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The Wicked Deep
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Wicked Deep is a thrilling tale of murder, revenge, curses, teens doing stupid stuff -- and, possibly, the redeeming power of love. The first novel by Shea Ernshaw conjures up a cold, dark, wet, and doomy Oregon coastal town living under a centuries-old curse brought on by the townsfolk's murder of three sisters feared and hated for being wild and different and taking most of the town males as lovers. As the local high-schoolers wait to see if they're the curse's next victims, crude language and drunken parties on the beach take place. As it builds to a crashingly satisfying emotional crescendo, the story involves a lot of sex, past and present, but descriptions are brief and swoony rather than graphic.
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What's the story?
The wild, beautiful Swan sisters landed in blustery Sparrow, Oregon, in 1822, full of hope for a new life. A year later the townspeople tied rocks around their ankles and drowned them in THE WICKED DEEP, claiming they were witches. Ever since, the town's been cursed. Each June the sisters possess the bodies of local girls and lure boys to their death. It's become a tourist attraction. When Swan Season rolls around again, 17-year-old Penny Talbot wants no part of the festivities, but as a new boy arrives in town with no idea what he's in for, she gets more involved than she wants to be, trying to keep him safe.
Is it any good?
First-time author Shea Ernshaw spins a thrilling tale of murder, revenge, deep wrongs, and curse-battling love as Oregon teens cope with their town's dark legacy. Suspense and swear words abound as angry spirits from The Wicked Deep seek their prey, teens turn against one another, and young lovers grapple with dark secrets and their consequences. The characters are engaging and relatable as they move to a traumatic but satisfying resolution.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Swan sisters get into trouble for being too "different" for the people around them in The Wicked Deep. What other stories can you think of with a similar theme? What about in real life?
Do you think you'd like to live in an isolated village like Sparrow, or would it feel like a prison?
Why do you think stories about curses are so popular? How do you think this one stacks up?
- Author: Shea Ernshaw
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: March 6, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.