The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Inside cover blurb:

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.”

-from publisher


First impression: this book is dumb.

Second impression: this book is dumb, but I am up past my bedtime reading it…

Third impression: OHMIGOD I am actually so into this book!

Stick with me here because I know what you’re thinking- the plot sounds so ridiculous! Well it is ridiculous. Three girls drowned as witches in the 1800s come back every summer as ghosts to drown boys out of revenge.

But the writing is what really pulled me in. Ernshaw manages to paint such a vivid image of this sleepy seaside town, I could feel the mist on my skin and the sea in my bones. That’s what I love about fiction! Her writing has a kind of delicate quality to it, without being overly flowery. I have always been a sucker for that style.

The romance is a bit cheesy at times, but I gotta say, I really enjoyed the layering of flashbacks and present day. I don’t want to give away the twist (even though most perceptive readers will likely figure it out), but I like the parallels between the past and the present.

And while the ending wasn’t entirely perfect, it definitely pulled my heartstrings.

Plus: The atmosphere, the writing style, the melodrama! It’s basically a teen soap opera with witches, so I was obviously going to love it.

Minus: If you can get past the cheese factor, it is such an enjoyable read! And ignore that cover too.

If you like this book, try:


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo- Another book which sounded pretty ridiculous to me: it’s about a siren princess. Yay for another book about drownings! But The Wicked Deep taught me not to be so judgemental, so maybe I’ll be giving this one a try.

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