Review of The Wicked Deep

Review of The Wicked Deep:

            The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw is one of my new favorite novels upon reading it. The novel is unique, imaginative, and charming. It is a shining example of balance between beautiful writing and realistic and relatable storytelling. The novel also is a fantastically original idea with great characters, phenomenal plot twists, and a fantastic atmosphere.

            First, The Wicked Deep is about three sisters known as the Swan sisters who came to the town Sparrow in Oregon two hundred years prior and were killed by drowning after being accused of witchcraft. Supposedly they placed a curse on the town and to this day they come back as ghost and possess girls every summer to drown teenage boys out of revenge. In the book we follow Penny, a young girl in Sparrow as the summer starts and the legends supposedly begins again, but this time its different after outsider Bo comes to town and Penny connects with him. As events unfold it is clear Penny and Bo both are hiding something, and there is more to the swan sisters legend that what meets the eye.

This merging of modern fiction and fantasy is a unique style and takes the realistic style of young adult fiction and marries it with the magical and fantastical elements of a fantasy or science fiction novel. She also has elements of a romance as well as aspects of a horror and mystery novel woven into the book making it one of the most interesting plots and most intriguing stories I have ever read.

In terms of content the story was superb. The plot twists and storyline were entertaining and interesting and kept the readers interest peaked. The reader is invested in what happens in the book and genuinely the audience cares about the outcomes and conditions of the characters and the story itself. The characters are raw and relatable, and also likable and incredibly human. All of the characters are flawed and bold, and every character has light and dark aspects. The protagonist is especially dynamic but all of the primary characters are multidimensional.

In addition to being made of a unique genre and a great and original plot the storytelling itself is outstanding. The pacing is steady and strong and the way the story maintains its mystery  is incredible. Also one of the most stunning aspects of the book is the way the story is told through not only a unique perspective but the chapters rotate between the past and the present to give a really wonderful tone and a unique take on time and storytelling. It gives a new perspective to what really happened with the sisters and allows the readers to empathize with the villains of the story and also sheds a new light onto the events.

 The style of writing itself is detailed and descriptive and clearly paints an image in the readers head. She is very skilled at creating an atmosphere and talented at executing and expressing details and crafting an environment in the pages.

Overall this debut novel of Ernshaw’s is a fantastic novel that exemplifies the prime creativity and phenomenal storytelling ability and craftsmanship that she possesses. The novel itself is entirely new and original, being a beautiful combination of a new genre, a new voice, and a new standard for plot twists. The voice and writing style is well crafted and beautifully written, the characters are human and realistic, and overall the story itself is clever and full of personality, and a new modern masterpiece.