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Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
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Fear the Drowning Deep

by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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So look, on paper this, to me, sounded like a straight up thriller with a supernatural twist to it. That’s why I’m reviewing this book that is, in actuality, pretty much just a straight up fantasy. Sorry, Serena, this is my genre today! That being said, there are definitely a number of strange and creepy things that really added to the potential of “Fear the Drowning Deep”. A witch’s apprentice? Murdered girls? ANCIENT EVIL IN THE WATER? Sign me up!

But sadly, while I was all in and totally stoked, when I got to it, it didn’t quite live up to what I hoped it would. I think that what tripped this book up for me were a couple of things. One, my expectations were not met, and while that’s not the book’s fault, it nonetheless made it so I was setting myself up for a fall. The second thing is that it fell into too many traps of the fantasy romance YA genre, which I have become less and less forgiving of as time has gone on. You combine these two things, and then throw in a description that really played up more of a horror thriller angle than it was, and well, we’re bound to have some problems.

But hey, let’s start off with the things that I DID like about this story before we get into the negatives. First of all, I enjoyed the setting of this book, taking place on the Isle of Man in 1913. I don’t know much about the Isle of Man outside of the fact that the Bee Gees were from there, so seeing it in a historical setting with some of the mythology from the area were fun themes to explore. Bridey was an alright protagonist. I liked that she was a responsible teenager of her time, and while sometimes her aspirations kind of treaded towards the less pragmatic and more fanciful, by 1913 I think this is a more acceptable mentality for a teenage girl to have. I also really liked the storyline involving her and Morag, the island ‘witch’ whom Bridley apprentices for, just as her mother did when she was a girl. The parts of the story where Bridley was learning how to find ingredients for medicine, charms, and protection, were very intriguing to me, and I liked Morag’s role in the story as the misunderstood outsider. True, it got a bit aggravating when Bridley would dismiss Morag’s advice or warnings as superstitions or useless, because she has spent her whole life believing her to be some kind of witch! I have a hard time believing that she’d be so dense or haughty that she’d just toss this woman’s opinions out the window! It didn’t feel like it matched Bridley’s character, and that got a bit annoying.

I also liked the take and portrayals of various mythological creatures that you may not see as much in fantasy stories. Sure, we’ve all seen our fair share of dragons, vampires, and ghosts, but in this book we get sea serpents, Little Fellas, and fossegrims. Marsh has taken some long neglected mythologies and has given them a fresh perspective, and I think that this book could easily encourage interested parties to take a gander at these stories when they may not have otherwise.

However, a big strike against this book, for me, is that once again, we are met with the Dreaded Love Triangle. THIS time it’s between Bridley, her childhood friend Lugh, and the mysterious visitor Fynn, who washes up on shore one day with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Boy, a girl is torn between her true blue best friend and a strange and enigmatic newcomer. I sure haven’t read anything like THAT before. This is only compounded by the fact that a day before Fynn showed up, Bridley had been kissed by Lugh, and she had really quite liked it. But the moment that Fynn arrives, Lugh is completely out of her thoughts. It’s one thing if she was always a bit ambivalent about her feelings for him. It’s tired and worn out, but at least it’s realistic. Because MAN did she shift on a dime without any second thoughts. Plus, we got a ridiculous scene in which Finn and Lugh start fighting each other over her, and everyone felt a bit out of character all just for the drama. Lugh just didn’t feel like a character who even needed to be there, in all honesty. There was plenty of dramatics without Bridley having to be in the middle of a fight between the two stereotypes of romantic entanglements.

This book definitely had some things going for it, but overall “Fear the Drowning Deep” found itself in a couple of ruts that it never really pulled itself from. I really enjoyed the mythology aspect and the witch aspect, but there were too many well worn ideas that weren’t really reinvented to make it a complete stand out. Come for the mythos, try and tolerate the repetitiveness. ( )
  thelibraryladies | Feb 1, 2017 |
Meh. The main character seemed to continuously ignore all the super obvious signs of what was going on, the family also seemed just fine that their 16 year old daughter fell madly in love with a shipwrecked boy with no memory whom she brought home from the beach one day, and if she talked about her fear of the ocean one more time I was going to find a way to climb into the book and throw her into it. The story was fine, the writing was fine. Nothing bad, but also nothing exciting enough to make me want to recommend this book ( )
  Monkeypats | Oct 24, 2016 |
Eerie plot, folk feel, and absolutely beautiful execution. My mind and heart fell in love with this book. The story was haunting, yet intriguing. The characters were unique and the book world was vivid and lush. As I turned the pages I could feel the mist clinging to my skin and the breeze blowing the back of neck. The plot pulled me in and I found myself captivated by the magic. I mean witches, sea monsters, forbidden love, and folk lore... What more could you ask for?

If you like to be swept away from reality then you MUST read this one. FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP had me hooked from page one. I was so torn on whether to quickly turn the pages to unravel the secrets or to slowly savor each and every word. I've never felt so compelled by a plot before. There were twists and turns that I never expected and jaw dropping, epic battles at sea. Between the dark water, lush music, and terrifying creatures... my mind was blown. Not to mention the romance. Umm... I never would've guessed that, but wow was it good.

I won't say any more because I would just be spoiling the parts that are too good to spoil. However,I will leave you with this... There is a little something for everyone so don't let one classification scare you away.

I received an ARC (Thank you Skyhorse Publishing & Sarah Glenn Marsh) and it was so good that I now MUST own in it physical form. I can't wait to purchase the hardback on release day! ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
I reached out to Ms. Marsh last year, in hopes of obtaining a copy of this book. I chatted with her and she promised to forward my name to her publisher. Amazingly, she hadn't forgotten me and on July 5th, I was surprised with a copy. Just look at the cover (you know me and book covers!), isn't it amazing? It's even better on my iPad, because of the HD thing. Anyway, the book is called Fear the Drowning Deep, by Sarah Glenn Marsh and you are going to really love this one!

Written with YA readers in mind, the story takes you to another place, almost another time, and fills you with Manx mystery and wonder.

The story takes place on The Isle of Man, in the British Isles. It's about a young girl and her town, plagued by strange disappearances and even murder. Because our heroine is young, crafty and stubborn as an ox, she doesn't stop fighting for those she loves and cares for- even if they don't care much for her!

The story was filled with rich folklore, brought to life, like witchcraft, mythical creatures haunting the nearby shores and curses of the Little Fellas, I was enveloped in the world away from my very own, eager to discover what Bridey would go through next and if her new-found friend was foe or not.
Marsh wrote a story that will have you pleased with the story from the very beginning to its ending. I wasn't disappointed at all with this one, not even concerning Fynn. He was correct when he said, "Nothing from the ocean is meant to survive on land forever."
Check out this beautiful story while I get ready to shower you with interviews from some amazing authors! Be ready tomorrow.

*For this review, please follow the link: http://bit.ly/2cCidAf
**PDF provided by Sarah Glenn Marsh and Skyhorse Publishing, for an honest review. ( )
  AReneeHunt | Sep 16, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
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In 1913, when a series of murders and disappearances occur in a small town on the Isle of Man, sixteen-year-old Bridey must conquer her fear of the water and stand against the monsters of the deep.

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