Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


My Rating ~ Four stars

4-gold-stars copy

Date published: 6 March 2018

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Hardcover


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.




The town of Sparrow has accepted their fate in the haunting (and murdering) curse of the Swan Sisters, drowned two hundred years ago for the crime of witchcraft.  The day the curse starts each year has even become a festival of sorts, with travellers coming from all over to revel in the dark rumours of the curse.  Penny has lived in Sparrow all her life with her mother, who is ill and distant after the disappearance of Penny’s father.  When Bo, an outsider, comes to town, Penny knows he could be in danger of becoming a victim of the Swan Sister’s curse.  She knows more than she lets on, but can she help Bo or the haunted town?

The dark, magical feel of this book was so beautiful. The author’s descriptions of the town of Sparrow made for a haunting but realistic setting.

I loved the Swan Sisters and really enjoyed figuring out who they were (I didn’t guess the reveal until it happened. I am not a very good detective 😄). It would have been a 5 Star read for me if it wasn’t for the insta-love. I forgave it a little once the reveal was made and I try to remember that so much of teenage love is kind of insta-love (or at least insta-infatuation) for lots of people, but still, I’m always left yelling “you’ve known him for 7 seconds, YOU ARE NOT IN LOVE” at the book. 🤦‍♀️ However, the setting, the witches and the rest of the story made up for it!

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Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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