves just how capable she how. How strong she is. Accident after Accident she perseveres, pushes through. She’s emotional and caring and just wants to do what’s best for her family. She loves them so much – she loves her town. I loved that she took charge, figured everything out when things got scary and rough.
Her brother on the other hand – kick a bag of rocks, my dude.
Her sisters are so wonderful – I loved their development throughout the story, and I loved the reveals and the drama around them.
And then there’s Whitaker. Be still my heart. I kind of knew what was going on with his character – only in the sense that something was up with him. Erin has this way of making you utterly fall in love with the love interest and then wham! here’s a twist you don’t expect! I love it. Whitaker is such a charmer, and I love how he interacts with Ellerie and Amity Falls and exists within the story.
Honestly this is one of those books that even after sitting on it for a week, I don’t know how to describe it without spoiling major aspects. So much happens, so much is brilliantly described and plotted, and it just leaves you utterly enthralled. I want to keep going on and on, but I’m afraid I’ll start accidentally spoiling things. You’re definitely going to want to read this book. Go, pick it up right now. It’s coming up on spooky season, and this is the perfect book to get you in the mood for cooler weather and all things atmospheric and spooky.