Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Posted October 13, 2016 in Review / 17 Comments

Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Fear the Drowning Deep

by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Published by Sky Pony Press on October 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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.

Beast Young Adult


I had been waiting for this book since December of 2015.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  The cover caught my eye but it was the synopsis that nabbed me and reeled me in.  And as readers, we’re surprised when a book turns out a little bit different than what we expected, whether for the good or the bad.  Okay, maybe you aren’t but I am, every time it happens to me.

I thought the story in Fear the Drowning Deep would be centered around Bridey’s apprenticeship with the island’s resident witch.  The story really isn’t all about that, it’s sooo much more.  It’s more a tale about life in 1913 on the Isle of Man and how one girl’s belief in the monsters surrounding the island may be the only thing that saves the residents on the island.  Even if they don’t believe Bridey.

You see, when Bridey was a young girl, she witnessed her beloved grandfather happily jump off a cliff into the water below to never be seen again.  And Bridey to swears she saw a ghost or something out in the water when her grandfather jumped.  No one believed Bridey then and none of the villagers believe her now when she swears she sees the same apparition just before another person goes missing.

What I most enjoyed about this story (and kept me reading it) was the Manx folklore that Ms. Marsh based the story around.  First, the setting is 1913 on the Isle of Man so it’s an interesting period of time on an island that I really didn’t know much about before I started Googling like mad during my reading. Second, Manx folklore is very close to Celtic.  There are “little folk” that the villagers leave milk and food out for to ensure the little folk don’t play tricks on the them.  Ms. Marsh also used the Glashtyn (which you’ll definitely want to look up) and a sea serpent that I couldn’t find a name for.    These last two “beasts” provide the plot it’s conflict and an awesome climax with an epic struggle, lots of fighting, and bloodshed!

On the softer side, there is a love interest in the story.  Although I had an issue with one aspect to Bridey and Fynn’s relationship, I kind of just shrugged my shoulders and thought, “oh, those crazy kids of the 1913s.”  There’s also nice depth to Bridey’s family – each one of them is thoroughly fleshed out and “alive”.  Everything worked storywise for me.

Where I had some trouble was the transitions.  Granted, I was reading an eARC so it may have been a problem with my early copy, but the transitions from one scene to the next was too abrupt for me.  I was sometimes tossed from one scene to the next without so much as a brief sensory break.  I sometimes need a break from book noise. 🙂

Overall, this was a story that kept my interest, despite some problems with it’s overall execution.

About Sarah Glenn Marsh

Sarah Glenn Marsh is an author of young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish.

When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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17 responses to “Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

  1. Ooh the first review I’ve seen for this one, at least since it came out. Good to hear it held up well, anticipation can be funny that way. 🙂 I was hoping it would have a paranormal element with the whole sea creature thing, so I’m happy to hear that. Sometimes a book will hint at something like that but it never really happens- sounds like it does here. Just what I’m looking for. Can’t wait to read it now!
    Greg recently posted…Liebster Award X2

    • The monsters? A++++ And the ending? Perfect, even for this HEA girl. YOU will love trolling for monster pics on the web. I’m SURE you’ll run into the glashtyn pic I did that is awesome. I didn’t want to include it b/c I hate to put pictures in people’s heads.

    • I’m usually pretty forgiving but it was BANG, next scene! I wasn’t even done with the previous scene 🙂 I KNOW it had to be the ARC b/c I haven’t seen that before.

  2. The cover is really cool. I like the sound of this one, the setting, the era and the touch of paranormal. This definitely sounds different. H

    • I really did love that she used an area of the world that frankly, I never knew existed before I read this. How dumb am I that I didn’t know that there was an island between Ireland and England? *face palm*

  3. Ooh that cover is gorgeous. Lovely review as always, Kristin. Sucks about that transition stuff though, I need smooth transitions between scenes too because hello? I don’t reading whiplash!

    • Awww, thank you 🙂 I thought I kind of phoned this review in, honestly. And I’m sure the finished copy was fixed. It had to have been….

  4. Those quick transitions would really get me too. I have a hard enough time when a book changes POV between one paragraph to the next. I need a break between POVs in order to get in the right frame of mind. Otherwise I’m reading about someone getting ready, thinking I’m still in the guys head until they start talking about shaving their legs, donning a dress, and wearing a thong. WHAT?! Oh… yeah, it must have switched POVs. Unfortunately that has happened to me more time that I can count. Sorry this one wasn’t on the ‘surprise for the better” side of things for you.
    Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) recently posted…Review: Soulless by Jacinta Maree