Goodreads: The Wicked Deep
Published: March 6, 2018
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.
The Wicked Deep promises to be a book full of suspense and mystery. Set in a small coastal town cursed by three witches the residents drowned 200 years ago, the book has hints of magic, secrets, and revenge. Yet, compelling as this is, I couldn’t help but feel that the book sounds like a million other YA books I’ve already read.
Familiar tropes are all here. The outcast teen girl who lives on the lighthouse island. The mysterious boy who blows into town who becomes an instant love interest. The three witch sisters, where two are ruthless but the youngest is kind. Even the “witches by the sea” premise isn’t new. Salt & Storm instantly comes to mind as another example.
The book is solid. I bought into the characters. The setting is well-developed. The author even tries to answer the obvious question of “Why don’t people leave this cursed town?” I just wasn’t wowed by the book. I was hoping for something really atmospheric, something really witchy. I got a typical YA romance with a predictable plot. Overall, I feel neutral about this. I guess I can add it to my unofficial list of books that are exciting if you are new to reading YA but not if you are a veteran.