Book Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Hello and welcome to another book review. This time I’ll be talking about The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, the last book I read for the Biannual Bibliothon last month. Let’s just get into the review.

Star Rating

3/5

The Summary

This book has a really cool and kind of creepy premise. It is set in a town called Sparrow, where, a few centuries ago, three sisters were drowned in the harbor as witches. Now, every summer for a few weeks, those sisters return to exact their revenge on the town. They possess the bodies of three local girls and lure boys to the harbor to drown them. Our main character, Penny, has grown up in Sparrow, and like most other locals, she has just come to accept this unfortunate fate for her town. Then a boy named Bo comes to town right before the “Swan Season,” as it is called, begins, having no idea what awaits him. Penny feels the need to keep him safe.

The (Non-Spoiler) Review

I liked a lot of things about this book. The writing was beautiful, the atmosphere was great, and it even had a big twist that I, personally, didn’t see coming (though I’ve heard that a lot of other people did, so fair warning.) I especially liked the little flashback chapters that were scattered throughout the book. I felt like they gave us a clearer idea of exactly how the town came to be this way.

However, there were also a lot of things I didn’t like about this book. The main one was the romance. I mean, of course I knew there would be romance in this book. It basically says so in the synopsis. That’s not what bothered me. What bothered me was how the romance overpowered the plot (and also I felt that the relationship itself was sort of problematic, but my reasons for thinking that are super spoilery, so I won’t get into that here). What could have been a really cool novel about a cursed town trying to unravel the mystery of the Swan sisters ended up being all about romance, which was annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I like romance on occasion. In books, though, I prefer for the romance to be a subplot, and this didn’t feel like that to me.

Another thing I didn’t like about the book was how little actually seemed to happen. Sure, things happened, and they were exciting, but most of the book was just the characters waiting around for things to happen, and then reacting to the twists when they happened, rather than being proactive about anything.

Overall, for me, this book was just okay. I don’t think I’ll reread it, and I probably won’t think about it often (or at all) once this post goes up.

***

Thanks for reading, guys! I’ll see you next time!

-Ariel

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