Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

A haunting tale of three sisters on a quest for revenge…

Two centuries ago, in small, isolated Sparrow, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery and drowned in the waters surrounding the town. Now, each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three girls and seeking revenge by dragging boys to their watery deaths.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the town’s fate. Then, on the eve of the sisters’ return, Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything…

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Wowser, I loved this beguiling story full of witchcraft and revenge. Even the cover tempts you to pick it up with smatterings of foil that catch the light, making the book shimmer. It is beautifully designed. This isn’t a book that languishes in a tbr pile, it’s one that calls to you until you pick it up and then it entrances you, pulling you in deeper and deeper until you reach the end. Such is the magic of the Swan sisters and their sinister tale.

Ernshaw spins this tale with expert ease. Spanning two hundred years, the Swan sisters story is one that has had a hold on the people of Sparrow, a town cursed by its treatment of the three sisters, outsiders, who were said to bewitch the men with their beauty and the perfumes they concocted. Every year since they have returned to seek their revenge. And as the deadly Swan Season approaches visitors swarm to the town and the teenagers prepare for the annual beach party that welcomes in the season.
As the Swan song starts a sense of foreboding sweeps over the town as they wait for the eerie silence that means that the sisters have returned and the hunt for the first victim begins.

This story swept me away and I loved inhibiting the town of Sparrow (from a safe distance). Full of atmosphere, I was sad to finish the novel but eager to read it again so I can look for all the clues that brought me to the ending. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! Oh and did I mention that it has a shimmery cover?

 

 

I wake with the choking sense of seawater in my throat. I sit upright, fisting my white sheet in both hands. The feeling of drowning claws at my lungs, but it was only a nightmare.

My head throbs, temples pulse, the lingering taste of whiskey still on my tongue.

It takes a moment to orient myself, last night still whirling through my head. I push back the sheet and stretch my toes over the hardwood floor, feeling stiff and achy like a hammer is cracking against my skull from the inside. Sunlight peeks through the daffodil-yellow curtains, reflecting off the white walls and the white dresser and the high white ceiling – blinding me.

I press my fingers to my eyes and yawn. In the full-length mirror mounted to the closet door, I catch my reflection. Dark circles rim both eyes, and my ponytail has slid partway free so that strands of coffee-brown hair drift across my face. I look horrible.

The floor is cold, but I plod to one of the massive windows overlooking the choppy sea and slide the window upward in its frame.

In the wind I can still hear it: the faint cry of a song.

Thanks so much to Jo Reid at Simon and Schuster for my copy.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw is published on the 8th of March 2018.

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