Rating: 4.5 / 5
When I pulled a prompt for a book set on an island, I asked for suggestions from my booksta friends. THE WICKED DEEP by Shea Ernshaw was one of the suggestions I received and I already had it on my shelves, so it was perfect!
THE WICKED DEEP is set in the town of Sparrow, a town that was cursed after three women were sentenced to death as witches. Because they were killed by drowning, once a year the sisters return by taking control of three young women and lure young men to their deaths in the water.
Penny Carter is a young woman who knows the truth of the sisters, but she meets Bo, a stranger to Sparrow who doesn’t believe the local legends. She takes him in and gives him work at the island she calls home where her family is responsible for maintaining the lighthouse. As young men begin to die, the locals begin to throw accusations at each other and it is Penny who sees the real truth.
I really enjoyed this read and flew through it in no time! The author does a good job of building up the atmospheric, haunting setting. In addition to what is going on in the present day, we get flashbacks to when the sisters were human to see how they became the bitter, murdering spirits who haunt Sparrow. We also see how ugly humans can be as well as they make accusations at each other when they have no real way of knowing who is inhabited by the three spirits.
I thought the author did a great job of depicting the teens who have grown up under the threat of this legend. While some (like Penny) worried about the potential of being cursed or killed, you also have a lot of teens who want to tempt fate. They throw parties which involve submerging themselves in the water and putting themselves at risk of being taken over or drowned. Even when bodies start turning up, there is a sense of being invincible.
This book managed to delivery a few crafty surprises and I really enjoyed it. I’d recommend it as a good, fast fantasy read!
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#AroundtheYearin52Books – a book set on an island