cover image Small Favors

Small Favors

Erin A. Craig. Delacorte, $18.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-59330-674-1

The terror of grudges spiraling into violence haunts Craig’s (House of Salt and Sorrows) American frontier fantasy, but is left unresolved. In the isolated, presumed-white religious farming community of Amity Falls, rules and rituals repel the woodland monsters that haunted its founders—monsters that tenderhearted beekeeper Ellerie Downing, 18, thinks are a myth. But when members of the semiannual supply train are slaughtered by massive silver-eyed beasts, the town’s luck sours: apparitions appear and harvests wither, and violence stirs among the townsfolk. The mythic monsters have returned to destroy Amity Falls, and Ellerie must protect her farm and siblings—and the cocky, broken-nosed trapper who she’s falling for might be the key. Accomplished prose and a love of beekeeping warm this horror-tinged landscape, but the plot quickly loses momentum in repetitive threats and vague omens, and its insistence that only outside enemies cause social strife may well repel some readers. Even so, fans of Brenna Yovanoff and Erin Bowman will enjoy this lushly built, ominous rural America. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July) [/em]