Series: The Heirs of Watson Island #2
Published by Simon Pulse on October 27th, 2015
Genres: young adult, fantasy
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Grieving the death of her godfather and haunted by her cousin Cassie’s betrayal, Barrie returns from a trip to San Francisco to find the Watson plantation under siege. Ghost-hunters hope to glimpse the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, and reporters chase rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold that may be hidden at Colesworth Place. The chaos turns dangerous as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins. Because more is buried there than treasure.
A stranger filled with magic arrives at Watson’s Landing claiming that the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts—and the Colesworth curse—also lies beneath the mansion. With a mix of threats and promises, the man convinces Barrie and Cassie to cast a spell there at midnight. But what he conjures may have deadly consequences.
While Barrie struggles to make sense of the escalating peril and her growing and forbidden feelings for Eight Beaufort, it’s impossible to know whom to trust and what to fight for—Eight or herself. Millions of dollars and the fate of the founding families is at stake. Now Barrie must choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep Watson’s Landing safe in this stunning addition to a series filled with “decadent settings, mysterious magic, and family histories rife with debauchery” (Kirkus Reviews, on Compulsion).
Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to read. She was always looking for the perfect paranormal book–one with ghosts, big gothic mansions, a swoony romance, a fascinating historical backstory, and a setting steeped in atmosphere. She read paranormal book after paranormal book, always looking for that magic story that came together in all the perfect ways. There were books that came close, but none were the special book she had always dreamed of finding. She got so frustrated that she may have attempted to write it herself–that was a horrible idea. Then along came Compulsion by Martina Boone. She almost didn’t read it because when she brought her haul back from BEA, there were so many books to choose from. But the cover was unique ant the blurb on the back intrigued her, so she picked it up. MAGIC.
Compulsion was one of my favorite books of last year; in fact, when I think back on all the books I read in 2014, it was definitely the most memorable. Now to be fair, 2014 was a pretty unimpressive reading year, but the book still blew my expectations out of the water. I fell in love with Barrie and Eight, Watson’s Island, The Fire Carrier, and all the things that made that book special. Persuasion had some really big shoes to fill. In some ways it did a great job, and in some ways it fell a bit short. But, it was still a great book with a pretty solid plot.
To put it in pretty simple terms, I was disappointed by Persuasion because I STILL didn’t get most of the answers that I wanted. Without revealing any spoilers, there is the continuation of the search for the Colesworth gold (or is it?) and that is the main plot. There are archeologists digging, and there is this strange guy that Barrie encounters and she and Eight can’t figure out who he is, what he is, or what his motives are. There are some new story threads that go out, and we get answers to those, but I wanted answers to the ones that were left over from Compulsion. No dice. And now I have to wait until the next book. Which is fine, but I am unsure whether this book is a trilogy or longer. I just want to KNOWWWW. I hate not knowing things.
But the great characters are still there. I really like Barrie, and I found that continued into this book. I love the way she interacts with the world around her–the way she makes decisions. I love that she didn’t let Eight take control of her life the way he seemed to want to. To be fair, she could have been more open to him about her plans, but I also felt he was too extreme in wanting her to tell him EVERYTHING. There has to be a happy medium. I loved her relationship with Pru and her interactions with the yunwi. I loved that she didn’t back down when Seven was trying to intimidate her into doing so. The only thing that didn’t work for me was Barrie and Eight’s chemistry. I loved them as friends and I thought they had a great bond, but I didn’t feel the attraction. I almost felt sort of a brother/sister vibe, which was a bit odd and uncomfortable.
I felt that the plot was not AS strong as the first one, but I still really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was a case of second book syndrome, but I did feel that there was a whole lot of filler content. It took awhile to get going, and I wasn’t really riveted until page 100-ish. That said, I do really connect with Martina Boone’s writing. I love how she builds atmosphere, and I loved how she weaved Native American mythology into the storyline. I just feel so fucking bad for the Fire Carrier and I want him to find whatever it is he needs already because every night when he heads out to the river for his ritual, I just get sad. It might be a silly thing, but I feel like he’s a real person and everyone is ignoring what HE needs. I find it incredibly frustrating and if I have to go one more book without knowing his story, I am going to chuck my computer into the lake with the snakes and alligators.
All in all, I was pretty satisfied with Persuasion. It probably seems like I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like it as much as Compulsion, but bottom line? This series is a lot of fun. There are great characters, unique world-building with a blend of paranormal and fantasy elements, solid writing, and it’s a great book if you are looking to escape from the world for a while. This is Southern fiction done well.