The Children’s Book Review | May 7, 2018
The Wicked Deep
Written by Shea Ernshaw
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardback: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2018)
What to expect: Witches, Hauntings
Grab your flashlight and get ready to read long in to the night: THE WICKED DEEP will haunt you until you’ve reached the thrilling conclusion.
Penny Talbot lives in a small town unlike any other. Each summer, the town of Sparrow swells with tourists come to wait for one thing: the eventual deaths of young men by drowning. Two hundred years ago, the town of Sparrow convicted three beautiful sisters of witchcraft and flung them in to the bay to drown. Now, legend says that the girls return each summer to take over the bodies of three unlucky girls to reap their revenge on locals and tourists alike.
All of this is strange and horrifying enough – boys have been killed each year since the town drowned the Swan sisters – but Penny has an unusual gift. She can see which of the girls in town are inhabited by the vengeful spirit of a Swan sister. So when Bo, a handsome young man, comes to town, she allows him to move on to her family’s private island to work and stay away from the lure of the Swan sisters. And as the summer progresses, her love for him grows, until she is forced to choose between saving Bo, and saving herself from an unspeakable fate.
Debut writer Shea Ernshaw twists a compelling narrative, equal parts horror legend and contemporary mystery. The story is briskly paced, and readers will fall quickly in to the high-stakes world of small-town Sparrow. Surprisingly, the story picks up more intrigue as it goes on. Wildly avoiding a sagging midpoint so common in novels, THE WICKED DEEP only gets more interesting. Readers will rip through the second half, eagerly devouring the twists and heartbreaking turns of Penny and Bo. Ernshaw is a talented writer who draws on the occult and dark, shady legends to weave a heart-breaking, captivating story. The perfect witchy read for fantasy fans hungering for magical darkness.
About the Author
Shea Ernshaw is the author of The Wicked Deep. She lives and writes in a small mountain town in Oregon. She works as a producer for a film production company and shares a home with her husband, a dog named Diesel, and two cats.
The Wicked Deep, written by Shea Ernshaw, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like The Wicked Deep by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Books About Witches, Hauntings, and Young Adult Fiction.