The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
The Wicked Deep was such an addicting story that pulled me in right away. There were parts that were hard to put down.
There is actually a story within the story and I loved the extra parts between chapters that told of the past. The Wicked Deep takes place in a little seaside town in Oregon called Sparrow. There are also parts on an island which is where the lighthouse is. The author did a really good job describing this town. It felt pretty isolated and gloomy which gave it a creepy feel.
“In the dark, Lumiere Island feels eerie and macabre. A place of ghosts and mossy hollows, where long dead sailors surely haunt the reeds and wind-scoured trees. Bit it’s not the island you should fear-it’s the waters surrounding it.”
Every June, the three Swan sisters return and drown boys until the summer solstice when they leave again. They have been doing this for 200 years. The sisters, Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel were drowned after being accused of being witches. They actually were not witches, just beautiful girls that tended to make men cheat on their wives. They were able to make boys fall in love with them and the people in the town freaked out. They were odd girls and they were outsiders. The girls were all born exactly a year apart. They shared the same birthday and also the same date of death.
Our main girl in the story is Penny. She lives on the island with her mom who used to read tea leaves. Her dad disappeared three years earlier. Her mom is pretty out of it and Penny is mostly on her own. She has a best friend, Rose, who convinces her to go to the Swan Party the high school kids have each year. It’s on the day that the sisters reappear to take over the body of three local girls. These girls then take boys and drown them in the sea before leaving the bodies again. The girls whose bodies become vessels and they don’t remember anything afterward. Penny meets a boy, Bo, who showed up in Sparrow looking for work. He wasn’t the typical tourist that shows up during Swan season every year. Bo is mysterious, but Penny feels some attraction to him. She ends up giving him work at the lighthouse and orchard on her island.
During the story, we find out more about the sisters and one sister decides that she doesn’t want to keep killing. She is different from her sisters. No one in town knows who to trust, but the kids still have parties and act recklessly like teens tend to do. But bodies do start showing up.
I can’t really get into much more without giving things away. I thought this was a great story (yes, there is a love story that happens quickly) and the writing was beautiful. It was an interesting ghost story with love and revenge.
I gave this one 4 1/2 stars.
Thank you to the publishers for giving me an arc from Edelweiss for review. Quote was taken from digital arc and may change before the final version is published.
Have you read The Wicked Deep yet? What did you think? What are some other books with ghost stories do you like?