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Monday, March 5, 2018

My Thoughts: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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.

***Review Copy received from Simon and Schuster Canada for my honest review***

Hey Friends,

I was pretty excited to read  Shea Ernshaw's debut, The Wicked Deep, because my buddy, Stephanie (Ohana Reads) raved about his book. Like her obsession with this book is unreal, and I trust her taste, so I leapt at the chance to read it. I kind of went into the reading of this book blind, and to be honest, I was really expecting what I got from the story. I initially thought it was going to be a more historical fantasy novel, but it wasn't at all. It was more urban fantasy, and I really liked that. It's been a year and a day since I have read anything urban fantasy that I actually forgot what it was all about- anywho, that is neither here nor there.

The Wicked Deep starts off with the three Swan sisters and their death. It's pretty intense, these young women being killed. Pretty wicked. Jump ahead 200+ years and we get the legend/myth/truth, that the girls return every year to the town of Sparrow and possess three unassuming young women, and spend the next while exacting their revenge on the town. Heh. Within the modern day town of Sparrow, we have Penny. Penny has lived in Sparrow her whole life and is very aware of what the summer brings, she's kind of just accepted it, until Bo enters, and of course that changes everything.

I would have LOVED this book ten years ago. Like completely obsessed. Let me explain.

There is something about Ernshaw's way of story telling that is completely engrossing  I am not a fast reader, I am actually quite a slow reader. However, I read this book in two sittings (which is pretty extraordinary for me). This book made me feel completely nostalgic for the YA of my youth - to me, it was very reminiscent of The Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney (whoa, am I ever aging myself), which came out in the early nineties. The Stranger was this dark gothic story, that had an edge of romance, but was completely surrounded by mystery and a "what the heck is going on." That is exactly what The Wicked Deep is.  I really appreciated that.  A lot.

The characters are pretty interesting, Penny was kind of hard for me to like, I found her to be a bit rigid and stand-offish, I think this was probably because she was fairly practical, and she carried a lot of responsibility. Her mum was around but not present, and her father disappeared some years before. I liked Bo, he was an interesting addition to the story. I enjoyed his influence on Penny. Their relationship was fun to see blossom. The Wicked Deep isn't a complicated story (this is not a bad thing).  There were a few "plot twists," and "Whaaaaa?!?" moments, but, for the most part, I saw them coming. Which is why I probably didn't love this book as much as others. For me, it was a bit predictable. In saying that, I don't think everyone will feel this way, and I know a few people who will love this, and I am excited for them to read this.

Overall, I enjoyed this, and appreciated how it felt like old school YA. I feel like I will be recommending this to a lot of the youth who come into the bookstore looking for something fun to read. I actually can't wait for that. 

~Happy Reading Everyone

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