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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw - Book Review

4 stars

The town of Sparrow is cursed, and during Swan Season, tourists flock to the town to try to see the curse for themselves. What's the cause of the curse? Well, two centuries ago, the town of Sparrow accused three sisters of witchcraft, and they were drowned in the harbor. Every year, during part of the summer, it is said that the sisters each inhabit a body and they lure boys into the water, to their deaths.

I'm not going to lie; I picked this book up because of its cover.

The beginning of the book started out pretty slowly. We got introduced to the characters, and we learned more about the town of Sparrow and the main character Penny Talbot. It soon picked up, and from there I was hooked.

My favorite part of this book was the writing. Erin Shaw was able to give the readers the feeling that characters were subtly holding onto secrets, which was something that I enjoyed. Later, when the secrets were revealed, I felt as if I understood the characters more because of what I had learned.

I also really enjoyed how there were flashbacks in the story. They helped me to understand the Swan sisters more, and it provided a backstory that added more depth to the story. I also appreciated how the chapter headings changed when there were flashbacks.

There were lots of twists and turns in this book; some that I expected, some that I thought might happen but didn't, and lots that I didn't see coming. In the town of Sparrow, during Swan Season, townspeople will easily turn against each other, and I had my suspicions as to who the witches might be. I enjoyed watching the season progress and seeing how the townspeople reacted.

The Wicked Deep is set in the modern-day world, in a small little town, the last stop on the bus line. The weather is always foggy and the only time people visit is for the Swan Season. It is the classic setting for a mysterious book, but it works for this story. The small town size allows for the townspeople to quickly turn on one another as the danger of being killed is known by all.

The ending is what changed my rating from a 5 to a 4. The ending was so predictable, and it was kind of messy. Maybe not at first, but as the story continued, the end became so apparent. It also really frustrated me how somethings were tied up because, for me, it seemed unfinished or at least unsatisfactory. I won't go into too much detail to avoid spoilers but there was one part that was tied up in a way that was annoying for me. I also wish there was some explanation about how the curse worked as we just knew of the curse, and nothing really about it.

In conclusion, I greatly enjoyed this book. I haven't read a story about witches for a long time and this book barely disappointed. The disappointing part for me was the ending. There were loose ends/ portions that weren't tied up correctly, and the ending was also very predictable. However, the setting and the writing made the story absolutely amazing!

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