Review: Fear the Drowning Deep

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  Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

ISBN: 1510703489 | Pages: 304 |
 Publication Date: October 11, 2016 | Source: Sky Pony Press | Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars |
★☆
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. 
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This novel was first pitched to me as a watery retelling of Beauty and the Beast so I went into the story with a lot of excitement and curiosity as I didn't know how the plot would unfold. The story begins when the townspeople find a dead girl's body and everyone's worried since there hasn't been a death since Bridey's grandfather jumped off a cliff while following a sound that only he could hear.

With the rest of the town thinking that she is crazy for her fear of water, her account of her grandfather further separated her from the townspeople. When a strange boy washes onshore alive, Bridey's family takes him in and thus our story begins. As the plot unfolds, Bridey begins to make connections between the recent disappearances and her grandfathers and with the help of Fynn and the island witch Morag, she begins to slowly conquer her fear of water in order to fight whatever is plaguing her home.

“Nothing from the ocean is meant to survive on land forever.” 

As I mentioned before, I went into this novel thinking it would be a Beauty and the Beast retelling and while I can see the beauty and beast elements, the story does not follow the traditional tale. Despite that, Fear the Drowning Deep is written with a lovely haunting and lyrical tone that is just perfect for a cold winter day. Everything from the mist shrouded island to the magical beasts that occupy the ocean just paints a beautiful picture of an island off the coast of Ireland.

The relationships are also wonderfully constructed. When Bridey finds Fynn, her parents take him in without a question and help nurse him back to health. Her relationship with her sisters and her best friends are also really sweet and despite the occasional argument here and there, they are always by each other's side. Now, the romance was a different story. There was a hint of a love triangle and I was pleasantly surprised by how the author resolved it. Bridey and Fynn's relationship was one that progressed quickly in terms of feelings, but I liked how they supported each other. There was a bit of a misunderstanding, but I'll admit, it added a new spin to the story.

“And with the melody came the unmistakable sound of water slapping against the rocks far below us, slowly eroding the foundation of Port Coire and everything I loved.”

Fear the Drowning Deep introduces a new mythical voice and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. With that said, I'll definitely be on the lookout for future books by Sarah Glenn Marsh and seeing how this story wraps up!

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