The Wicked Deep, Shea Ernshaw

I dig Ernshaw and have enjoyed reading what she already has published. If you caught my TBR last week, you’ll see I have an ARC of her upcoming book, A History of Wild Places. I have already started that one and it is fantastic so far. Also, I’m not sure if you’re a fan of hers, but she is going to be publishing Long Live the Pumpkin Queen next year. YES you guys, it’s exactly what it sounds like it’s going to be. I’m going to be crossing all my fingers to get an ARC of that (if) when it’s available. I’m so excited for it. Let’s get to my review.

Two months ago, I read Winterwood and fell so in love that I wanted to go back and read The Wicked Deep. The Wicked Deep is a mashup of genres, blending YA with horror, mythology, and romance. The thing I found a bit odd in reading this one was how little the actual adults in the book had to do with what was going on. Teenagers are dying, yet it’s only them either going with the flow or trying to remedy it. The adults seem resigned to the horror of losing children year after year.

I wasn’t feeling the romantic connection between Penny and Bo. It felt rushed and shallow without enough set up as to why they’re drawn to each other. Penny’s friendship with Rose felt deeper. But what I did love was that there is this tiny, atmospheric town where the world knows kids are dying in and have turned it into a circus instead of taking it seriously. It’s all so bizarre, and Ernshaw has made that work through a creative and engaging storyline.

Purchase The Wicked Deep on Amazon, Bookshop, or B&N.

Read this review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

About the Book:

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.


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