Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

February 26, 2018 Book Review, Young Adult 14 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Wicked DeepThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Published by Simon Pulse on March 6th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
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Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

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.

It has been far too long since I’ve read something with witches! With comparison to some of my favorite witch-y movies, Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic, I had high hopes heading in and I must say, the book delivered! I absolutely felt vibes from both of those movies throughout and had the best time reading The Wicked Deep!

The town of Sparrow is known for its curse. Centuries ago, three sisters were accused of witchcraftery for seemingly making themselves irresistible to the men in town and were drowned for their ‘crimes’. Now every year on June 1st, the sisters return to inhabit the bodies of young girls and seek revenge by luring men to their watery deaths.

The town of Sparrow was quite a dynamic. The town is very superstitious and has that slight element of magic about it. I loved the idea of the forgetful cakes and the mentions of reading tea leaves. Instead of running for the hills during the few weeks the sisters return like one would expect, the curse is exploited, drawing in tourists wanting to witness firsthand if the curse is true. Even the locals hold parties, daring each other to enter the water when it is time for the sisters to return. I found it all together creepy and equal parts fascinating!

This is very much a revenge story. These three sisters are very angry about the circumstances surrounding their deaths and we do get to learn the details of which piece by piece throughout the story, intertwined as the current events unfold. The atmosphere was quite haunting and the story unfolded beautifully. I loved how it was laid out like a puzzle with pieces fitting together at precisely the right moments, leaving some mysteries and secrets to be solved from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the characters and all the uncertainties surrounding them. You don’t know who to trust or believe. Penny and Bo are right at the forefront of solving the mystery of the sisters and how to stop them and I liked the love story that emerged and how it transformed the dynamic of the story.

I’m so excited about this debut author and what she has in the future. Definitely grab this one up for a quick, bewitching read!

About Shea Ernshaw

Shea Ernshaw is an Oregon native and YA author. She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes. She drinks loads of tea and believes sunrises are where unicorns hide.

She lives with her two cats, a dog, a husband, and a stack of books beside her bed she still needs to read.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

14 Responses to “Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw”

  1. Jasprit

    It seems like a long time since I read a book about witches too Sara, but I’m to see that this author ended up delivering a solid read for you, I will definitely consider giving it a go, when I’m in the mood for a paranormal read!
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  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m glad you loved this one. It didn’t work quite as well for me, mainly because the townspeople just frustrated me so much with some of their choices. I still enjoyed it overall though, especially the cute details like the forgetful cupcakes. Great review!

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      I did find the townspeople quite weird about it all. That’s probably the one thing I didn’t love, and maybe that was the half star drop. Luckily I enjoyed everything else and it was able to overshadow that for me. I wanted to try the forgetful cakes! lol

  3. Jamie (The Last Page)

    I’ve been curious about this book after seeing the cover and hearing that it’s centered on witches. I’m so glad to see so many great reviews of the book, I’ll definitely have to bump it up on my TBR and read it soon. Great review! 🙂

  4. Danielle Hammelef

    I love mysteries and when authors employ the “who can you really trust” technique for suspense. I haven’t read a story with witches, but this one is on my must read list now for 2018.

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