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Fear the Drowning Deep

Review

Fear the Drowning Deep

All Bridey wants is to leave the tiny island she grew up on, even if that means leaving behind her family. Almost nothing in her community ever happens --- that is, until a body shows up on the beach, mangled with no information about the cause of death. For Bridey, all this does is give her more certainty that she needs to leave and go to America, which is not the easiest in the early 1900s. Not wanting to be stuck for any longer, Bridey takes a job for the rumored town “witch," which then creates a whole new set of rumors that follow her.

"FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP was neither a hit nor a miss for me, but I could see this book easily being someone’s favorite. Its original plotline plus a great set of characters definitely stood out, even though it had its flaws."

Then, on a trip to the beach to gather an ingredient, Bridey finds a boy barely clinging on to life with gashes across his body. In an unintentional heroic act, Bridey saves him, and when his memory fails, gives him the name Fynn. Slowly, she and Fynn build a bond, one that doesn’t seem to be breaking anytime soon. But while Fynn and Bridey are getting closer and closer, citizens of the town are going missing, and everyone is placing the blame on Fynn. Before Fynn is imprisoned, Bridey has to prove that there’s another perpetrator, even if they live in the water.

FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP had a tendency of making me freeze. Even though it’s close to summer in the story, it felt like the middle of winter. Bridey lives on an island, surrounding by the ocean. Not the tropical kind, but the kind that has winds that can travel deep inside your core. I think it was even more real for me because I live off the Oregon Coast, so I knew exactly how she physically felt. However, there seemed to almost be an overload of sensory detail throughout the novel. Every little thing was described in full detail, and it didn’t leave much room for the imagination.

I fairly enjoyed the mythology incorporated into the story, especially since it was based on Eastern European mythology, which tends to not be explored at much as popular mythologies like Greek and Egyptian. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of a lot of the mythology in the book before, so Sarah Glenn Marsh had a great opportunity to offer an original story. In general, I say she accomplished that. Sometimes, the mythology became confusing, but luckily there was a little guide in the back that both had mythology definitions and the definitions of other unfamiliar words used.

To a certain extent, one can expect that with mythology comes some battle scenes. There were definitely some battle scenes in FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP, but I don’t think they were done right. A lot of it felt rushed, and unlike the imagery, had too little detail. They weren’t that easy to follow, and were one of the major flaws of the book.

One thing I did really like was the characters. I love how driven Bridey was, but also enjoyed her self confidence. She had a fierce level of pride and protection for her family, even though her community didn’t think the best of her family. Her reputation didn’t get any better where she started working for the town “witch," but she still held her head high and did what she had to do to support herself and her family. I also enjoyed Fynn, who went through a lot of character development and change. Yes, he did find himself in a rather quick romance with Bridey, but I liked that he wasn’t overbearing, and encouraged Bridey to conquer her fears.

FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP was neither a hit nor a miss for me, but I could see this book easily being someone’s favorite. Its original plotline plus a great set of characters definitely stood out, even though it had its flaws.

Reviewed by Reanna H., Teen Board Member on September 14, 2016

Fear the Drowning Deep
by Sarah Glenn Marsh