Hello, hello! It’s the last Wednesday of the month already. Time flies when you’re having fun (or just going about daily life), I suppose. Anyway, you all know what happens today: a book review! This week, I’ll be talking about The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. It was published back in March of this year by Simon and Schuster. I read it with the reading group I’m in and decided that I have too many thoughts about it to not write a post. I usually try to keep my posts as close to spoiler free as possible (sometimes a couple will slip through), but that’s going to be impossible here. Spoilers this way lie. You’ve been warned.
The Wicked Deep is the story of a small town called Sparrow and the curse that has plagued it every summer for two centuries. Why is there a curse? Because the town sentenced three sisters to death by drowning for acts of witchcraft, of course. What is the curse? The three sisters possess the bodies of three girls from the town and lure boys to their death in the harbor. Poor Penny, a seventeen-year-old who lives on an island with her not-quite-all-there mother, has accepted that it’s the town’s fate to suffer the wrath of the witches every year. That is until Bo, an unwitting outsider, shows up and she decides it’s her mission to protect him. Things go all kinds of wrong from there.
I have to admit that I was totally in love with this book as I was reading it. The setting was wonderful and the writing pulled me along. Even after I finished it, I was prepared to give it five stars. Then, I took a breath and started thinking about it. Really thinking about it. That was when things got super dark, and not in a good way.
I ended up feeling sooooo bad for Penny. First, she’s possessed by Hazel (violation much?), but then there’s the whole Bo thing. I mean, there’s sex. That means Penny is basically ghost roofied and forced into sex without any say. To be fair, Bo doesn’t know about Penny being Hazel at first. But after everything is over, he keeps dating Penny like everything is normal and he was in love with her all along. At the same time, he keeps pining over Hazel. So, he’s not in love with Penny, which means she’s stuck in a relationship with some guy who’s not really into her. It all just got very rapey the more I thought about it. By itself that’s fine (not every story has to be a happy one), but there will be people who think this is a great love story and that’s what really makes me sad.
Aside from that, I also expected more from Penny’s mom. She supposedly has some kind of psychic powers and knows when people are on her island and all that, but she doesn’t kick Hazel’s ghostly ass? She doesn’t really do much at all. It’s apparent during her conversation with Hazel that she knows things, but she doesn’t act. It was just a little disappointing.
Ultimately, I had a love/hate relationship with The Wicked Deep. I’ll still keep a look out for other books by Shea Ernshaw, though. It was good enough that I was swept along, which makes it worth looking into other stories by her.
Overall, my issues with it dropped my rating down to a 3 out of 5. I definitely suggest picking it up if you’re into stuff like that, but really think about the story. Maybe I’m making too much out of something small. Maybe you’ll find it creepy too. Who knows?