Compulsion by Martina Boone

May 22nd, 2015 Kimberly Review 61 Comments

22nd May
Compulsion by Martina Boone
by Martina Boone
Series: Heirs of Watson Island #1
Narrator: Joell A. Jacob
Length: 11 hours and 29 minutes
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 4 cups

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.

Young Adult paranormal historical Audiobook

Compulsion by Martina Boone is the first in her Southern Gothic series The Heirs of Watson Island. I was delighted to have the opportunity to review the audio version narrated by Joell A. Jacob. I quickly became swept up in the families, characters and secrets of Watson Island.

Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to Compulsion

  • The Set Up A long time ago, three families after making their fortunes came to South Carolina seeking land. They were each granted a parcel on Watson Island. However, the men awakened magic on the land. It resulted in two of the families, the Beaufort’s and Watson’s receiving abilities. The third family the Colesworth’s inherited a cursed. These gifts/curses are passed down from generation to generations. The family’s history, pirates, voodoo and the present day story of Barrie and those on the island was fascinating.
  • The Writing- Boone delivers a beautifully written Gothic Southern novel. She paints a picture of the island, its history and the characters who live there. Our story revolves around protagonist Barrie Watson. Barrie is seventeen and upon her mother’s death, she discovers she has family on Watson Island. Leaving her dying Uncle behind in San Francisco, she goes to live with her Aunt Pru. Here she learns about her family history and the ancient spirit who cursed them all long ago. The world is magical, eerie and the gifts are not exactly gifts but compulsions that will not be denied. It was riveting.
  • Characters- Despite the rich details, the story itself is more character driven and Boone created delightfully fleshed out quirky characters. Aunt Pru seems eccentric, but as we learn about her, we see what the island has done.  Our protagonist Barrie is curious and tentative. Now free from her mother’s control she is determined to experience life. She wants to explore the island and unravel its secrets. Barrie is spirited and at times fearless. A young man named Eight acts as a guide for Barrie and their relationship develops into something deeper. Cassie, Barrie’s cousin fiends friendship and we soon learn she wants more from Barrie. The three families are intertwined from the beginning in scandal, drama, romance, and feuds. Boone gave us all the scandalous details and I was drawn to it like a bee to nectar.
  • Mystery- The overall mystery and suspense were presented to the reader with an unhurried pace with different storylines weaving slowly together. Ghosts, strange figures, unexplained happenings, strange pull calling the characters to act all had me wanting to stay on Watson Island and uncover its secrets. The thread regarding a fire carrier was one of my favorites. The story should be read/listened to at a leisurely pace.  Allowing the reader to absorb every detail. Boone builds the story on little tidbits creating ah-ha moments for the reader. I love how she allows the reader to make connects and discover things for themselves.
  • Romance- The romance was wonderfully done. It reminded me of summer from the sun on my skin to the smell of cut grass. Boone allowed it to develop from friendship, drawing it out with tender moments and laughter. It felt realistic and I basked in it.  I loved that this young adult novel didn’t succumb to the usual romantic tropes.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Compulsion and look forward to going back to Watson Island. Jacob did an excellent job narrating from the characters to capturing the atmospheric vibe of the story. I look forward to continuing this series on audio.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

61 Responses to “Compulsion by Martina Boone”

  1. Nicole

    I just met this author at RT and now I’m very intrigued about her series – maybe audiobook is the way to go! Sounds like they did an excellent job on this one!

  2. Michelle

    This definitely sounds likes a good one Kimba, I’ve had my eye on it for a while now and I keep seeing glowing reviews for it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Book two is getting awesome reviews as well, but I am waiting on the audio.

  3. Kay

    This book was gifted to me this last Christmas and I have yet to read it! Why am I waiting?! And the cover is gorgeous! I’m so glad you liked this one. I can’t wait to meet these quirky characters.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I have pondered that question about a book in my tbr pile before:)

  4. La La in the Library

    Compulsion and The Raven Boys both renewed my interest in YA Paranormal after hitting multitude of dnf stinkers in a row last year. I finished my ARC of Persuasion a few days ago and the romance scenes are even better, if you can believe it. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am quite picky when it comes to YA and loved this one. Raven Boys is on my list. So glad Persuasion was good, i am holding out for audio 🙂

  5. Yani

    I have heard so much of Compulsion. I have not read the synopsis, not until now and I am intrigued with it but the author “pushed” her book so much with giveaways, etc. and I was kinda irritated. Feeling 50/50 with this.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I missed out on the hype, but loved the audio, it was well done

  6. Jeann

    An eerie gothic setting, a mystery with all the storylines weaving together and a non tropey romance. Sounds like a great book all round!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved how the elements weaved together and how unique the characters were

  7. Debbie Haupt

    Oh Wow, Kim what a fantastic review and holy moly, Lowcountry, Gothic and paranormal rolled into one. I’m sold. Also sorry for not being around this week, been having medical issues that I hope (fingers crossed) are going away.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hope you feel better, I have had migraines and found out it was indeed sinus related so I am home in Pajamas and reading/sleeping. I will think good thoughts for you.

  8. Christy

    Are they getting it on in the middle of the road (cover)? Isn’t there a Beatles song about that? lol. I’m not digging YA lately, but hm, I’m liking that it doesn’t follow all the regular romance tropes.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You know I am picky with the YA, and aside from the age of the characters read very much like an adult novel.

  9. Emma

    I love the idea of this book, it really sounds like one that draws you in. Will have to add this to the TBR pile – it’s ever increasing!
    Thanks for the really well written review without giving too much away 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have a general rule that I never mention anything not mentioned already in the synopsis..the rest I leave to my opinions. Ha…my tbr pile constantly goes up, up ,up!

  10. Keionda

    An ancient curse and magic? Count me in! I don’t know what it is about books that have to do with magic curses but they always excite me! And then there’s romance which is awesome! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kimberly.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ha, I feel the same way Keionda those type of books just call my name

  11. Lindy

    I enjoy a good character-driven story, and this one sounds excellent with such beautiful writing, quirky and eccentric characters, mystery, and tender laugh out loud romance. I’m especially entrusted in the two families abilities, and the one family’s curses. Pirates, Voodoo, oh my!!! Great Review Kim 🙂

  12. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh I’ve been wanting something a bit different. I haven’t read a southern gothic novel in a while now. This sounds perfect! I love the sound of the romance! YaY! for no triangles! 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was refreshing, and I loved the quirkiness and mystery/magic elements

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Same to you Ann. Loved the pics of your daughter and you on Facebook 🙂

  13. Ro

    I love these type of picturesque novels that really take time to deliver all the details, and the romance sounds so wonderful. Totally enjoyed the way you wrote this review and want to get this book. Hugs…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was well done Brandi, I think you would enjoy many of the elements

  14. Lupdilup

    Moving this one to my next listen Kimba 😉 Sounds wonderful, and I’m totally getting hooked in thrillers, suspense, and mystery…So it fits my mood perfectly.
    Thank you!

  15. Stormi

    Sounds like a good one, so it’s going on the wishlist for later. 🙂 Thanks for telling me about this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Stormi I look forward to your thoughts

  16. Ramona

    This one ticks a lot of boxes for me. I read Ms. Boone before and was always pleasantly surprised. I’ll dive into this series soon 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first by her, but look forward to continuing the series.

  17. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Oh gosh – I loved this book! I’m very curious about about the audio – it sounds wonderful. I’m so happy you like Compulsion too, Kimba. I’m ready to dig into or maybe listen to Persuasion next 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved the audio, sometimes it adds that little extra element to take a story over the top for me

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Angela, I loved the writing in this

  18. kindlemom1

    I was really wondering how you were going to like this Kim, so relieved that you did! I have book two just waiting for me and I’m so excited to start it!

    I hope you have a wonderful long weekend!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Love it and hope you do too Ali. I am laying low this weekend and reading since I am not feeling well. Thought I would spend an hour catching up on comments.

  19. Laurel-Rain Snow

    This one does draw me in…it almost “compels” me! I don’t enjoy the stereotypical romance of many YA books…this one sounds tempting. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Sophia Rose

    I like that the author described the setting and the interesting gothic aspect of it all. I look forward to trying this book. Nice review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She really did great capturing the imagery.

  21. Red Iza

    Even if it’s YA, I’m tempted to read it, it looks promising ^^ Thanks for sharing – and that cover is gorgeous !

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am picky about YA and read very little but this was wonderful

  22. Rita

    New to me title and author, so thanks. I like the set-up, quite different!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Katherine I would be curious to see what you think

  23. Grace

    This sounds really good – love a mystery that also has romance. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehe. I went back and read it and yeah I am a poet and didn’t even know it 🙂

  24. Melliane

    It’s great to have a book lile that, mainly about the romance and the mystery. So interesting. I’m glad you had a good time, it’s a new one to me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad I could share it with you. I loved all the elements

  25. benish

    This book was quite popular when it first came out, it’s been on my TBR for the longest xD The mystery and romance aspects totally have me in! Awesome review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am really glad I chose to review the audio Benish it really worked out