Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
I’m not going to lie: I mainly wanted this book just for the cover. The moment I saw it, I knew that I had to have it no matter the level of suckage. And when I read the description, I was fully invested in this book. It became the most anticipated book on my 2016 book list.
So I was expecting big things for this book – and it didn’t disappoint…for the most part.
Despite talking about witch trials in the summary, this book really has nothing about to do with witches. Instead, this book is about Bridey and her small town on the Isle of Man. Ever since the strange death of her granddad, Bridey has refused to take any part of the sea. After her new boss – crazy witch Morag – sends her to sell seashells by the seashore – I mean, get ingredients for charms – Bridey stumbles upon a naked boy with grave cuts and no memory. Soon after, strange disappearances start to plague the town, and Bridey begins to see creatures that are unexplained. Does Fynn have anything to do with them? And can Bridey stop them before its too late – or lose her mind in the process?
In America, there really isn’t the same emphasis on folklore and fairytales as there is in European countries, I’m beginning to realize. We don’t have the stories that I’ve seen in my travels there, and I mean…our folk stories are…I suppose Bigfoot? UFOs? We don’t get the stories of Little Fellas or sea creatures, and I’ve always been in love with those kinds of stories. Perhaps that is why I became so into that portion of the novel.
That being said, I almost felt like this book had a third main character besides Bridey and Fynn – the setting. Marsh created a lush, atmospheric world that I was completely captivated by. I was drawn into the beauty of the Isle of Man and Bridey’s surroundings. To be truthful, I really just kept reading more and more of this story because I was obsessed with the setting. If anything is to say about this book, Marsh has certified herself as a queen of description and setting in my world.
I also really liked her writing style. You can tell throughout the book that she spent a lot of time and energy into researching this story and its components. I never questioned what time period this was supposed to be in or if anything wasn’t time period right. Her writing also had a nice flow to it
I also liked the plot, the characters, and the romance well enough. The characters were clearly defined and there were some characters I really connected to. I definitely liked Bridey as a main character, and while sometimes I did not agree with her decisions – perhaps thinking her a bit childish – I realized she was just acting like a 16 year old girl is supposed to be.
There were a few issues that I did have with the book. The first part was the description, I suppose, from the summary. I expected something way different than what I actually got. I don’t know whose fault it was – the book summary or mine – but it did confuse me for a good portion of the novel. Also, thinking this was a book about witches and never getting any real witches or trials, it kind of brought it down a bit for me.
The second issue was that I was just kind of missing something overall. I liked everything well enough and I sped through this book; however, I just had a bit of a disconnect with the entire story and the characters. I never really felt super invested in it as I did with the setting and the folklore elements of it. That’s the main reason for the four crown rating from me.
Overall, this was definitely a very good read. While it wasn’t the five crown read I was hoping for, it was definitely still a very enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend and if you’re looking for a story with an absolutely amazing setting and breathtaking descriptions, this is the book for you.
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What are your thoughts? How important is a setting to your novel? Have you ever been fully invested in it – even more the story and characters? Can we also have some discussion on that beautiful cover?