Two hundred years’ worth of killing. A town reliving a past it can’t change, paying the price year after year. An eye for an eye.
Published: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 310 (Hardcover)
Series: N/A – Standalone
“Once a Swan sister has whispered in your ear, promised the touch of her skin, you can’t resist her. She will lure you into the water then pull you under until the life spills out of you.”
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
Wow, this book was incredibly beautiful. Inside and out. The cover is stunning, the hardcover underneath is beautiful, and the story within is mesmerizing. I read this right around Halloween and it was perfect for a spooky night all snuggled up in bed with a cup of tea.
Our story begins in Sparrow, a historic little town with a gruesome past and legacy. I honestly wasn’t expecting how heavy this book is and there is a severe trigger warning for things like murder and suicide. This book was haunting in all the best ways. It was so spooky and atmospheric, I could feel the cold air and the anticipatory fear every time I picked this up. It was such an immersive read, that’s for sure.
I really liked Penny and Bo and the love story that blossoms between them, it’s beautiul and touching in all the right (and kind of wrong) ways. I also enjoyed the side characters like Rose and Penny’s mother and learning the little stories about all the characters and the town. I even liked learning about the Swan sisters before their untimely and horrific demise. This flipped back and forth between past and present and while there was much more taking place in the present, I found myself loving every time we slipped into the past and learned a little more about what had happened and how it influenced the future.
The plot of this book is not only original and fresh in the best ways but it doesn’t hold back on the chilling aspect and I respect that. I think that if this book hadn’t talked about the drownings and things the way it did then it wouldn’t have seemed as serious and real. Aside from that, this book delivers one of the best plot twists I have ever had the misfortune of being a part of. Honestly, this book stole my breath in the best way possible and I was so happy it did. It succeeds in making you question everything you’ve known while making you look at things in a completely different way.
This was a powerhouse of a debut for this author and I cannot give her enough applause. Honestly, this was such a intricately, delicately, and beautifully written piece that I felt like I was reading something from a seasoned and well published author. She writes with such confidence and mastery that I was immediately and thoroughly sucked into this world to the point I felt like I would never get out of it. Bravo, Shea, bravo. If this was the debut than I can’t wait to get my hands on your next work.