The Wicked Deep

The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: paranormal/supernatural, fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: no

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.


Penny lives in Sparrow, Oregon. Every year three witch sisters come back from the dead and drown boys – in revenge for their own murders. This year an outsider comes, and Penny knows Bo is in danger. But Penny will have to make a hard choice, him or her?

They were coquettes, temptresses, and men found them impossible to resist.

I pleased to say: I enjoyed this book! I was a little worried that it was going to be slow paced, but often I enjoy slow paced books. There is slow paced and interesting and slow paced and boring: but this one falls into the former category. This book was not built on a lot of action, but it was built on characters, atmosphere and mystery. And this book worked! It worked in all the right ways for me. It was exactly what I needed for a spooky season read! I absolutely devoured this book in one evening.

The characters in this book are limited. We have Penny, Bo, Rose and some smaller minor characters. Penny and Bo are really the stars of this book, and I really don’t want to talk too much about them for risk of spoilers, but suffice to say, nothing is as you expect in this book: all these characters have secrets to hide. And it is absolutely thrilling to play a guessing game of who you think is who, and what you think is going to happen next. And the characters are a large part of that. Especially Bo as more and more of his secrets are revealed. Not to mention the character arcs overall are well done and well played out. They are worth every moment of slow building tension between Penny and Bo.

Everyone believes they’re immune. Until they’re not.

The main plot is these three witch sisters come back every summer. They steal three girls bodies and go on a murdering spree of local boys. By the end of it, at least three of them are dead. And this summer, Bo is in town, and Penny worries that the witches are going to get him. So she offers him a job out on the island where she lives. Her mother is still devastated by the disappearance of her father, and just drifts, often leaving Penny up to her own devices. That’s the main plot of the book, but it is really the characters of the witches and modern day girls driving the book.

I keep saying it is slow paced, and it is, but it works in this book. There is a slow build up of tension, and you know something is coming, but what? The slow tension pays off in the last twenty or so percent of the book. It makes everything worth it once you get to that point. I was absolutely astounded at how much I loved the last 20% of the book.

I think the good writing really played into the awesome pacing because it had lots of atmosphere. This book felt surreal and very misty at some points which worked for the content of the book. It was atmospheric, it was as if it could actually be happening. Ernshaw created such vivid description all around, and I loved that. I was totally drawn in by her writing. I could picture this little town on the seaside, and the events that unfolded there two hundred years ago.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book, and I am looking forward to the next book from her. This one had everything I could have wanted in an atmospheric read!


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