A review by whenjessreads
Small Favors, by Erin A. Craig
adventurous mysterious medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Plot
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
- Flaws of characters a main focus? No
Bees. Monsters. Madness. More bees. Yes please.
I love the way Erin A. Craig writes creepy atmospheres. In this book, like in A House of Salt and Sorrows, there’s this soft, almost lazy overtone with just an undercurrent of… wrongness. I would describe the book as a gentle horror, if such a thing exists. There’s a quiet solemnity, calmness, and feeling of isolation throughout - but also some MESSED UP mutant animals that come out of the forest, and several gruesome violent deaths 🤷🏻♀️
It showcases the idea that the monsters hiding in the dark may not be as destructive as the monsters within ourselves. There’s an aspect of the macabre in the mutated creatures that feature as the initial ‘villains’, but the real horror of this story is found in humanity itself, and in what happens when the dark parts of ourselves are magnified and unrestrained.
The book is told in seasons, with the plot building pretty slowly. I didn’t have a problem with the slow progression because the tension remained… tense… throughout, however it did make the final 100 pages or so seem quite rushed, and a little messy. To be honest though, everyone knows I love a good ‘descent into madness’ storyline, and sometimes that kind of chaos can’t be presented calmly and orderly. ACCEPT THE MESS!
The setting was fantastic, the characters were well rounded, and while the twist was pretty obvious, experiencing it from the perspective of the MC still felt new and devastating, so kudos to Craig and her beautiful writing.
I do prefer A House of Salt and Sorrows to Small Favors, but I still enjoyed this read a lot!
Moderate: Fire/Fire injury, Gore, Gaslighting, Death, Violence, Misogyny, and Religious bigotry