Book review – The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Caidyn's review (1)

The Wicked Deep


CW: drowning, murder, and witch hunting

When I read the synopsis of this book (and to get to the Goodreads page, click the picture of the cover!) I immediately thought how badass it was going to be. The Swan sisters were sentenced to death by townspeople who thought they were witches two hundred years ago. Ever since then, they come back once a year, June 1st, inhabit the bodies of girls in the town, and drown boys. Then, at the summer solstice, they leave to come back the next year and seek more revenge.

I mean, it sounds pretty awesome. It sounds pretty BA. Skip to me getting this from my library and eagerly reading it.

I’ll start with the pros of the book:

  • Interesting characters take up the pages.
  • Ernshaw captures the mood perfectly. I finished this on a gloomy, rainy day and was never happier with that. I could taste the scene and it was so good.
  • I loved the chapter art and that between chapters were vignettes of the sisters.
  • Did not see one of the twists coming. (Predicted the other easily.)
  • The writing was spectacular.

So, obviously, there were quite a few! I really thought this was a strong debut and I completely plan on reading the next book she comes out with to see what direction she takes since Ernshaw can write.

I have one con for this book, one that just took me away from the story completely.

  • Romance.

Yep. I’m not a romance kind of guy. If it’s in a book but it’s not the main focus of the story, I love it! If a story has romance but it’s been previously established and the focus is on the realities of making a relationship work, I love it!

I can’t stand developing, teen romances. I hate that it’s always about The One. Brittany wrote aΒ fantastic post about this issue in YA. And, as someone who has zero interest in romantic relationships, I don’t like reading much about their development and how they’re the best thingΒ ever in your life and the only thing that will satisfy you.

And when the romance started up, I was hesitant. I was fine with it because there was a huge focus on things outside of it. Then the story kept going and it became clear that most of the plot was going to revolve around the relationship and their “love” for each other.

It was frustrating to read because as the romance increased, my interest in the story dropped off. I had to ignore the romance the best I could, especially at the end. I mainly skimmed the last bit of the book just because I was tired of reading about all that love.

Now, my issue with romance is mine alone. I’m sure that lots of people loved it. Still, I wish I had more warning/had known that most of the plot rotated around a romance. I might have come into the book with different expectations that way.

Talk to me!
What did you think of this book if you read it?
Do you have issues with romance being a plot outside of the romance genre?

30 thoughts on “Book review – The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

  1. Thank you so much for the link!! I haven’t read this one but it’s on my TBR and now I’m not so sure. I’ll probably pick it up at some point but it sounds like the kind of romance I’m going to have similar feelings about :///
    Awesome post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so very welcome! I mean, you always write such thought-provoking posts, so I had to include one on my list. Personally, I was hooked in enough by the general story (minus the romance-based plot) that I wanted to read more. But, you also might not like it. I don’t blame you for bumping it way down on your list and I wish I had known how central the romance was to the plot before picking it up. Thanks for the comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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