Thursday, September 22, 2016

ARC Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Written by: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Published: October 4, 2016 by Sky Pony Press
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I'm a huge fan of historical fantasies, especially if it's magical realism and there's a mystery aspect. So this book was obviously something I was so excited to read. And despite the fact that I didn't love the mystery and romance, the world and characters were fantastic here.

My favorite thing about this book without a doubt was the world, it was totally fantastic. I'm really a sucker for historical settings on islands that are fishing communities and this was a totally fantastic one. I don't know that I've ever read a book that took place on the Isle of Man but I want more because it was really wonderful. The ocean was incredibly prevalent in this book and you could feel its power and weight. You can also totally visualize it. The author did a fantastic job setting the see and the island comes alive with it's mist, water, and rocky coastline.

The other fantastic aspect of the world of this book was the fantasy elements. It had a really wonderful magical realism world as it incorporated a subtle fantasy into a gritty kind of setting. In some respect the world, and especially the fantasy aspects, had a very similar feel the The Scorpio Races to me. And while that's never a bad thing but that's also hard because that comparison is always going to be there. But this is a book full of monsters, sea monsters for that matter. The book combined some really great mythological creature from folklore and stories. I loved the way the the creatures were used in both a negative and positive way. It made for a really interesting world for sure.

However I did not totally love the mystery of this book. You guys know me and my mysteries, I'm kind of hard to please. And this one did not really impress me. The start of this book felt like a lot of dramatic irony for me. It seemed a little obvious for me and it took a little while for them to reveal that. So for me it did not feel very impactful when it was finally revealed. I would have liked the mystery to be more mysterious to that this to the next level. In general I think that is how I felt about the plot of this book. There were some really good elements but in general I felt like it just felt a little simple to me.

The characters and their relationships were also kind of hit and miss for me. One thing that I will say about this book that I didn't really like that I think a lot of people will like is the romance. This is a pretty romance heavy book. Being romancephobic I didn't love that aspect of the story. I did however like the family relationship here. Bridgey and here family were all fantastic. She and her sister had a very Little Women feel to them. They didn't always agree but they still loved and cared so much for one another. When push comes to shove they will do anything to help each other and I loved that. It was a great aspect of this book and it really grounded the characters and the book for me.

In general this was an okay read. I absolutely loved the setting and fantasy aspect plus there were great relationships but the mystery and plot felt a little basic for me. But that has sort of been a trend with me for debuts this year. I've read a ton of them and they are good but so far not many have blown me away. Fear the Drowning Deep was pretty good though.

I give Fear the Drowning Dee by Sarah Glenn Marsh 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. This was an interesting magical realism read. It reminded me a lot of books like The Scorpio Races and Salt & Storm. If you are into island settings with subtle fantasy elements check this out. If you are looking for a magical realism with an interesting setting and heavy on the romance than check this out.

Have you read Fear the Drowning Deep? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I've had really good luck w/ magical realism. I'm a big A.S. King fan and that's where her books have been going lately. This sounds good, but I'm also a little bit romancephobic, so IDK. Great review. And I still need to read Scorpio Races :(

    1. Your are killing me with these reveals about not having read Maggie books. First The Raven King and now Scorpio Races. DUDE! Get on that. But to be fair, I have not read any A.S. King and I need to.

  2. OOh nice! I got this for review awhile back and sadly I haven't read it yet. The mystery and the magic are what drew me to it. But sadface that the mystery wasn't as strong. Hopefully I'll still get around to reading it one day! Finally get Edelweiss books and they've been sitting neglected for too many months now. Whoops! Lol! Nice review!

    1. Yeah, but remember I am kind of hard to please when it comes to mystery. If I can solve it early on it's hard for me. But if you do have a chance to reed it, give it a try.