Book Review: The Wicked Deep

Greetings Readers!

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted!

I’ve been really busy lately getting ready for grad school and focusing on the 9 to 5, so this may be a recurring trend unfortunately. Regardless, I hope you stick around for more chills and thrills. I’m glad you’re here! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m sharing my review of The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw.

This is my most recent buddy read with Misty’s from Misty’s Book Space. I don’t think either of us have read any of Ernshaw’s former work, so we were both really curious to see what this mix of spooky and romance had to offer. This is my individual review, soon to be followed up with a buddy read and rant with Misty.

So what did I think of the book? Keep on reading!



Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrowโ€ฆ

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 sistersโ€™ 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.



***Brief disclosure***

I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.ย 


The Review:

I really wanted this book to be great, but it didn’t really hit the spot for me in the end.

This is my first read of something by this author, so it’s hard to know what to expect.

On the surface it had a lot going for it. A small coastal town of Sparrow has a horrific past. Three girls, known as the Swan sisters, were drowned for being witches. Now every summer their spirits come back from the grave to possess three young women, seducing young men into the cold waters.

This book had a lot of promise from the get go, but I felt conflicted on a number of things.

First off, the characters. This book is split between two characters. Penny, a girl who lives on a nearby island to Sparrow, and Hazel, one of the Swan sisters.

While I did enjoy the backstory of the town told from Penny, I was hoping for a bit more depth from her. I know that high schoolers may not have a ton of depth to them, but I wanted more. Her story was sad, but beyond that I didn’t really feel there was enough to her.

Hazel is quite different and wants to live again, not be thrown back into the waters of the afterlife like every year. Hazel I also felt was missing a certain something. For someone who’s spent the past two hundred years in the afterlife, you’d think she’d have a better plan to break her curse and live forever. But unfortunately what it turns into is a poor plan that had me asking why she even bothered in the first place.

I also thought both characters were a bit overly dramatic, especially Hazel. Maybe it came across that way to me because I’m not a huge romance person, but sometimes it got annoying to where I just wanted things to move forward.

The writing POV was in second person, and though in the past I’ve shied away from that style, it was executed quite well structure-wise.

The plot was interesting, but I felt that it deflated after a while. I think it was strongest in the beginning when the reader gets to know more about the history of the town and the curse. That was fun, along with the big beach party.

But after a while, the present gets a little dull in my opinion. This is coming from a guy who loves fast-paced books, so that could be a part of it, but it tended to drag here and there. There was also a reveal after the halfway mark that came out of the blue in a conversation and was extremely confusing.ย I also kind of wish things went a bit darker or scarier in this book. That would’ve made things more interesting.

In the end, this book was intriguing, but disappointing in my view. I can’t fully recommend it, but if you love teen romance and some light spooks along the way, this may be for you.


That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out the book review section of my blog or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!

Have a great day!


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  1. Sounds like it’s a great premise that doesn’t quite deliver. At 3 stars, you haven’t turned me off from the book, just that I would read it without great expectations. (Oh, haha, “Great Expectations.”)

    • Yeah, I also think it’s just my personal preferences that made it a bit dull in my eyes.

      Lol, Great Expectations. My dad tried to make me read that way back when but I rebelled ๐Ÿค˜

  2. Still might have to read this.. but it probably won’t be a high priority any time soon. Shame you didn’t enjoy it more.
    And if I had to recommend a similar book.. that is darker, but has less YA romance? I would Definitely have to say House of Hollow!
    Fantastic review, Jonathan, and better luck next time!

      • I know it’s not very nice but I always find it a little reassuring when other readers mention how endless their tbr is because.. At least it’s not just me! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        So welcome! Have a great week!

      • Haha, no worries. I think for some of us it’s an ongoing joke that we’re never gonna finish our TBR. It’s something we can all bond with for sure!

        Thanks! Here’s hoping my 9 to 5 stops being so crazy. I’ve hardly been able to do anything this week so far and it’s driving me nuts!

      • I believe that! It’s the one thing everyone seems to agree on.
        And, I don’t know about you, but I’m taking mine with me.

        Ouch, that’s rough, I hope it eases up soon! Make sure you’re getting some rest, too, can’t do anything if you end up over-exhausting yourself!

      • Yeah for sure. Haha I’d love to read books as a ghost one day.

        It’s been seriously messing with my creativity lately but I’m still pushing forward. Oh believe me I rest it up every nigh plenty. It’s too important

      • Let’s not hope for that too much. As fun as it sounds, it would probably get old pretty quickly..

        Life does have a way of taking over and drowning everything else out sometimes, things will settle down again!
        And sleep really is important.. it’s not always cooperative, however. ๐Ÿ˜…

      • Maybe, but then you could scare people if you got bored. I’ve always been a trickster so I would love that.

        I sure hope so!

        Actually I’m one of those annoying people that can sleep pretty much instantly. I’ve fallen asleep on my floor before lol

      • That’s brilliant! The elaborate afterlife scenario’s my brain will create because of this conversation will be highly entertaining.

        And I’m so jealous! I’m one of those ridiculously light sleepers that spends hours staring at the ceiling first. Insomnia’s a b!tch. ๐Ÿ˜†
        Are you also one of those people who can fall asleep reading?

      • Hahaha right? I’ve kinda determined if I had a choice I’d rather be a ghost than move on. The perks are so worth it! Fingers crossed lol.

        Sorry if I bragged too much. I know so many have issues sleeping, it’s just never been a problem for me. Haha yes I will start nodding off then get tired of myself and put the book down then take a nap.

      • I’d need some serious q&a with ‘the powers that be’ before making such decisions. Wouldn’t want to go into eternity blind. ๐Ÿ˜†

        No, no, it’s fine! When some of your friends are military you learn very quickly that they take sleeping to a whole new level.
        And that’s so lucky! I think the only thing that can put me to sleep is a good left hook. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      • Haha I’d like a little zoom sesh with the powers that be as well first. Very smart.

        Oh okay, glad I didnt take it too far. Thank you! It’s a blessing and a curse. I cant get too comfy or I naturally tend towards sleeping. First world problems haha!

      • Got to keep an eye out for those loop holes. ๐Ÿ˜‚

        (I have a bad habit of taking things too far sometimes too.. it’s all the sarcasm and blunt honesty, I think.) And, man, I’m just SO jealous. I have to sleep vicariously through others, wait, is that a thing? ๐Ÿ˜†
        Speaking of.. Have a great night!

      • Right, and fine print!

        Haha, you’re preaching to the choir. I have a tough time filtering myself. I am constantly sarcastic and bluntly honest.

        Hmm I’ve never heard it in that context, but I’m cool with it lol. You too!

      • Hey, those are pretty good traits to have, when used for good.. but, some people, they just don’t appreciate no filter.

        Lol! Hey, when you’re sleep deprived, you do what you got to do. ๐Ÿ˜†
        Just think, once you start school, that trick is going to be handy.

      • Haha well too bad. That filter rarely gets turned back on.

        Yeah totally. I work well off 6 hrs a night but have been sleeping 7 lately. Life is tiring lol. Oh itll definitely come in handy!

      • Hey, the right people will get it, and anyone who doesn’t like it.. can show themselves out! You be you! ๐Ÿ˜†

        That’s a pretty good balance.. but, yes, life is tiring. Exhausting, even, so enjoy whatever rest you can get-when you can get it!

      • Whatever works for you(and doesn’t get anyone hurt, require a ritual sacrifice, bloodletting and/or the summoning of dark forces)!
        Besides, isn’t the theory that putting positive energy into the universe, can only effect things positively?

      • Hey, you never know, it’s always the ones you least expect!

        And that’s pretty cool.. We could all use a little more good in our lives these days!

      • Lol! You dont have to worry about me, unless it guarantees a 4.0 in grad school… hahaha just kidding!

        Totally. All about the positivity these days.

      • Always pick the side with cookies.. They have their priorities straight. ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Not a bad thing to be.. and it beats the cost of therapy!

      • Or brownies? That’s my fave!

        True! Gotta keep a healthy mindset. I got stressed at work today so I had to meditate to kill that negative energy.

      • No worries. I work in the legal industry and its inherently stressful. Meditation helps calm my emotions down if I’m getting frustrated. It’s not perfect and doesnt always last me through the day, but it does help. I usually listen to Mary Maddox and her Meditation Oasis stuff.

      • That does sounds stressful.. but I’m glad meditating helps some and, thank you, I’ll have to check that out. I’ve tried breathing and visualization.. but I suck at meditation. It’s a lot harder to empty/quiet your mind than it really should be. ๐Ÿ˜…

      • Yeah it can be quite the drain on you emotionally when you dont feel appreciated for killing it.

        I dont know why but I find it very easy to cut off my thoughts. Maybe it’s just Mary’s voice? Very soothing. Almost like a mom figure telling me to calm down and that everything is going to be okay.

      • Of course, you work hard and want that work to be valued. That’s not unreasonable.

        I’m pretty sure, at this point, that my thoughts can only be cut off by decapitation.
        And the whole ‘motherly figure’ won’t relax me.. Maybe they have meditation for cat people: two hours of the soothing sound of purring.

      • Yeah. I’ve ended up having this issue with every firm Ive worked for.

        Hahaha! Hmm I think you need a thought blade. I believe they’re made of clouds ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

        Well she doesnt sound like a mom, but to me she just kinda makes me feel that way.

        Yes, all the purrs!

      • No matter where you go, there will always be challenges, but it sounds like you’re handling them really well! (If that helps..)

        And I don’t know about a thought blade but.. I hear shock therapy is safer than ever. ๐Ÿคญ

        And, friend, if that lady sounded like *my mother.. There would be nothing soothing about it.
        Honestly? I’ve never actually listened to an audiobook or meditation app so.. I have no idea if they would work for me. I’ll have to find out!

        Hope your week is looking up!

      • Aw, thanks! Yeah, I have specific coworkers I talk to that really help me think things through when I get overwhelmed or upset, which can be a weekly thing.

        LOL! I think I’ll pass on the shock therapy.

        Oh, if it sounded like my mom I would definitely not listen to it! My mom’s a goofball, not the best for a meditation podcast.

        Actually some of the videos I use are on Youtube if that’s a better medium you wanna try out.

        It’s certainly busy, but I’m handling things. I will say with school and everything I haven’t written at all this week. That’s the one thing I’m struggling to find time for.

      • That’s wonderful.. Everyone should have some kind of support system.

        And, hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it!

        Goofball? That’s an interesting way to put it.. are you two close? I lover her but.. Mine is a handful.

        Hey, YouTube, good idea. I’ll check that out, thanks!

        And that’s a shame. You have had a lot going on, though! Hopefully you’ll be able to get the time soon? Good luck!

      • Haha, no thanks on the shock therapy.

        Yeah, my mom and I are super close. I call and bug her all the time. Definitely a momma’s boy. Moms definitely can be a handful at times, but that love shines through.

        I’m big on youtube and creating playlists so for me it was an easy choice. Very welcome!

        I am a little saddened not being able to work on my project at the moment but i should have time on the weekends at least and sporadically when I’m caught up on school work. Right now I’m just obsessing on school to make sure i set myself up for success. That’s gotta come first right now. Thanks!

      • Hey, I completely agree about shock treatments! I’d be too nervous of the possible repercussions.. And I’ve probably read too much horror/SciFi.

        It’s so nice that you two have a happy relationship! My mom and I are both pretty stubborn so.. we butt heads quite a bit. My dad, though, we’re a lot closer.

        And, of course, you’re preparing for the future.. That’s a definite priority. Best of luck juggling everything, though, you seem to be determined enough to handle it!

        I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of this beautiful weekend! And stay safe!

      • Theres never too much horror and scifi! Said from the book addict lol

        My moms not quite as stubborn since I’ve flown from the nest. That really changed our dynamic. Aha! That makes sense. I dont really have a dad so I just put everything into my relationship with my mom. It’s always one of them!

        Right. Right now I’m just trying not to get frustrated with work when I could be working on school stuff.

        You too!

      • I absolutely agree! But I was raised on Stargate, Star Trek, and b-rated Scyfy movies.. ๐Ÿคญ

        Having such a great relationship with your mom came out of it so.. That’s good, at least.
        My dad chilled out after I left the country but, now that I’m back, he’s a lot more high strung. I wonder why.. Poor old man worries too much.

        And good luck with work, it sucks that the crazy levels have been so high lately, hopefully it calms down soon! Happy thoughts and stay safe!

      • I was raised on Doctor who and Star Trek TNG so I’m right there with you!

        Hmm maybe he missed you and that’s why he is being this way?

        I hope so too! Fingers crossed, and you too!

      • Good taste!

        And that’s probably it. I’m the baby and leaving the nest was hard on him. They never stop seeing their kids, no matter how grown we are, and I can’t say I blame them.

        Thank you! Fingers cross and happy thoughts!

      • Haha I’ll tell my mom you said so.

        Aha, we found the root cause! I’m the middle kid but I have the most time to talk with my mom so I kind of win. Plus I’m the biggest momma’s boy in the family lol.

        Yes, all the happy thoughts!

      • We are blessed. Family is very important.. even if they can drive you batsh!t crazy sometimes!

        Of course.. “Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings” – Peter Pan
        Be well!

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