The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw
Morning, I hope you’re all well.
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing The Wicked deep, by Shea Ernshaw.
If you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are nice and comfortable, then let’s dive right in.
The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw is a dark fantasy novel with supernatural elements set in the isolated town of Sparrow. For two centuries, the Swan Sisters’ curse has plagued the town. Each
year, the spirits of the swan sisters possess an unsuspecting young girl to do their bidding and drown young boys in the nearby harbour for revenge.
How I felt about the story in general
I really enjoyed this book. It is written in first person, present tense, a style I’m quickly coming to adore. The author quickly introduces the story’s main protagonist, Penny, who years after her father disappeared, has had to care for her heartbroken mother. We learn about the island the two live on, across the harbour from the main town, which added to the sense of isolation Penny feels.
The book had a continuous dark, eerie feel to it which kept me on my toes, even when nothing particularly dramatic was happening.
Themes included death and loss, love vs revenge, and those who belong vs outsiders.
Throughout the story, we meet a host of characters, although most are obviously meant to be secondary. The two main characters are Penny (as mentioned above) and Bo, an outsider come to the town to supposedly seek work.
Penny is a strong young woman, having had to be responsible for many of her mother’s duties on the island since her father disappeared three years ago. Despite her inner strength, Penny also has many fears which plague her daily, refusing to let her mind rest, even in sleep.
Bo, as an outsider is instantly disliked by most of the town, although those his age do begin to warm up to him a little as time goes on. He’s more cautious in nature, keeping secrets close to his chest, while also being a genuinely kind and helpful person. He soon made a great friend for Penny, whose inner feeling of isolation had grown over the years.
I really liked the mysterious feel of this story. Secrets and hidden truths are slowly revealed, bit by bit. The author had me turning the page, hoping to discover another juicy bit of information.
I also really enjoyed how the author threaded in little segments of backstory for the Swan Sisters throughout as this helped me to understand why they would seek revenge on the town, for having been wronged two centuries beforehand.
This particularly quote was an easy choice.
‘How do you let yourself unravel in front of someone, knowing your armour is the only thing keeping you safe?’
This is one of the most relatable quotes I’ve ever encountered. To be human is an often painful experience when it comes to emotion, particularly vulnerability. In this modern age, how many of us are actually willing to show our most vulnerable selves to others? How many of us feel safe to do so, even behind closed doors, with the countless masks we wear and roles we play in our daily lives?
This one will definitely forever be burned into my mind.
Overall, I found the Wicked Deep to be a wonderful read.
It was eerie, consistent, and left me guessing right up until the end.
My rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to lovers of dark fantasy and the supernatural.
To learn more about the book, please visit its Goodreads page.
To learn more about Shea Ernshaw, please visit her website.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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I hope you have a wonderful weekend,