This review contains spoilers.
“Love is an enchantress – devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”
Published: 2018, by Simon Pulse.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Witches
Contains: Strong Language, Blood/Gore, Drowning, Kidnapping, Death
‘The Wicked Deep’ tells the story of a centuries long curse on the town of Sparrow. Penny Talbot has watched as three boys residing in the town are lured to their deaths by the Swan Sisters every year, unable to work out how to break it. However, when Bo Carter arrives, she decides that this year has to be different; she couldn’t lose him.
This has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year, falling in love with the story from the blurb alone, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I’ve always had a fascination with witchcraft and magic, consuming any media possible with the mention of it, so I knew I’d love this novel. However, I didn’t realise just how invested I’d be into the Swan Sisters history. The story is told in the first person, Penny being our narrator, however, on occasion the chapters are broken up by small segments of the Swan Sisters lives, gradually telling the story of their deaths. I adored that, falling in love with the Sisters and almost routing for them on occasion. Hazel’s history was heartbreaking, forcing us to understand the curse and I adored how much we learnt to differentiate between the siblings. Although, all three are guilty of murder, they each approached the men in their own ways, proving how unlike each other they actually were. Throughout the town, all three were always the culprits, yet as you read further into the story, some are more desirable than others. They were all beautifully complex characters.
Penny’s character – from what we know of her – was wonderful to learn about. Determined and independent, we follow her throughout the first evening of Swan season, being a good friend to Rose (whose relationship is just adorable!) and attending a party. However, what I loved most about this character was her relationship with Bo. They are adorable. Although, the majority of their relationship in the novel isn’t with Penny per say, their approach to another and dialogue was fun to read, and left me continuously wanting more interactions between the pair.
The novel itself is fast paced, being blunt in its storytelling meaning there was no content that wasn’t crucial to the plot. However, we were drip fed information, gradually learning more about the curse and those affected in a brilliant way; nothing about this book was predictable. Ernshaw’s writing style is gorgeously poetic, the description throughout leaving me in awe and desperately wanting more once the story was complete.
Overall, I adored this story. The characters were well-rounded, the plot dark yet exciting and I’m desperate for more content by Shea Ernshaw in the future.