Rated Reads

Fear the Drowning Deep

by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Rated: Mild

Bridey Corkill has stayed as far away from the sea as possible since she was a girl and her grandfather disappeared into the waters one night. She was sure she saw something strange out there above the water, some kind of pale creature floating, but no one took her seriously. So she’s favored the inland and the woods of her small island, the Isle of Man.

Now, she’s almost 17 and danger seems to have returned. Her father and other locals aren’t finding many fish or other seafood to eat or sell, and a young woman’s body washes up on the shore but what happened to her is a mystery. Then people from their village start disappearing. Bridey can’t help but think that the monster who caused her grandad’s death is the culprit, but if she makes any reference to strange creatures, she’s considered crazy or a witch. It doesn’t help that her mother has made her start working for the reclusive old hag up on the hill, Morag, who everyone knows is a witch.

Then Bridey finds a badly injured young man on the beach, who’s not from the island and doesn’t know where he came from. Her family takes him in to help him heal, and he and Bridey become close. But as time goes on, the villagers suspect Fynn (as she names him) of being responsible for the disappearances — and while Bridey knows he can’t be a murderer, she also realizes he’s keeping something from her.

As more people go missing and Bridey comes to be sure there are dangerous creatures in the deep, she must find a way to protect those she loves, even if it means coming face to face with her darkest fears.

I got interested in this book because it’s set on the Isle of Man. That tiny island is the land of my father’s ancestors, where my maiden name comes from. And I actually got to visit there a few years ago and see it in person. So reading this story and the Manx references just made me happy. On top of that, it’s a fine tale of a girl who bravely faces the dangers that lurk in the inescapable waters around her island, and who falls for a strange young man who just appears one day on the shore. The book has romance, a strong protagonist, a solid story and just the right amount of peril and fear about what is lurking in the ocean.

Rated: Mild. There are just a few uses of mild language, and there are some intense situations. There are some kissing scenes but nothing more and a scene or two of a character being found naked on the shore. It’s set 100 years ago and adheres to mores of that time.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Fear the Drowning Deep
  • by Sarah Glenn Marsh
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: