Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6th 2018
Pages: 310
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase: The Book Depository

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

I finally decided to pick up this book and picked it as a pre-Halloween read, which was a really good choice. It’s full of witches and curses and has a kind of spooky ambiance.

The Wicked Deep tells the story of three sisters who settled in the town of Sparrow over two centuries ago. Here they build a successful business, but their allure and affairs with men cause people to believe that they were witches and so they are drowned.

Part of the book tells the story of the sisters in flashbacks. The other part focuses on the present time, two centuries later, where every year during the Swan season the drowned sisters inhabit the bodies of three girls and lure boys into the sea to drown them. The present day follows main character Penny as she observes these proceedings and tries to end the curse with outsider Bo, who has his own reasons to be in Sparrow.

The main thing I loved about the book was the aspects of the witchcraft and the myth. I have always been a little bit obsessed with reading about the supernatural, so it was fun to explore the elements of magic and supernatural in this book. The cursed sisters also reminded me a bit of selkies.

In addition, there is a great ambiance throughout the book. The town of Sparrow is described so perfectly that you can imagine the island Lumiere and the fisher boats, can almost feel the cold seep into your bones. There is also a sense of eeriness that persists throughout the story. And though I did guess it before it actually was revealed, there is a good plot twist that will probably surprise many and keeps things interesting.

I loved reading about the Swan sisters and Penny, because you get quite a bit of insight into their lives. However, I felt that all other characters were very one-dimensional. This is probably also the reason why I didn’t really like the relationship between Penny and Bo all that much. Because we learn very little about Bo, the relationship felt very instalovey. If there had been more insight into his character, past life, hopes and dreams, his relationship with Penny probably would have made more sense. The same goes for other characters in the town.

However, the book contains a great plot and mystery with an enjoyable setting and atmosphere. The Wicked Deep is a good read for Halloween or a cold rainy afternoon!

8.5

Characterization

6.5/10

Plot

9.0/10

Writing Style

8.5/10

Pace

8.5/10

Setting

10.0/10

Pros

  • Interesting plot
  • Supernatural elements
  • Ambiance

Cons

  • Many one dimensional characters
  • Instalove