Thursday, 27 November 2014

REVIEW || Compulsion by Martina Boone

Book Title: Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1)
Author: Martina Boone
Publisher: Simon Pulse, October 28th, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Hardback, 448 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
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 is a book that I added to my wishlist impulsively, a long time before it was published. I can't even remember why I added it, and I wasn't even seriously thinking of buying it (erm, does this sound bad? its not, I promise!) but on the release day for Compulsion I was on The Book Depository and was just like "you know what, I actually really want to read this and the hardback is gorgeous" so that is how I came into possession of my copy - and strangely enough, I read it the day after it arrived. The reason this is strange is because I don't usually read books I've bought straight away because of the huge amount of review copies I'm behind on reading.


Compulsion was my first experience with the contemporary fantasy genre. Now I love fantasy, its one of my favorite genres, but I've never read a contemporary fantasy novel and I was wary of Compulsion because if it wasn't pulled of properly then I think it would really irritate me if the contemporary feel was lost. Fortunately, Compulsion was written brilliantly and the plot was fantastic, it wasn't as twisted as I hoped it would be but I was still in the dark about a few elements and even for the bits that I'd already predicted, they were still great to read. Its definitely very southern gothic, with the big mansion. I adored the setting and I've never experienced such a "southern" feel before - it was refreshing and I'll definitely be reading loads more novels like this one.

Compulsion reads like a contemporary novel with hints at fantastical things, like Barrie and Eight's gifts for instance and the cherokee creatures. Having read about cherokee legends before in the House of Night series I was looking forward to seeing what Boone did with them in her novel, and I wasn't disappointed. Every more so fantastical scene in the book had an underlying eerie feel to it that will give you goosebumps. But the contemporary elements of the book were equally as good, I'm still a little unsure of the romance but there's no denying that it's well written and a lot of other readers will probably warm to it much quicker than I did.

The only real negative I can think of is the fact that I didn't really connect with any of the characters, I liked a lot of them especially Aunt Pru but apart from being amiable towards the characters that was it. I would have liked it if I could have been more emotionally invested in the novel, it surely would have reached five star status then. As it is, I really enjoyed Compulsion and will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out next year! Compulsion did remind me a little of Hold Your Breath by Caroline Green, so if you enjoyed that then you should definitely give this one a read!

Rating = 4 Bookish Birds

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