Book Review and Casting Call: ‘The Wicked Deep’ (2018)

The Wicked Deep is the first novel by Shea Ernshaw. It tells the story of the Oregon town of Sparrow, which suffers from a deadly curse each year. In the 19th century three sisters were sentenced to drown for witchcraft. Every June since, they come back as spirits to drown boys of the town by inhabiting the bodies of young women who live there. Penny Talbot must figure out how to protect the new guy, Bo, from becoming the next of the Swan sister’s victims.


The book is a page-turner for sure; it’s easy to read and great at building the creepy atmosphere of Sparrow. The curse is incredibly unique and fun to read and speculate about. The main character, Penny, is pretty average, luckily avoiding most of the Mary Sue cliches. The new-boy with a secret trope is strong with this one, making love interest Bo pretty one-dimensional. My favorite characters were the infamous Swan sisters, murdered two centuries ago and destined to come back as killer femme fatales.

I felt the end of the book to be a bit rushed and incomplete. There was a major twist that I really liked in theory, but thought was poorly executed. All in all, The Wicked Deep is a stand-out from most of the supernatural teen tales being churned out these days. Despite its flaws, this is a story that is worth reading. 3.5 stars


Netflix recently won the rights to bring The Wicked Deep to the screen. I personally don’t see it as a series of films or even a series in general, but I think it would make a pretty awesome movie. Below, I humbly present to you my choices for the casting of The Wicked Deep:


Anya Taylor-Joy as Penny Talbot, our leading lady who is wary of the town’s curse


Charlie Rowe as Bo Carter, the mysterious new guy in town


Rachel Shelley as Penny’s mom, who is still unsettled by her husband’s disappearance


Alisha Boe As Rose, Penny’s kind and sweet best friend


Bella Thorne as Olivia, a daring, popular girl


Olivia Holt as Gigi, the town’s homecoming queen

Then there are the three Swan sisters, doomed to curse the island for centuries by inhabiting the bodies of young girls and drowning their male classmates:


Holland Roden as Marguerite Swan, the oldest sister


Madelaine Petsch as Aurora Swan, the middle sister


Annalise Basso as Hazel Swan, the youngest sister