Review – The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Title The Wicked Deep

Author Shea Ernshaw

Release Date March 6, 2018

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

My reading group (hosted by @betterwithabookinmyhand), decided to make this one of our January books. It’s not a book that I would have picked up on my own (despite really enjoying Winterwood), because I thought it seemed kind of sad. I couldn’t put my finger on it – but this was a book that I only gave a chance to because of the group.

Some Things I Liked

  • West Coast Witches. As an east-coaster myself, I really only know the history of the witches from this side of the country. I know about Salem the various witches of Massachusetts, Virginia, and even my home state of New Jersey. But, I wasn’t really familiar with any stories of witches on the west coast. I thought that was a unique twist.
  • Writing style. Once again, I was blown away by Shea Ernshaw’s ability to describe everything. She is truly a magnificent writer and not only does she paint a vivid picture with her words, you feel like you have a front row seat to the action.
  • Twists. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see the biggest plot twist coming. I thought it was well designed and somewhat sad, but it really did take me by surprise.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • There were some plot holes and inconsistencies with the story but they were not central to the overall story that I didn’t let it impact my rating. Basically, I found myself thinking why this town of Sparrow let 200 years of murders happen and nobody did anything about it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Shea Ernshaw’s writing really carried me through this book. I didn’t love the ending and I thought there were some plot holes, but, this story was so beautifully written, I couldn’t give it anything less than five stars.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – if you liked the mysterious elements and a strong, independent main character, give this standalone a try.
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – once again, if you liked the witches element, do yourself a favor and read this new release by Shelby Mahurin. It’s seasonal, perfect, and has multiple POVs.
  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – if you enjoyed the writing style in The Wicked Deep and the witchy elements, definitely try her other book, Winterwood.

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