Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Genre: Young adult paranormal fantasy
Published: By Simon Pulse on March 6th, 2018
Grade: Exceeds expectations
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.
What drew me into this book was the promise of a paranormal revenge story with witches. Many of my book blogger friends had praised this book but I had heard some mixed reviews as well. I went into this book with an open mind.
I really liked the portrayal of the Swan sisters and how their personalities were slowly revealed throughout the course of the book. While I didn’t care for Penny and Bo’s relationship much, I felt that the character interactions were well done. The plot was slow and meandering, switching between the present day and the time when the Swan sisters were really alive so that the whole story could be pieced together. I thought that the plot twist was predictable but quite enjoyed the other aspects. I really liked the writing style, which set up the eerie atmosphere, a key aspect of the story. The strongest point of the book was that it shone a light on what it was like to be a woman in society then and now. It captured the anger and bitterness of women who were treated unfairly by the patriarchy in place then. The contrast between female agency that existed in the 1800s and now painted a picture of how far we have come but yet fall short. This book really made me think and left a mark on me because of the themes it discussed, but the story itself fell a bit flat for me.
This book would be perfect on a rainy day or around Halloween time. For the music, I’d suggest ambient natural sounds, such as rain or a forest. For the food, I’d suggest you indulge your sweet tooth and have some tiny cupcakes handy.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Do you have any similar books that you’d like to recommend to me? Let me know in the comments section below.