BY ERIN A. CRAIG
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.
Craig has once again nailed the perfect mysterious and chilling atmosphere that left me reeling. The idyllic yet isolated town of Amity Falls seems like this happy and close knit community. It all starts to unravel quickly and soon paranoia abounds with supply shortages and other weird things happening around town. It was a very The Crucible meets The Donnor Party type situation.
Ellerie gets so screwed in this book. As a woman she’s expected to do nothing more than be a family maker, leaving the exciting tasks like running the farm and beekeeping to her brother Sam. If I were Ellerie I would’ve killed him. He is the most awful self absorbed person and abandons her to all of a sudden take over everything after a accident leaves her the head of the household. I could never. Even through all the turmoil she manages to keep her head on her shoulders and be this logical yet kind person. I loved her relationship with her sisters and how she goes above and beyond for them.
Romance comes in the form of a mysterious newcomer in town. The boy with no name, or least refuses to give it. Whitaker was smooth, always saying the sweetest most swoon-worthy lines and truly being their for Ellerie. So of course I was instantly suspicious of him. Craig boasts of happy endings for her scary stories though and she definitely delivers, albeit in a twisted way.
The ending was WILD. I knew where the town was headed but it was true insanity. It is a tad abrupt though and I wish we’d gotten an epilogue of some sort. Even so it made sense and I overall really enjoyed this book. I think it was just as good, if not better, than House of Salt and Sorrows which I loved. My only complaint was the pacing. The beginning of the story felt like it dragged quite a bit and think a lot of the setup could have been cut out. It’s still worth checking out if you’re looking for a horror story behind a beautifully deceptive cover.