Review: Fear the Drowning Deep

Thanks Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles for including me in this epic blog tour for Fear the Drowning Deep! I met Sarah Glenn Marsh nearly a year ago at Bookitcon, a book event in Moorestown, New Jersey! I've been so excited for her book ever since, and I'm happy to say that this book is wonderful! Sarah's debut, Fear the Drowning Deep, is a historical fiction thriller that takes place in the early 1900s on an isle in the middle of a tempestuous sea.

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Page Length: 310 Pages
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Source: eARC via Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound
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.
Sarah Glenn Marsh's debut novel is filled with mellifluous writing, a gorgeous setting, and a dark mystery that will haunt and captivate readers.

The first thing that struck me about this book is the setting. "Fear the Drowning Deep" takes place in the early 1900s on a small island close to England. The ocean is such a cryptic and elusive element in this book. It carries both the livelihood of the townspeople yet also the pains and sadness of the treacherous waves that lose people at sea. When young women start disappearing, everyone claims there is a murder in their midst, but main character Bridey thinks there is something sinister from sea causing the disappearances. I love the way that Sarah portrayed the ocean. It felt like a mercurial yet unforgiving physical person or entity against Bridey.

I love Bridey's confidence in herself. She becomes a bit of a pariah when she claims that a sea monster is responsible for the deaths, not a person. I commend her for still trying to help save the townspeople even after they shun her and spread hateful rumors. I appreciate and deeply admire that she doesn't care what others think of her.

The relationships in this book were another hit for me. Bridey has three siblings, and I really liked their support for one another. There was no vitriol or bitterness, just love and respect! So often in books siblings are pitted against each other, and I love when I see the exact opposite. The romance in this book is probably my least favorite of the relationships, but I still enjoyed it. There were some cliché moments and cheesy lines fed, but I did like the chemistry that Bridey and Fynn have.

My favorite relationship in this book by far is the one between Bridey and the ocean. When Bridey was younger, she saw her grandfather drown in the ocean. Ever since she's had quite an aversion and hatred towards the ocean. I love how throughout this book we see the ocean challenge her to the very core and make her reexamine the choices she's made in life.

There is plenty of mystery and intrigue that made this book an easy read to speed through. This book definitely takes after the cover, it's dark and deep and will definitely surprise you. The ending of this novel was one of my favorites ever! Sarah's writing was poetic and charming, and I can't wait to read what she publishes next.

Pinterest Board:

About the Author:

Sarah Glenn Marsh is the author of the YA fantasy Fear the Drowning Deep from Sky Pony Press, the forthcoming Reign of the Fallen fantasy duology from Razorbill (Penguin), as well as several forthcoming 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 her 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. You can visit her online at, and follow her on Twitter @SG_Marsh.

Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

8/1 - Bookish Lifestyle - Review + Tote Design
8/2 - A Perfection Called Books - Review + Pinterest Board
8/3 - Booknerd Addict - Review
8/4 - Caught Read Handed - Review + Interview
8/5 - Dana Square - Review

Week 2:

8/8 - Alexa Loves Books- Bookish Style Files
8/9 - It Starts at Midnight- Review
8/10 - The YA Book Traveler - Interview
8/11 - Brittany's Book Rambles - Review + Playlist
8/12 - Stories & Sweeties - Bonnag Recipe + Excerpt


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Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. I'm so excited for this book, and I'm hoping to get to my copy in September because this book releases in October. This really came off to me as a YA Little Mermaid with a bunch of mystery and lore. It sounds amazing from what everyone is saying so I look forward to reading it all the more.

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. historical. check! mystery. check! yup, I must read this book. This sounds really intriguing and Bridey sounds like a great heroine. Great review, Rachel!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  3. Thanks for sharing; I'm glad you really liked this one. I already don't like the ocean, so I'm sure I'd be properly scared of the sea in this one. I'm def. curious!


  4. I'm so pleased that Fear the Drowning Deep was a lovely read! I think it was such an interesting concept, and I liked the way that Sarah wrote her setting and wove in the culture and the magic. Love your Pinterest board too!


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