Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[Review] Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Version: ARC Paperback
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: October 4th 2016

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.

Fear the Drowning Deep is like a gender-swapped darker Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen did have its dark moments, after all.

Bridey lives on the Isle of Man, which is an island near England. She fears the sea after the death of her grandfather and yearns to be free of her small town and travel. During the summer, she starts her work as an apprentice of the rumored town witch, Morag. She also ends up rescuing a boy from the waves, whom she names Fynn. Fynn has no recollection of his life before he was rescued, but he also holds dark secrets. The two of them work together to solve the mysterious disappearances of the town's girls.

Isle of Man lore was fascinating to read about, as it's not something you see very often. To be honest, I didn't even know where the Isle of Man was until I wiki-ed it. The Manx language is quite unique too.

Fossegrims, serpents, and glashtyns are terrifying, yet astounding creatures. I wish that Marsh delved more into them, because their origin was a tad bit confusing. Spoiler: Fynn is a glashtyn (basically a monster sea horse), but he has the ability to turn into a human.

The romance with Fynn, I compare it to the Little Mermaid, so expect to experience some weird insta-love I didn't really comprehend that went from strangers to "I love you" within 100 pages. But it was nice that the love triangle I expected resolved itself fairly calmly, without much conflict.

Bridey herself was a cool heroine. Glad it was her doing the killing of monsters and not Fynn, because you get lines like:

"Well, I killed the fossegrim during Mally's wedding feast with a carving knife. I'm ready to slay bigger monsters, like King Arthur's knights did in the old stories. You can call me Sir Gawain."
"Not Lady Guinevere?"
I wrinkled my nose and frowned. "She never got to do anything important." 

The pacing was odd - I wasn't sure if days or weeks were passing by, but it was summer. That I knew. The beginning was really boring to me, and until the disappearances and the mystery-solving started happening, I was wondering when something will happen, and where the story was going.

Fear the Drowning Deep definitely did hit its mark though with keeping me interested in the latter of the novel. It is more interesting than the Disney Little Mermaid, but it still retains that romance you might be wary of. Regardless, I found it to be a full of tension-ridden moments, which will keep you reading on.

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