I’ve heard such great things about Erin A. Craig’s writing, I was eager to finally pick up one of her books for myself! I won a hardcover copy on instagram from Sheaf & Ink and now felt like the perfect season to pick up this horror/fantasy book.
Title: Small Favors
Author: Erin A. Craig
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
This story started off really promising. Small prairie town, very remote, place where everyone knows everyone for their entire lives. Then one day the supply party goes missing and all that returns is a horse, attacked and barely alive anymore, which leads to suspicions of something in the woods.
They send out another group for supplies, as they need more supplies to survive the winter, and once again only one person returns badly hurt and scared. Soon they find a deformed animal, which leads the town to believe there are monsters in the woods, as stranger and stranger events keep occurring in town.
I really liked our main character Ellerie – she’s the older daughter of four children, with an older twin brother and two younger sisters – and she feels a sense of responsibility, especially when their mother, pregnant, gets injured and their father needs to bring her to the nearest hospital, leaving the children alone. She did her best to take care of the farm and the family while still being just seventeen years old herself.
The bee theme on the cover and endpapers is particularly interesting, as the Downing family are beekeepers. Ellerie’s father has been teaching her how to care for the bees and ensure their survival – I haven’t seen any YA books featuring bees like this before and it was a great metaphor for the town of Amity Falls as well – the beehive and hierarchy compared to the town.
While this started off promising, the plot was just too slow for my tastes. It felt like the story dragged on without anything actually progressing or happening until almost 75% into the book. I wish the pacing was better as the middle completely drags.
The climax of the book happens very quickly and the ending left me disappointed, without much being resolved – there are so many questions I still have and it just…ended. I really wanted to like this book but sadly this one fell short for me.
I enjoyed the audiobook – I thought the narrator was great with the accents, but not overly doing it, and did different voices for each character. I ended up on 2.75x speed because I was getting bored and wanted to know how it would end.
I feel like I’m in the minority with this one, as a lot of people did enjoy it! If you’re looking for an spooky-ish autumn read, this one might entice you more than it did me. I don’t think this was bad, per say, it was just very slow and I wanted more action and more things to happen.
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