The Wicked Deep

Shea Ernshaw.. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9734-3
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. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4814-9735-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-9786-3003-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-5344-2548-4
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