• bookishchiara

The Wicked Deep surprised me on many levels

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw ★★★★½

“Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”

The Wicked Deep took me by surprise. I told myself this year I would be reading more books outside of my comfort zone, outside of the genres I usually go for. It was actually my boyfriend who picked this book out for me. At first, I was a little hesitant. I did put the book on my list, so I knew there was a chance he would choose it. But still, when he picked The Wicked Deep out I was trying to convince him to pick another one. Finally, I gave in and started it and man I was not expecting this.


This story is about a town called 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.


This novel was the first one I've read from Shea Ernshaw, but certainly not the last. The way she writes is amazing. Her style is so magical and the book was well-paced. Every sentence was well-written and beautiful. There were times I had to reread a sentence, not because I didn't understand it but because it was such a wonderful thing to read. It was kind of hard to choose a quote because there are so many astonishing ones in this book.


I love fantasy, but these paranormal stories usually don't do it for me. This one was different, though. I started it and almost couldn't put it down. I loved the world The Wicked Deep was set in. This creepy, hair-raising town they live in felt so real. At times it felt like I was right there, taking a stroll through this foggy, cold world. The atmosphere was very eerie and her words were gripping. I absolutely had not thought I would like this novel as much as I do.


The characters were okay, I liked some better than others. I am not a huge fan of insta-love between two characters, but in this case, it suited the story. I wasn't particularly excited about these characters or their backstory, I was more interested in knowing what was going to happen to the story. It was very fun to read. It gets a little predictable, especially the end but I was so into the story that it didn't bother me that much. I just wanted to know what was going to happen, where everything was going to lead me that I didn't fully realize I knew what was going to happen. I just couldn't put the book down! Ernshaw kept the story fascinating from the first page till the very last. I got sucked in her world and didn't want to leave.



I think this cover is very pretty. I like 'simple' covers like this. The reason I put this book in my TBR-list is because of the cover. The colors are nice, I like the font they used and absolutely love the drawings on it.


Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely would. It's an easy read. I read The Wicked Deep in a couple of hours. I gave it four stars and a half because I enjoyed reading the novel and I couldn't put the book down but I wouldn't call it my new favorite book. That's why I didn't give it 5 stars.


About the author


Shea Ernshaw lives in an imaginary world.

And sometimes, she lives in a small mountain town in Oregon.

Ernshaw has been writing stories and crafting characters since she was young—filling notebooks with stories about magical horses and fairy underworlds. She always knew she wanted to be a writer and she was lucky enough to grow up in a house filled with books, where her parents were always reading or painting or making something out of nothing.

Now, Ernshaw shares her home with her husband, two editor cats, and an itty bitty dog named Diesel, who all tolerate her days—and sometimes weeks—spent locked away in my writing palace where her characters dance around inside her head telling their stories.

Shea Ernshaw also loves lakes and deep dark woods and yoga and delicious vegan pastries.


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