Author: Martina Boone
Series: Heirs of Watson Island #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: YA, Southern Gothic
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO HARD. It had some slight romance, some voodoo magic, some Native American lore, and some serious villains. Could you even ask for more?! Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived 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.
1. Barrie Watson is a FANTASTIC MC and I love her…for the most part.
This book opens after Barrie’s mother has died. She is sent to live with her Aunt Pru (whom she’s never met) on Watson Island (where she’s never been). She doesn’t really know what to expect, but in the first chapter, we kind of figure out a little about Aunt Pru since she completely forgets to pick Barrie up from the airport; she takes a cab instead. Barrie is really smart and headstrong. She is dealing with the loss of her mother and the cancer her godfather has – which is the reason she was sent away. She has an awesome supernatural gift of being able to find like things. This is a compulsion of hers – whenever there are lost things, she gets this sick feeling until the specific thing is found. I wish I had this power. The only downside to Barrie was that whenever she was with Eight, she became this rude, angry person for NO APPARENT REASON. I couldn’t handle this. I don’t know how Eight handled this. But, for the most part, she was pretty awesome.
2. We get to meet a lot of Barrie’s long lost family members.
The whole story kind of centers around Barrie and wanting to meet the only family she has left. She meets her cousin, Cassie, and you really don’t know what to think of her. Cassie is desperate for Barrie’s help in finding her family’s lost treasures, since Cassie’s family doesn’t have a “gift.” I’ll give Barrie some credit here, she is determined to see the good in everybody. None of Eight’s friends like Cassie (which is drastically clear), Eight himself doesn’t like Cassie, and Barrie’s whole household warns her to stay away from Cassie. So what does she do?! She attempts to get close to her and trusts her blindly! That sounds like a great idea! Cassie has a sister (who I didn’t really have an opinion about) and a horrible father named Emmett who is a super villain. He becomes a huge part of the story’s plot. However, he’s horrible. And you know this from the start, so don’t say I spoiled anything for you.
3. The supernatural element in this caught me off guard.
Granted, I knew there would be some supernatural elements to this, but I didn’t see much in the beginning past the gifts of the Watsons. However, you learn a LOT. You see a Native American spirit, and hear a spooky tail about spirits on the island. There is a blood sacrifice and scary ghosts and so much history to the island. Cassie actually tells Barrie the story, but you want to take it with a grain of salt since Cassie is saying it. But, something happens that proves Cassie’s story to be true, regardless of what you want to think. But believe me, this super creeped me out and caught me off guard.
4. Barrie’s family history is weird. It is super creepy and makes you want to take a shower.
Barrie’s mother, Lula, never talked about Barrie’s family or Watson Island. Everything we learn in the book about Barrie’s family, we as readers are learning with her. I thought this was an awesome way to do this. We know what Barrie knows, and it kept me guessing the whole time. This is one of those Southern Gothic novels where there IS that crazy family history and a crazy family feud where no one knows where it started, and no one knows if it will end. As someone *not* from the South, I find all of these things intriguing. I love me some Southern Gothic. This definitely fit the bill.
OVERALL: FIVE STARS!!! I know this was really short, only because there’s SO much to spoil. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so trust me when I say that this was AWESOME. The end was super crazy (and really catches you off guard). I seriously did NOT expect that ending. Trust me when I say, you want to read this. It was so, so good. Click the link below to order, or go support your local library!
NOW, IT’S MY VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!! To celebrate 311 of you wonderful followers, I am giving away my hardback copy of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. Contest ends on April 10, so enter away! This giveaway is US only, I’m sorry. I’m poor!