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Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Martina Boone

Series: The Heirs of Watson Island #1
Genre: YA MysteryParanormal
Hardback: 433 Pages
Publication: October 28, 2014
by Simon Pulse

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn't what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.


Compulsion revolves around three families descended from Watson Island’s original settlers. Each family has a gift (or curse). The Watsons have the gift of finding things that are lost, the Beauforts know what people want, and the Colesworth are blinded by jealousy.

Barrie is the last of the heirs from her branch of the family, the Watsons. She is sent to live with her aunt Pru on Watson Island after her mother dies and her godfather is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After arriving, Barrie finds herself in a feud with a cousin and her bloodthirsty father who want to use her gifts for their own gain. She also encounters family secrets and ghosts.

I especially love the mystery that surrounds everything on Watson Island. There are several storylines, so there is a lot going on in this novel. I enjoyed following the plot as Barrie uncovers the history of the three families, untangles family secrets, and learns more about the spirits, gifts, and curses. I especially love the ghostly aspect of the story, especially the mystery of the Fire Carrier who sets the river ablaze every night at midnight. I am anxious to know more about this spirit as well as the yunwi, mysterious shadows said to be souls who weren't buried properly.

The characters are well written. I love the interactions between the characters. Barrie has an emotionally absent mother for all of these years. We can see her yearn for a family, and her definition of family changes throughout the book. Barrie's character also grows. Barrie has a history of shutting people out. As the story progresses, she faces the struggle of actually letting others in.

I like Eight Beaufort. He is strong, dependable, and trustworthy. He protects and cares for Barrie. I enjoyed watching his interactions with Barrie as their relationship slowly develops over the course of the novel. Barrie's Aunt Pru is also a very intriguing character. She has a lot weighing on her ,and she tries so hard to keep everything together. I love her relationship with Barrie. I also like Eight's dad Seven and the mystery surrounding his past. There are a lot of mysteries in this novel!

An ARC was provided by Simon and Schuster  for review

Rating: 4.5 stars

  1. Compulsion
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2 comments on "Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone"
  1. I recently met this author and she seems like a really great person - made me want to read her books! Glad to hear that it was great!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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