Spoiler Free Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Title: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Pub. Date: March 6th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 320

Format: Physical

Buddy Read: Melanie @Meltotheany, Amy @ACourtOfCrownsandQuills , Jules @JAIronside, Julie @PagesandPens, and Paloma


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.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I read this dark gem of a book and I cannot stop thinking about it! I typically don’t pick up witchy reads til’ the Fall season but couldn’t resist picking this one up when I laid eyes on the STUNNING cover 😍 and I am SOOOO glad I did! easily one of my favorite reads this year so far, The Wicked Deep is 5 star worthy in my little bookworm 💜! This beautiful sad and atmospheric read truly sunk its teeth into me & wouldn’t let go into the wee hours of the morning. Very rarely do I get chills while reading a book but opening a single page in this one was like stepping foot onto Sparrow Oregon. I found myself instantly drawn to the water so much so that we drove to a nearby pier for the afternoon. This book stirred the senses and made you a willing participant, from the bonfires on the eve of the Summer Solstice to the Crucible effect the day after a body washed ashore. I was looking at everyone with a critical eye trying to figure out what was what (intentionally vague cause spoilers 😂) & even when we all figured it out, it was still hella enjoyable!

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We meet our MC Penny who lives on the private island of Lumiere with her mother who has mentally checked out ever since the day her husband walked out never to be seen or heard of again. Penny isn’t your typical teenager & prefers to keep to herself In her room studying tide charts. She takes a small boat ride every morning into town to attend the Sparrow High School where she has one really close friend. Every year Sparrow prepares for the tourist attraction their town turns into during the week leading up to the Summer Solstice. Every year one boy dies & his body is washed ashore. It is believed to be a curse placed on the town as retribution for the unjust killings of the Swan sisters. Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel were said to be responsible for many a broken home. They were accused of seducing the husbands and boyfriends away from the women of Sparrow. Stones tied to their ankles, they were mercilessly drowned. They are believed to return on the Summer Solstice to inhabit the body of unsuspecting girls, each seduces a boy, and drown them within a brief period of time.  Sometimes it’s three boys & other times they may get greedy. The townspeople have accepted this curse, accustomed to hearing the harbor bells ring when another male body is found floating in the waters. Once the last sister has had her kill, the town resumes back to normal. Everyone hoping it isn’t one of their boys this time around.

Photo credits: Dina Demille Tumblr

One of the most chilling aspects of this book is how acceptant the townspeople have become. Sparrow is known for this curse and the tourists it draws in for the summer season only add to the creepy vibes. The town is buzzing, every girl is suspected of being possessed by one of the Swan sisters. Sparrow’s boys aren’t safe & neither are those visiting for the season.  Bo, an out of towner looking for employment responds to a outdated Help Wanted ad posted by Penny. There was a time Penny was open to the idea of getting a second set of hands to help with the light tower near Lumiere island. Eventually this became her undertaking but that all changes when Bo enters the scene. Both Penny & Bo carry secrets and they know this about each other. Was it a case of instalove? not in my opinion. Penny wasn’t thrilled to help this guy out when he first showed up. Bo was more focused on keeping a low profile while gardening on the island for some extra cash. Their story didn’t have any of the butterfly feelings other ships in YA are known for. I didn’t expect to fall in love with their story but I did & I know that’s because theirs is both sad and beautiful.

The Wicked Deep is one of those haunting reads that’ll stay in my mind & heart for many years to come. One that I can see myself getting sucked into every year whenever the mood for a dark read set in a small town by the water. I know that I’ll also be re-reading this one when we get closer to the date of it’s premiere on Netflix (see here) which I’m hoping is just as wonderful as this book cause it SOOOO deserves to be brought to life on the screen 🙌🏼


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45 thoughts on “Spoiler Free Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw”

    1. Thank you Raven! 💜 more creepy than anything, very atmospheric 🙌🏼 I hope you do, it’s def going on my list of top 2018 reads 😆 & the cover underneath is only for the first print 😭


  1. Amazing review, love! Thank you so much for reading this (and everything else) with me! Hehe! And that picture still make me breathless. But then I start thinking about the siren song and get spooked! Hahaha! 💗xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mel! 😆💕It’s morning fave photo on my gram ☺️the Siren song was hella spooky but omgahhh it’s gonna be 10 times more eerie if they have them singing it in the Netflix show 👀😂 XoXo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually couldn’t find it in a bookstore when it first came out. I was even at The Strand in NYC. That’s probably saying something. Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book, and can’t wait for the film version. I don’t mind if I am able to figure things out in a book, as long as the journey is entertaining, and I was throughly entertained by this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! & it was til’ the very end 😭 I’m hoping the Netflix series does it justice. The writing is so beautiful & descriptive w/out being overbearing….think it’ll be awesome on the screen 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼


  3. This sounds amazing Lilly. I have The Wicked Deep on my Kindle but honestly it’s only after reading your review that I’ve gotten a feel for what it’s about. It definitely sounds creepy, a perfect read for autumn and Halloween, but I likely wouldn’t be able to wait that long before picking it up. Also if it’s going to be on Netflix soon then I should probably read it sooner rather than later because this is something I want to see on the TV! 😀
    Great review. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! ☺️ I am so glad I picked this one up recently cause Being a mood reader I really thought saving it for the Fall would’ve been best. Whelp! Turns out this was PERFECT & everything I needed this time around! The first printing will be the only books with this cover under the dust jacket btw, this also served as encouragement to buy my copy 😍😂 super stoked for the Netflix show, I HIGHLY recommend this one for you, I have a feeling you’d LOVE it! 💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. 🙂 Oh I’m a mood reader too so chances are I’ll end up as saving this until autumn as much as I want to get to it sooner anyways.
        Well I never need too much encouragement to buy books, especially if they’re books as good as this one seems to be. 🙂
        Hopefully the Netflix adaptation will be a good one then. Especially given how much you enjoyed the book right? 🙂 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. EeeK! I’m so glad to hear you loved this one! Hope you’re planning on watching the Netflix adaptation so we can compare notes 😆 & yeah I have the urge to pick it up again and that NEVER HAPPENS (except for HP & The Goblet Of Fire) 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm…I say you eliminate all doubt! 😂😂😂 I honestly loved this one to pieces! It’s such a short read too, read it in two sittings and I’m not THAT type of reader haha! Thank you Kelly, I do hope you end up loving it if you decide to give it a go 💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I SO want to read this book and your review made me so excited, Lilly, thank you very much for that haha. It sounds like a captivating, very atmospheric kind of read…. I’m eager to get my hands on it and hopefully love it as much as you did 😀 Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness! this makes me so happy! ❤ ❤ ❤ I really hope you love it to pieces! it was such a quick atmospheric read that left me wanting more *sobs* cannot wait for the Netflix series to fill the void *fingers crossed* Happy Reading Marie! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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