By: Shea Ernshaw
Standalone |402 Pages | Pub. 2018
Wicked Deep At a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★ ★
- Sisterhood: And you thought the Sanderson sisters were insane?!
- Heroine: Ginny Weasley is that you?
- Brutality: Sleeping with the fishes…
- Creepiness: This could be an episode of “Are You Afraid of the Dark”
Pairs Well With
- Blue curacao
- Spiced rum
Beware. Spoilers are coming…
If you want a book to haunt you then we found it. It is going to be difficult to insert my humor into this review because there was nothing funny about this book. It was not your typical YA novel, but beautifully written and primarily stream of consciousness. What little dialogue was present really drove the action. The legend of the Swan sisters was amazing and tragic. 💘 The english major in my soul was perfectly happy to sit around and dissect every part of The Wicked Deep.
Ernshaw used every tool at her disposal to create the creepiest island and small town possible. The death bell? I got the chills when Penny had to ring that thing. Who has a death bell in public because they have so many drownings? Bodies just wash up on shore like it is an everyday occurrence.
Also, these tourists are so wrong in the head. They travel to watch the bodies roll up and then pull out their phones like it’s time to take a selfie with the dead body. Ew. I love true crime, but it’s too far people. Too far.
I LOVE an unreliable narrator. What I didn’t know is that I love an unreliable narrator that you didn’t see coming even more. To be fair, I knew something was up with Penny, so I wasn’t shocked by the twist. I didn’t expect Hazel to have been responsible for Kyle’s death though. Olivia was looking really guilty.
Due to the unreliable narrator, I didn’t get a solid feel for any of the characters. Considering 80% of the book was Penny’s thoughts, I still felt very separated and not overly invested in any of them. Honestly, Bo or Penny could have died and I wouldn’t have even cried. But, I love a good tragedy and this was a nice reprieve from soulmates and insta-love.
I would like to ask Hazel why in the world she thinks Bo would ever take her back after she murdered his brother. Someone needs to give that girl a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You because 200 years has not given her any brains when it comes to men. Murder is usually a red flag.
Yeah, this book was creepy but I loved it and thought it was the perfect mixture of folklore, witchcraft, love, and revenge. The imagery in this book was powerful and intense. I felt like I was living out this nightmare with the characters. Though, I must say I agree with Jess and wish this book had more plot and less stream of consciousness from Penny.
The whole book I had trouble imagining the Swan sisters as three beautiful young adults and instead pictured them as the Sanderson sisters going around luring children to their deaths. I mean they had a magical coma inducing song and everything.
“Maybe this town just hated them because they were different. Because it was easier to kill them than to accept that the men in this place are thick-skulled misogynistic assholes.”
I loved that this town was basically living an old wives tale of what happens when you sentence women to death for “witchcraft” because they had the audacity to be successful entrepreneurs and enjoy casual relationships. Because of course, it couldn’t just be that men can’t keep it in their pants it has to be witchcraft… sigh… I’m not saying we should all go to the Wicked Deep extreme and live out an epic 200-year revenge long-game but really let’s start holding men accountable for their actions instead of drowning teenagers. The Swan sisters take revenge and dismantling the patriarchy a little too seriously but the town definitely had it coming.
“Love is an enchantress – devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”
I admit that I did not see the whole Penny being possessed by Hazel Swan thing coming. I legitimately almost fell out of my hammock when that revelation came. I knew something was up with her but I did not guess it was a possession!! And then the hits just kept coming with the fact that Hazel killed Bo’s brother AND Penny’s father! Ernshaw did NOT pull any punches in this one and I 100% respect her for it. I LOVE that Ernshaw didn’t force a happy ending for Bo and Hazel on us. I respect that Hazel redeemed herself a bit at the end and sacrificed herself to end the curse but that it ended it there. Well done!
I feel really conflicted about Hazel and Owen’s relationship. I’ll admit their dual deaths as they drowned together gave me flashbacks to Titanic but really what kind of asshat sells his fiance out as a witch? Coward.
Let us know what you thought of Wicked Deep in the comments!