Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.
With an eerily beautiful cover, Fear The Drowning Deep, by Sarah Glenn Marsh drew me in and had me wanting to unfurl the secrets of this book. This was such a haunting, lovely book that I wanted to stay as long as possible to know each character and linger in it's small village.
What I Liked:Setting:
The tale is set amid the untamed beauty of the Isle of Man in 1913. Everyone's daily fortune's are tied to how much your family can catch at sea. I loved the small village with it's gossipy neighbors, taverns, and life-long friendships. At once, isolated and right in the middle of the Irish sea between England and Ireland, one could easily imagine this to be a land patrolled by sea monsters.
Bridey, the main character has good reason to be afraid of the ocean. Traumatized by seeing her grandfather plunge to his death, Bridey must overcome her fears in order to save the ones she loves. I loved how Bridey had to work hard to get over her terror. The novel really shows her struggle (one that isn't over after just one chapter).
Fynn, the mysterious boy who washed onto shore is also a complex person who is obviously hiding a secret. I liked how he has different relationships with each character. For some, he is a charming stranger; for others, he is an outsider to be feared.
Lugh is the hometown boy who Bridey seems to be developing a romance with... until Fynn comes along. At first, I was worried that this was going to be a typical love triangle where the girl can't seem to decide which boy she wants and winds up leading both on a string. But (thankfully) I was wrong. I loved how this was resolved so that we could see Lugh as a fully developed character and not just the other guy in the triangle.
This is such an entertaining part of this book! There are so many sea monsters to learn about that it makes me want to know more. Some of the creatures are classic English legends but I think the author may have made up some of the other creatures. If so, what an imagination! Her creepy descriptions (fictional they may be) are real enough to make me want to stay out of the water!
I love books about small towns (or villages) with all the quirks and traditions that make it a special place. This book was full of such details, particularly when Bridey's father went out to sea. The girls of the village tie knots in cloth thought to bring good luck. And when the men leave for the boat, the women yell "cair vie!" which means "fair wind!" The wedding scene (I won't say who's wedding...) is also full of lovely village traditions.
There is also a downside to village life and that is that everyone knows your business. This book also showed the gossipy neighbors, and people who showed lots of prejudice towards Morag, the reclusive old lady whom everyone calls a witch.
What I didn't like:
I'm having to stretch to find anything I found wanting in this book. But I think I'm wondering a bit about what will become of Bridey after the novel finishes. The book seemed to leave some things open-ended (could there be a sequel in the works?).
Overall, I came to care for all of the characters in this book and I wouldn't mind reading a sequel in the future! This book had imaginative monsters, romance, and a vibrant village I wish I could visit.
With that in mind, please enjoy this short video from the Isle Of Man official visitor website:
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Genre: YA Mystery
Format: ARC E-book
Recommendation: If you love mysterious murders, creepy monsters, and a haunting landscape, you will be thoroughly entertained by this book.