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.
rubs hands Okay then, let’s do this! For those of you who haven’t read Compulsion, reading beyond this point may be a bad idea because spoilers. BEWARE.
I have A LOT of things to say about Persuasion. And since, being me, I love to dissect the books that I love, Persuasion is going to pretty much get the same royal treatment 😛
Persuasion begins with Barrie Watson, our protagonist, coming back to Watson’s Landing from San Francisco. And that was amazing, and exactly what I hoped for, because she’d gone to San Francisco for her godfather’s funeral in the first place, and I didn’t want to see that as a part of the book. Why? Simply because I didn’t want to start the book in tears. Barrie is heartbroken and just absolutely devastated and coming back to Watson’s Landing is supposed to be helpful and calming. Instead, reporters, curious locals, and archaeologists are flocking the place to catch a glimpse of the Fire Carrier and discover the hidden gold at Colesworth Place.
Seeing Barrie’s reaction—her instant dislike for the negative attention and her fierce protectiveness for the place—made me realise just how much Barrie has grown both as a character and as an individual. She was less shallow than she was in Compulsion, less selfish and definitely en route to becoming one of my favourite female leading ladies of all time! Her decisions, though sometimes stupid and reckless, were all guided by love and a deep slated need to do right by Watson Island and its inhabitants. Barrie completely and absolutely became a mama bear in this book, and from a YA character, it became both unique and awesome to read.
Within the first 10% of the book, we get to see Cassie Colesworth again, Barrie’s cousin, and almost the reason of her death. Cassie, I have to say, may be the most evil and misguided of characters in the book, but I have to say that as a reader, she is one of the most developed and complex characters I have ever read. Cassie had her own shades of grey and it was absolutely fascinating to see the many facets of humanity through this one girl. Of course, her motivations and her way of doing things were questionable, but as a character, she is hands down the most brilliant! Again, with Persuasion, new secrets are revealed about the Colesworths, Cassie included, and I was absolutely taken aback by what I read! Believe me, you will be too! Complete, complete shocker, done flawlessly in a way that only Martina Boone can!
It was honestly so amazing to see Eight Beaufort again! He was one of my favourite characters in Compulsion because, um obviously, and I’m glad to report that he still holds in spot in Persuasion! But here’s the thing—Eight changed. A Lot. What with his gift of knowing exactly what people want and being compelled to give it to them, Eight and Barrie have a hard time trying to understand exactly what it is that keeps them together—does Eight love her because it is what she wants, or because he wants to love her? It’s kind of tricky and after how Eight and Barrie left it at the end of Persuasion, I’m flipping out to see how this particular part of the plot is resolved in Illusion.
And of course, the character I can talk about for dayyssss but won’t talk about much because spoilers. The “stranger filled with magic” who arrives at Watson’s Landing. This stranger is the reason I wanted to savour the book and did not want to read the end ever! You see, he’s not your typical villain. Hell, I’m not sure if he’s a villain at all! This guy has got to be one of my favourite villains of all time and I am not even kidding. He’s got style and motive, powers and threats, and goddamn it, I’m really into him! This guy was both scary and full of charm, and it was completely love at first creep with him and me ❤
I can honestly say it was great to see all the old characters from Compulsion! I felt like I understood Pru, Seven, Mary, even Mark so much better than Compulsion, and without them, Barrie and Eight would be lost. Of course, everyone in Watson Island seems to have a secret of their own, but one of the most intriguing secrets is the relationship (or lack thereof) between Pru and Seven. Cannot wait to find out what really happened there, and how they’re going to move forward!
Once again, Martina Boone writes with a talent that is unmatched. I don’t know how she does it, but she kind of dragged me into Southern Goth and it’s a genre that is completely new to me! Her writing has a skill and it is absolutely graceful—which is something that is unique and captivating! She makes the reader think and feel, but most importantly, she helps you get lost in the wonderful world she has created. With this series going the way it is, and each book only getting better, Illusion is going to blow my head off. I just know it.