ARC review, book review, young adult

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (ARC Review)

Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Date published: March 6, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. 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.

– My Review –

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Where do I even begin with this book? I loved everything about it: the writing, the setting, the atmosphere, the characters, the lore, the story in general. I could go on, and on, and on. I really wish that this book had been thicker, because I would have been happy with being lost in it for much longer than I was.

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the writing in The Wicked Deep. The book is mainly told from the perspective of Penny Talbot, but there are the occasional interludes written in the third person, that also clear up bits of the mystery little by little. Through the effective narration of this book, I was able to get a feel for Penny right away, as well as some of the supporting characters. It was almost as if I myself was transported to the town of Sparrow, and was experiencing everything with them.

I found myself being affected by the things influencing Penny, such as events, and even the weather. I swear, that I times I could even hear the waves, and smell the salt of the sea when a storm was being described. Sparrow is definitely a place that I would visit if it was real, and now I have this strong urge to travel to the nearest coast and spend some time there. I’m also feeling the need to read more books set in coastal towns (so let me know if you have any recommendations). While I enjoy contemporary novels more now than I used to, and I would have enjoyed The Wicked Deep whether it contained magic or not (due to the reasons listed in the first paragraph), I did really like that a 200-year-old curse was present in this story.

I really enjoy dark elements in stories, and even all-out dark stories, so that was really like a cherry on top for me. I loved how the curse was described, and how it manifested itself, as well as how it affected the characters! (Ah! If you’ve read this book already, please DM me on Twitter so that we can fangirl!) I loved the magic, I loved Penny, I loved Bo, and I loved the Swan sisters. I would have devoured this book in one setting if adult responsibilities had allowed me to, because the mystery, the narration, and the story as a whole urged me to keep my nose in this book from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy all or any of the things that I mentioned in my review (I’m sorry I didn’t want to make another long list, haha). Shea Ernhaw is definitely an author who I will be keeping my eye on!

– About the Author –


Shea Ernshaw is an Oregon native and YA author. She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes. She drinks loads of tea and believes sunrises are where unicorns hide. She lives with her two cats, a dog, a husband, and a stack of books beside her bed she still needs to read. Her debut THE WICKED DEEP will be published by Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in 2018. You can connect with her on her website:, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

– Purchase Links –

amazon-canada chapters-indigo amazon-usa
amazon-uk book-depository amazon-australia


11 thoughts on “The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (ARC Review)

  1. I had a feeling this was a winner but I was waiting to hear your final thoughts I’m so happy you LOVED it! I can’t resist a witchy tale and this one is already in my cart to buy when I get to work in a few hours. I didn’t know it was set in a coastal town, these are my faves because they carry their own magic in and of itself. Ahhhh! Your review got me super hyped to get this one in my hands gear review!

    1. I know what you mean! I’m like that with certain books too hehe. And yesss, I can’t wait for you to see what’s under the dust cover! My bestie bought me this book for my birthday and is giving it to me on Sat and I cannot WAIT. I hope that you get to read this one soon because A. I think you’ll love it too (or so I hope lol), and B. so we can fangirl hahaha. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Lilly!

  2. […] Flavia The Bibliophile I discovered Flavia through Calendar Girls (can I just say that I love Calendar Girls already even though it has just started?) and I am so glad I did because her blog is simply breathtaking. I haven’t had the chance to read her recent posts yet, but I have read her book review of The Wicked Deep and I can already tell I am going to enjoy all of her posts in the future. […]

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