The Wicked Deep

★★★★☆ Author: Shea ErnshawGenres: paranormal, romance, young adultPublisher: Simon PulsePublished: 3/6/2018Two 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.Well this was a pleasant surprise. This book was recommended to me by my library, and was available to borrow, so I took it. I admit that part of the draw was the cover, and the second part being the how the premise was a hard-to-ignore Hocus Pocus catch. Three sisters, terrorizing a town. I had to know if it was a rip off of the beloved movie or not. It’s not. The three sister angle is about where it ends, after that it’s a story about a sea side town in Oregon suffering from a curse over the past two centuries for executing three sisters suspected of being witches. Though the curse angle in itself is not original, the paranormal and magical aspect of this felt new, it felt like a nicely woven history of a small town, with a fairly unique ‘ghost story’. I enjoyed it immensely and read it almost in one sitting. Why not 5 stars? It is a very slow start and has some pretty cookie-cutter ‘teens party and drink etc etc’ moments in it, and not until the very end did I care about our main character, Penny. Honestly, her voice is rather bland and uninteresting, a character that was built up to have potential that never quite connects with me. She reads as someone with a boring life and, therefore, is rather boring to listen to as my narrator. What saves her is the characters around her. Rose, Bo, Olivia, Gigi, even her mother are fascinating characters in their own right, and hold up Penny and save her. She gets better in the end though, when all the shit starts hitting the proverbial fan. The plot twists were mildly predictable and I had it called early on, but kudos to Ernshaw for throwing me enough curve balls to make me doubt myself, and for keeping it interesting enough that I didn’t care I had it mostly figured out. Thanks, library, for the suggestion! Purchase on: Amazon

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