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The Wicked Deep
Cover of The Wicked Deep
The Wicked Deep
A New York Times bestseller

Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.
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.
A New York Times bestseller

Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.
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.
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About the Author-
  • Shea Ernshaw is the author of The Wicked Deep and Winterwood. She works as a producer for a film production company and shares a home with her husband, a dog named Diesel, and two cats. She is happiest when lost in a good book, lost in the woods, or writing her next novel. You can connect with her online at SheaErnshaw.com.
Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-A wickedly chilling debut about ghosts, witches, love, and revenge. Each summer, the small Oregon town of Sparrow celebrates Swan season, a month where tourists flock to the town believing that the spirits of three witches inhabit the bodies of local girls and drown young men. The deaths are all too real, even if the ghosts may not be, and it's a season that Penny Talbot would much rather avoid, particularly since her father's disappearance. But when a handsome stranger shows up in town with secrets of his own, Penny is drawn into a centuries-old revenge in order to protect him. Ernshaw reels in readers as expertly as her ghostly witches draw their unsuspecting victims into the sea. Chapters illuminating the history of Swan season and the town of Sparrow are interspersed with Penny's story, effectively providing necessary exposition and weaving the tense atmosphere that invades Sparrow like a heavy fog. When the drowning begins, readers, much like the townspeople will start to question characters' motives as the hunt for the Swan sisters unfolds and Penny races against time to protect her new beau. The summer solstice brings a haunting and bittersweet conclusion to events that may leave some readers wanting more. Moments of cliched writing, including food-dependent descriptions of characters of color, mar an otherwise strong debut. VERDICT Fans of ghostly romance such as Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood will find much to love in this eerie but less action-packed mystery.-Mimi Powell, Library Systems and Services, Kissimmee, FL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2018
    A teen finds love and danger in a cursed Pacific coast town.Two hundred years ago, the townsfolk of all-white Sparrow, Oregon, found the three beautiful Swan sisters guilty of witchcraft and executed them by drowning. Ever since, the town has suffered through Swan season: on June 1, the vengeful sisters return from their watery graves to possess the bodies of local girls and lure boys to watery deaths. In response to the inevitability of the three to six deaths each June, the locals have built traditions, even celebrations, around it, and morbid, thrill-seeking tourists come to see the curse in action. Penny Talbot lives on the lighthouse island just off the coast, and she might stay forever in order to care for her mother, who had a breakdown after Penny's father vanished years ago. The day before Swan season, a cute boy comes into town seeking work and a place to stay. Even though Penny knows he's hiding something, she's attracted to him and wants to protect him from the murderous curse. Some readers won't like how quickly they fall deeply in love, but the characters' chemistry and connection anchor the mystery and give them a reason to fight against the curse. Penny's first-person narration is interspersed with third-person snippets of the sisters' history, effective for pacing and provoking curiosity in this stand-alone.Readers will drown in this finely crafted, atmospheric book. (Paranormal romance. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 12, 2018
    This lyrical and foreboding debut takes place in the long-cursed coastal town of Sparrow, Ore., where, in 1822, the townspeople condemned the three Swan sisters for being witches and drowned them in the harbor. Every June 1st, the sisters return, staying until midnight of the summer solstice, stealing the bodies of three girls, and then enticing boys into the water to drown. In the present day, 17-year-old Penny Talbot usually avoids the eerie Swan season kick-off party, but this year, her best friend convinces her to go. There, she meets Bo Carter and eventually offers to let him stay and work on Lumiere Island, a decaying place where she and her mom live, where he might be safe. Death lurks everywhere, though, as the Swan sisters begin their yearly revenge killings. Effective flashback chapters reveal the sisters' backstory, and while perceptive readers may anticipate the story's outcomes, Ernshaw creates an intriguing reality in which the supernatural coexists with the mundane elements of small-town life. Balancing delicate emotion and authentic suspense, the hypnotic prose pulls readers into the question of how, or if, the curse of the sisters can be broken. Ages 14-up.

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The Wicked Deep
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