I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Release date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, historical fiction
Some secrets are better left at the bottom of the ocean.
Sixteen-year-old Bridey Corkill longs to leave her small island and see the world; the farther from the sea, the better. When Bridey was young, she witnessed something lure her granddad off a cliff and into a watery grave with a smile on his face. Now, in 1913, those haunting memories are dredged to the surface when a young woman is found drowned on the beach. Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her Granddad to leap has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, people in Bridey’s idyllic village begin vanishing, and she finds an injured boy on the shore—an outsider who can’t remember who he is or where he’s from. Bridey’s family takes him in so he can rest and heal. In exchange for saving his life, he teaches Bridey how to master her fear of the water—stealing her heart in the process.
But something sinister is lurking in the deep, and Bridey must gather her courage to figure out who—or what—is plaguing her village, and find a way to stop it before she loses everyone she loves.
Fear the Drowning Deep had been on my radar for a while. As per usual, the cover is what initially caught my attention. Just look at it! It’s full of mystery and seriously atmospheric. It reflects the story perfectly and yet doesn’t give it enough justice. I honestly believed that this book would be slightly frightening, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was so much more!
- The SETTING was unique and oh so perfect for the story. I’ve never read a book set on the Isle of Man before and its stormy weather, high cliffs and close knit townspeople really set the tone for the story.
- It’s HISTORICAL which I love to pieces. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, especially when it’s blended with elements of romance and fantasy. I really appreciated that it’s set in 1913, a period often skipped over, and not during the First World War or another well known historical event. The setting is important, but it doesn’t take away from what’s important, the characters and how they interact with each other.
- The WRITING was beautiful! Sarah Glenn Marsh has this great ability to knit together historical fact, legend and deep painful emotions with joy and believability. I was totally enthralled from the first page. I feel like I write this a lot about books I enjoyed, but putting it down was seriously difficult. I read the story in a day, a rare occurrence for me because I read quite slowly, it was that GOOD!
- The MAIN CHARACTER, Bridey, was a wonderful protagonist. She’s compassionate, dedicated and brave…but not perfect by any means. I completely identified with her voice and her battle against her own demons. The other characters were also well written. They sounded like they were straight from the time period with their speech patterns, way of thinking and reactions to events that take place. The author obviously did meticulous research!
- SEA MONSTERS!! They were beautiful, terrifying and at times downright horrifying. I hadn’t heard of most of these creatures before. The fact that they come from Manx culture made it more enjoyable because it really tied the reader to the setting and made me interested in exploring more of this culture’s legends.
- The ENDING was wrapped up nicely (the book is a standalone) but was also left open to interpretation. I was so upset when the story ended. I may have shook the book hoping a few additional pages would appear.
- The ROMANCE was adorable and swoon worthy. Fynn…oh Fynn *sigh* This was definitely a romance to get behind.
- The MESSAGE is more than just fighting sea monsters and a hero saving the village. It’s about overcoming fear and self discovery. Bridey went through a huge transformation as the story progressed. I won’t give too much away, but I will say that this change was gradually and believable. I admired her determination and love for her family and friends. I couldn’t help but cheer her on. I was fully invested in Bridey’s journey. My emotions went up and down constantly but it was so worth it!
So, in conclusion, you really NEED to pick this book up! It has a little bit for everyone and exceeded all of my expectations. I can’t wait for what Sarah Glenn Marsh will release next!
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watercolor painting, ghost hunting, and pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen duology, and several picture books.