Thursday, October 23, 2014

Compulsion by Martina Boone

Compulsion by Martina Boone
Release Date - October 28, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
There is something about a southern setting that makes magic just a little more believable. There is something about the history, and landscape that compliments this type of story and makes you believe in curses. Compulsion uses that to it's fullest advantage to create a delightfully enthralling debut that has all the elements of a delicious southern gothic.

Martina Boone has taken the landscape of South Carolina and made it a character. The island that Barrie will call home is as integral to the plot as any of the characters. The history of the island, the curse that these families are stricken with, and the isolated feel only add to the atmosphere and mood.

Barrie is realistic. That means she's flawed, and makes mistakes. She has a temper. She's quick to judge. She changes her mind on a whim, and is determined when she sets her mind to something. These qualities make her a character that is both angering, and enjoyable to read. Every choice she makes is one you can understand. The reader gets to know who she is, and therefore her actions and thoughts make sense. Having your characters actually behave within character allows the reader to accept their mistakes and flaws and Martina Boone knows and takes advantage of this.

The secondary characters are all just as fascinating. Mark, Barrie's godfather, steals every page he appears on. Barrie's Aunt Pru is as kind and caring as you could want her to be. Her cousin, Cassie, is an enigma with plenty of secrets still to unravel. Her desperation to leave Watson Island is a palpable thing that screams from her whenever she appears. These characters are all flawed, tragic, and  fit within this world. The world and the characters compliment each other effortlessly.

Eight and Barrie's romance gets off to a rocky start. Eight's gift (or is it curse?) is to know what everyone wants, and grant them their desire. Predictably (and wisely), Barrie equates this into distrust. She cannot trust Eight, or her feelings. How much is him using his gift, and how much are actual feelings? Wading through this provides plenty of angst, and some great tension. It's a barrier to the romance without a love triangle coming into play.

This novel blends magic and curses with realism. Some of the most honest moments are the real life situations these characters are dealing with. Barrie's grieving her mother. She's discovering things are not what she thought they were. She's finding out family secrets. These all ground the story and add a realism to even the most fantastical elements.

There is a compelling mystery woven throughout these pages. I am not going to say much, as it would be a spoiler, but it's a deeper mystery than what first appears. Family secrets are buried deep, and unearthing them is one of this novel's most engrossing elements. Things may appear that they are not adding up as you're reading, but once things begin to unravel, it all pieces together.

With plenty of secrets left to uncover, it's a perfect set up for this to be a series. Those who dislike cliffhangers will be happy to hear that this novel works on it's own. The majority of plot points are satisfactorily wrapped up with just enough to tease more. I am confident, however, that readers will breathlessly await more after finishing this novel.

A southern gothic tale filled with romance, family secrets, and plenty of magic. Fans of the Beautiful Creatures series will especially like this strong start to a new series.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...