Book Review | The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Well, I completely fell head over heels in love with this book when I saw the beautiful hardcover design! Although that was the first reason the book grabbed my attention, I started to see reviews which spoke ridiculously highly of this magical story. I buddy read this with Charlotte and we both completely fell in love with the book! When it comes to stories that have morally grey characters and lots of twists I just can’t help but read as quickly as I can.

Title: The Wicked Deep
Series: N/a
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 8th March 2018
Pages: 320
Source: Hardcover purchased from Book Depository


‘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.’


‘Some places are bound by magic. Ensnared by it.’ 

The Wicked Deep is set in the cursed, small town of Sparrow, where 200 years ago the three Swan sisters were drowned having been accused of being witches. Every year following, for a few weeks, the sisters return by stealing the bodies of three local girls. They get revenge on the town by murdering boys each summer, and the town hasn’t been able to stop it for the 200 years. The majority of the story is told from the perspective of Penny Talbot, a girl who lives alone with her mother on an island across from the town, following the mysterious disappearance of her father 3 years earlier. Her mother is still grief stricken by loss and appears as a shell of what she is formerly described as, which makes Penny feel as though she is bound to the town of Sparrow to look after her.

On the last day of school, Penny’s best friend Rose (who is such an adorable character) convinces her to go to a party celebrating the beginning of “Swan Season” which is when the drowning takes place. This is when Penny first gets to know the love interest of the story, Bo. He is an outsider and since Penny knows that the town won’t offer help she eventually ends up inviting him to stay on their island. I really liked the romance element, it seemed to take time and it was definitely necessary for the overall story. At the same time, Bo’s character is just so endearing to read for the beginning. Towards the end he becomes far more of a morally grey character but this was necessary for his his own development.

Some of the smaller chapters are presented as background to the main story, either through the history of the town or through the perspective of the Swan sisters. This structure works so well, you learn more and more to help with the present story and it keeps you wondering about things too. There are a few twists from around halfway in and once you get to them you’ll struggle to stop reading this gem of a book! I won’t dare spoil anything but I really couldn’t put this book down after reaching them.

– The writing is beautiful whilst the plot is mysterious and unique.
– There are some major plot twists half way which will entice you.
– Characters wise you’ll probably find it hard to dislike even the villains of the story.
I can’t fault this story, I fell in love with Shea’s writing and if you’ve been hesitant to buy this book so far then honestly, don’t wait any longer. It’s one of the standalones you’ll absolutely adore this year, especially if you’re a fan of paranormal, magical stories!

‘Some curses are manifested from desire or injustice.’


Purchase Link*:
Book Depository

About the Author

Photograph by Sky Pinnick



‘Shea Ernshaw, under the pseudonym Shea Olsen, is the coauthor of the upcoming Flower with Elizabeth Craft. She is also the author of The Wicked Deep. Shea lives and writes in a small mountain town in Oregon. She works as a producer for a film production company and shares a home with her husband, a dog named Diesel, and two cats.


Source: Simon and Schuster’s website



Okay so this cover manicure by Jennie Shaw is just… wow. I wish I could paint my nails as well as this and they just show off how beautiful the book is yet again!

A post shared by jennie 🇨🇦 (@jennieshaw) on


And this is my hardcover copy! Look at that holo and design and just… 😍 There’s even a gorgeous design under the dust jacket… You need this book, really.

Have you read this yet?
What did you think?

Feel free to leave a comment or Tweet @LuchiaHoughton!


Follow me on my social media pages to keep up to date with further posts!
Bloglovin’ — Facebook — Instagram — Twitter


*This is an affiliate link, I earn a small commission if a purchase is made.

4 thoughts on “Book Review | The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s