Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
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.
The Wicked Deep is a very haunting and oftentimes heartbreaking read. Shae Ernshaw’s novel is beautifully written; the storytelling is spellbinding and enchantingly engaging. I fell in love with the town of Sparrow–a cursed city that is filled with speculation, a heightened sense of cursed magic, and a dash of heartache that yearns to be healed. The characters are enriched with so much emotional turmoil, making it hard not to only feel sorry for the lured victims but also feel sympathy towards the cursed “witches.”
There are various characters strung throughout The Wicked Deep, but it was not the main character, Penny, that I was rooting for throughout the novel. Instead I really enjoyed the development of Bo Carter, Sparrow’s mysterious outsider. I liked that even though he is an outsider of the cursed town, he blurs into the setting so naturally. He creates his own firm ground and purpose in the story. Bo has a very curious atmosphere about him, but he also radiates an aura of kindness, devotion, and resiliency.
Overall, I liked The Wicked Deep but there are some parts of the book that dwell in the back of my mind. I personally found the book’s “twist” to be predictable, but that predictability does not fault the story; instead, it’s through this twist and unraveled truths that the resolution of the story filters through a lens of heartache, sacrifice, and so much vulnerability. I was not a huge fan of the ending, but I really could not see the conclusion going any other way. The whole vibe of the ending just does not sit well with me, but I think it is because I adored Bo so much; and without adding any spoilers, I think he deserves so much more after that downpour of truth that saturates his heart and his dreams.
Note: I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion. All statements and opinions in this review are mine.