The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw
Publish Date: March 6, 2018
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)
**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**
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.
When I first started this book I thought I was going to love it. The atmosphere was perfectly eerie, the premise had me completely intrigued, and the writing easily pulled me in. And while it was a good read, I just think I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped to.
What mostly ruined the book for me was that I figured out the plot twist before it even happened. Because of this the rest of the story kind of lost its hold on me. I felt little empathy for the main character, and as such the romance between her and Bo kind of left me unenthused. I felt little chemistry there, and I think a lot of it for me was that they apparently fell in love with each other in less than three weeks of knowing one another – if you could even call it “knowing” since both of them were reluctant to open up about their personal secrets that were haunting them. A good chunk of the middle of the book was dedicated to their blossoming romance, leaving the witchy part of the plot to disappear a little, and over all it just didn’t really do anything for me in terms of enjoying it.
I thought the writing itself was really good, with great descriptions and movement that flowed wonderfully together. The pace was excellent, moving quickly and succinctly, and the overall plot was definitely intriguing. But I just felt like I lacked interest in the characters and their personal plights. For the most part it was due to them both having these secrets that made them both withdrawn and broody, difficult to get to know, but part of it was definitely because I had little to no sympathy for a specific character as well. I think I was meant to, and yeah there were parts where I understood where she was getting at, but that didn’t affect my overall disapproval of her actions and indifference towards her.
This book is definitely written well, and is a moves quickly, but I just did not really care for the characters or their ambitions and personalities (or lack there-of). I was not a fan of the romance, and the plot twist was definitely too predictable, which kind of ruined things for me, and left me feeling kind of meh.