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Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.

480 pages, Hardcover

First published October 25, 2016

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About the author

Martina Boone

14 books1,989 followers
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She's the award-winning author of feel-good romances set in magical places, including COMPULSION and the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse and the Celtic Legends series starting with LAKE OF DESTINY.

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5 stars
195 (37%)
4 stars
172 (32%)
3 stars
115 (21%)
2 stars
34 (6%)
1 star
11 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews
Profile Image for Martina Boone.
Author 14 books1,989 followers
August 3, 2015
This will be the final book in the Heirs of Watson island Trilogy. All the plots and subplots will finally be revealed, and they aren't what you think. Stay tuned!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews701 followers
September 28, 2016
I was so so so excited to get my hands on an arc of this book. I've enjoyed this series and I couldn't wait to see how it all ended.

Barrie and Eight are still captivating. After the ending in Compulsion, I was worried about some things, but my concern was unfounded. I was especially smitten with Pru in this book. She's got a lot of great, snarky lines.

The build up is a slow burn, much like the previous books. I enjoyed the layers and reveals of what was going on. It kept it from being a huge info dump. The eventual reveal did seem a bit less than what I was expecting, but I did like it and was completely satisfied with the ending.

Overall, I would have liked a bit more, perhaps an epilogue, but I'm greedy. How it played out and what we got was perfect for the series.

**Huge thanks to Simon Pulse for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Liza Wiemer.
Author 5 books658 followers
December 24, 2015
Magic! Swoon-worthy romance between Barrie and Eight. History not found in high school textbooks revealed! Stereotypes SMASHED! This is a series YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS. :)
Martina Boone does a phenomenal job bringing The Heirs of Watson Island trilogy to a magical conclusion with a heart pounding end!

Here's what you need to know...

The romance between Eight and Barrie is SMOKIN' HOT!

The magic is BREATHTAKING:

And the search for treasure leads to discoveries:

Ghosts are vanquished:

Lives are changed FOREVER & hopefully a...

Get ready for answers to all the questions you have about the yunwi, the Fire Carrier, Obadiah, and the curse. Mythology abounds, this is a series that goes beyond the magic, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Martina's research into history and folklore from many cultures is done with eye-opening compassion and understanding. Readers learn as Barrie and Eight learn. And oooooh my, those swoon-worthy kisses! Once again, Watson Island comes alive for the reader. You'll feel the beat of the music, want to dance along with Barrie and Eight, drool over the food, and rock in the Away, Eight's boat. You'll cheer for Pru and Seven as they figure out their relationship. Martina's writing is brilliant. There are so many lines you'll want to quote. So much wisdom, so much heart. And the ending. Such an ending!

This is a series you'll want to read from beginning to the very end. I LOVED IT! Don't miss it!!!!
Profile Image for Andye.Reads.
843 reviews429 followers
December 17, 2015
This book was such an incredible ending to an amazing, complex, and beautiful series. I swear this series should be taught in every school. The way Martina deals with issues of prejudice, slavery, sexism, relationships, and family, while telling a story that is so unique and engrossing is awe-inspiring. I love this series, I love these characters, and I love the way this book made me think about the world and all the issues we face every day. Brilliant.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
February 22, 2017
Really liked this but the first half had me worried. If there is one thing I've loved throughout this series is Barrie and Eight's dynamic and having a lack of that for the first 40% or so of this book really threw me off and I didn't love love this until closer to the end, but, it did end spectacularly and in a way realistically to the series.
Profile Image for Erin Arkin.
1,662 reviews356 followers
October 6, 2016
A great ending and a swoony Eight is my favorite kind of Eight...

You guys – have you started reading The Heirs of Watson Island series? If you haven’t…you need to fix that immediately. Especially now that the final book of the series is out at the end of this month, you have plenty of time to get started. There are so many great things about this series and I admit I was waiting to get my hands on Illusion for a while…ok since I finished book 2.

Illusion picks up right about where Persuasion wraps up so you don’t miss anything at all in the transition. I like that because while it had been a while since I read Persuasion, I was able to pick right back up and get back into the story. **Here is your warning – I will try not to spoil this book but I can’t promise anything for Compulsion and/or Persuasion so…if you aren’t ready for that, you might want to stop here and get reading.

One of my favorite things about these books is the world that Boone has created. Having the story take place in a small town in the South absolutely makes sense and it creates a feeling in the books that I don’t think would have been there had another area been chosen. Not only that but when I think of the pieces of the story that Boone created, I don’t think it would have really worked.

As for characters, Barrie is a favorite. She has been through a lot and has adapted to her surroundings well. As we lead into this book, Barrie has clearly made some tough decisions and because of that, she and Eight are not in the best place. As she struggles to figure out what is really important to her, she also needs to figure out what is really going on with Watson Island, the Yunwi, Obadiah and everything else that comes her way.

I do have to talk about Eight here because I really just want to. I admit it…I wanted my swoon in this book and I was concerned when I started but Boone came through for me on this piece and yeah, I know…it’s about more than the romance but COME ON! Swoony Eight is officially a thing. He is such a great character (in my opinion). He isn’t perfect but he is perfect for Barrie and they really do balance each other out.

The secondary characters are critical to this story as they all play important roles in all aspects of this book. Pru, Seven, Cassie – all of them had an impact on how we got from book one to book three and they continued to play a role in this book as the secrets and mysteries were unraveled.

As a final book I have to say Boone did a wonderful job wrapping everything up. All of the mystery of the island and what has been going on around Barrie since her first day, come to a close and I love that there wasn’t anything left hanging out there without answers. I can only imagine the amount of research that Boone did to complete this story and it was really well done. If you love mystery, stories that revolve around family and family history, and of course…swoon, check this out. I have to also say, the covers are gorgeous and they all look so pretty together!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
August 6, 2016
Wow! What can I say about this?? It was a beautifully written finale and the perfect ending to an amazing series! I loved every page and dreaded them at the same time since I didn't want this book to end. And of course it made me hungry for Southern food just like the other 2 books did! I'm really going to miss this world and Barrie & Eight. Bravo Martina on a brilliant finale!
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,851 followers
November 13, 2016
Really liked the end (and by that I literally mean the final chapter or two, not the book itself) to this trilogy but it was one tough slog to get there. But it's over, it's done, and that's one more series to have wrapped up this year. Unlike some others, however, I'm not sad to see the end of this one.

What had such potential in book one really got bogged down by so many details that I lost the love, lost sight the magic, just didn't care, and while Boone's writing could be very lovely and insightful, this story just felt overwhelmingly complicated and was full of too many characters I felt nothing for. Eight and Pru were the only exceptions.

I would not recommend the series to anyone but would be willing to give the author another go depending on what she releases next.
Profile Image for Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids.
1,952 reviews204 followers
October 10, 2016
Compulsion hooked me, Persuasion swept me off my feet, and Illusion reminded me of why I fell in love with this captivating series. Reading the Heirs of Watson Island series is like reading a story that has been passed down for generations. It hooks you with it's Southern Gothic charm, and intoxicating romance. Enchants you with it's magic, history, legend and mystery. Makes you fall in love with it's characters, and Boone's beautiful writing. Most importantly it will make you ponder over the history, and the magic, and the real possibility of it all. The past and present collide perfectly to give readers a beautiful ending to a fanatic series!

READ MY FULL REVIEW http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/2016/1...
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
December 1, 2016

2.5-3 stars

A series that has its moments - Martina Boone can certainly craft a beautiful sentence - and is rich in idea and imagery, but unfortunately it's also very long and plodding and I never felt much of a connection with the characters. Feels like a missed opportunity with such a cool premise. On the bright side, no triangle! :)
Profile Image for Colleen.
666 reviews114 followers
August 17, 2017
3 Stars

Illusion was overall a decent conclusion to a good trilogy, but it was not as strong an ending as I was hoping for. To be fair, whatever I read immediately after the Roses of May was probably bound to seem a tad lackluster. But I had a hard time getting into the first quarter of this book, and I was never as absorbed as I was in the first two books.

It did not help that during the first quarter of the book, Barrie seemed particularly goody two shoes Pollyanna. It got better, but I do a few long suffering sighs as the beginning. And the romance part was not as sweet as the first two books.

What I liked most was still like the blend of mythologies. But there were three separate plot lines. While they were all related they were more like threads twisted together as opposed to being woven together. They seemed very separate at times, so it was more like switching tracks rather than different elements blending cohesively. Each of these three threads basically had its own climax too. The main plot climaxed quite a way before the book ended, and the pace pestered out after that. Although all three books were a slow burn, having the finale climax too soon was unfortunate.

My review does sound a bit negative, so let me say that I did enjoy Illusion. It just was not quite as good as I was hoping. But it's still a good series.

Ease of Reading: 4 Stars
Writing Style: 4 Stars
Characters and Character Development: 3 Stars
Plot Structure and Development: 2 Stars
Level of Captivation: 3 Stars
Originality: 3 Stars
Profile Image for Brooke's Epic Emporium.
880 reviews189 followers
October 11, 2016
I want to thank Simon Pulse for providing me with an ARC of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

If you haven't read the first or second book in this series, what are you waiting for? Need something totally different? A paranormal thats just a bit off the beaten path? A ghostly story that also has a the feel witchy powers? This is the series for you! But if you haven't read the first two books, I can't promise there won't be spoilers from those in this review, as they really do need to be read before you can understand what's going on with this one! So GO BACK!

I will say, writing a review for a third book in a series without giving any major plot twists away is hard! But, suffice it to say, I think I can give you a nice overview of my thoughts without letting you know exactly what you're in for with this conclusion.

Of course the story picks up where Persuasion left off. Eight has isolated himself from Barrie for her keeping his secret and neither seems to be able to escape their curse of being bound to their respective homes. Which also means they are destined to be apart, or are they? Their only hope is Obediah but can he be trusted?

I will say having trust in a 100+ year old man was hard for me and has been since he was introduced. His agenda was never very clear. Which I know was what Boone intended. I'm pretty sure she wanted you to feel unsure of just where his loyalties stood. And you could feel this rift in Barrie, and especially in those friends and family surrounding her who love her and don't want to see her, or anyone else, get hurt.

We see the return of all our favorite characters with this book: Berg, Eight, Seven, Pru, Mary, Daphne. And some we're not sure we can love so much: Cassie, Obediah. We even see the some characters who we might not have been expecting to see! But we don't see anyone new introduced. It was nice to see the wrap up happen for all these characters. The conclusion to their unexpectedly magical and scary summer!

The book continues with it's southern gothic charm. Boone absolutely did her research when writing these books. While it takes place in North Carolina, I get this Lousiana feel when I read it. Maybe because Obediah almost reminds me of all those shows I've watch on TV with the "voo doo" men and women! Either way, Boone definitely transports you to a world outside of where you are.

Eight and Barrie continue to have that push and pull romance that I have come to adore with this series. It's not over the top love at first site but more of a longing and need and pull to be together because there is just no way they can be apart. But is this even possible with their curse and bindings? Well, I guess you'll just have to read the conclusion to find out!

Boone does a nice job of wrapping up all the story lines in this series. I wasn't left worrying about anyone and what was happening to them. The mysteries of the island come to a head and the explanation of the Fire Carrier and the bindings is revealed. A perfect finale for this series!
Profile Image for Lelia Nebeker.
125 reviews23 followers
September 8, 2016
A fabulous crescendo for the Heirs of Watson Island series! Martina Boone delivers a rich, satisfying, thoughtful conclusion to the story of Barrie, Eight, Pru, and all the other characters we've come to love throughout this beautifully crafted Southern Gothic trilogy. I loved how she tied together all the complex aspects of history and mythology to create a story that makes you really think about the nature of perspective in history and the voices whose stories have been silenced over the years.
Profile Image for Erin Cashman.
Author 2 books81 followers
October 18, 2016
I loved every page of ILLUSION, and was so sad to see this beautifully written series come to an end! In addition to the wonderful characters – including an exciting new chapter in Barrie and Eight’s lives – together and apart – this book tied everything up in a way that I never expected. Boone brilliantly weaves history, folklore, myths and legends in a completely unique way, while still keeping the stakes and tensions high with heart pounding action. I highly recommend this book – and this series!
Profile Image for Freda Malone.
378 reviews60 followers
July 5, 2017
The conclusion to the modern magical world of Watson Landing and Beaufort Hall was all I was hoping it would become. The curse between the 3 plantations and the families is finally solved along with much forgiveness, sacrifice and mystical presence. The writer put her heart and soul into this trilogy with much history of American Indians, slavery, and physical science to almost give you a headache but if you have an appreciable imagination, you'll love this story. Gone with the Wind meets Romeo and Juliet, as it says in one review I read - but let me add 'meets Harry Potter'. Hard to say goodbye to this one.
397 reviews213 followers
March 25, 2022
Was this written by a different author? I highly enjoyed the first two books but this one was a snooze fest. I think you could seriously skip more than half the book and not miss anything. Who cares about her learning to ride a horse and starting a restaurant?

For the first half of the book Eight was being stupid and mad and by the time they got back together (not really a spoiler, because come on we all knew that was going to happen) I didn't care anymore.

Usually flashbacks are the worst part of a book, but the letters from the past were one of the few things that caught my interest. The past mystery with the ghosts and the little people, yunwi (okay mostly the yunwi) are why I read this book. (And Obidiah.)

If Obidiah was the main character there wouldn't be anything boring about this book. Now there's a fascinating character! (Okay, so he's not exactly a good guy, but that only makes him more interesting.)

There's a part before the end where it feels like it's over but it's not, I wish I'd stopped there. The rest was just a disappointment.
Profile Image for Lollyletsgo.
356 reviews11 followers
February 17, 2017
Really nice ending to this trilogy, it wrapped up all the remaining questions. I did love the relationship between Eight and Barrie and how she was able to view the relationships of the others around her.
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,016 reviews230 followers
April 11, 2017
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**

YA Review
My Thoughts
Ahh, I can't believe the Heirs of Watson Island Trilogy is done. I loved Illusion, it might be my favorite book out of all of them, and this was one heck of an ending. The hard part about this trilogy is that with each of the books it is getting harder and harder to write spoiler free reviews. Martina Boone has created such a detail rich world that is so woven is layers and layers of secrets and mysteries that it is almost impossible to say something about book 3 without giving something away. Needless to say, you need to read this series in order. So if you have not read Compulsion or Persuasion yet, stop reading this review right now and go start reading this series. You will love it!

I can see this trilogy, appealing to so many different kinds of readers. It will appeal to fans of romance, mystery, as well as fans of creepy/dark books. It is labeled as a southern gothic. I can't say that I have had too much experience in this particular genre, but if they are all like the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy, I need to start reading more of them. This series had so many layers and such a depth to its' story.

You really had to pay attention or you would miss something, both in Illusion and in this trilogy. Each of the books really builds and builds so read each page carefully. A few times I felt myself getting swept up in the story and reading quicker and quicker to find out what was going to happen next and then before I knew it I felt a little lost, like I had missed something. When I picked up Illusion, it took me a moment to get back into the swing of things and to remember what each of the three families "gifts/curses" were. But once I did, I was once again completely swept up in the magic that Martina Boone weaves with her words.

The story is crazy good, and it just keeps unfolding. Right when you think there couldn't possibly be any more, there is. I loved this series so freakin much, and I have to say the ending is pretty great. It is not often that I feel like a series or trilogy is wrapped up perfectly, and this one is! I think that is why Illusion is my favorite book in the bunch. I just want to re-read this series right now.

Bottom line: You need to read this series. If you haven't go out and grab Compulsion right now. If you have read the first two books, Illusion is not going to disappoint. I loved Barrie and Eight. Freaking loved them. Not only that but I love how vivid and rich this series feels. I can feel the mansion, the fire, the spirits, and all the tensions among the families. Not to mention the suspicion and distrust that was a tangible force on every page. Martina Boone is amazing at subtly and character building and atmospheric writing. She has created three incredible families, one incredible world and a kick butt story. The Heirs of Watson Island is one of my favorite series. It is great from start to finish.

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
684 reviews
December 4, 2019
Review is also up on THE LITERARY HUNTRESS

I love Watson Island. I might not click with all the characters, but I love the landscape and setting and the feeling of the island as a whole. The seclusion from nearby city felt refreshing- it doesn’t mean they’re not up to date with technologies, but it’s refreshing to not see them everywhere. Stories that are set in the present day, even in small towns, tend to have technology mentioned/appear everywhere. Here, everything is more subtle as the stories itself focused on magic and the past.

Unfortunately, that’s the only thing I’m 100% have positive feelings for. The rest of the elements are very mixed, in my opinions. For starters, there are so many things going on in the past that Barrie has tried to uncover, which are interesting but also too much to fit into one book.

I also find myself really annoyed with Barrie. She still took the lead and responsibility, but everything always come back to her and her problems. It’s not all bad though, as I really enjoyed other side characters! Pru and Mary will always have a special place in my heart, fierce women that still hold so much femininity.

The last thing is the writing style, which somehow felt really descriptive and preachy in this book. It adds to the atmosphere, but there are so many monologues that felt like explicit teaching moments. Like we were talking about finding something about the founders, and then there were 2 paragraphs about how finding the truth can lift a lot of prejudice and there are a lot of things you can’t overlook etc etc.

As the final book to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy, I find Illusion to be a bittersweet ending. I still love the setting and the magic surrounding it, but the plot felt convoluted. I fell in love and gained more understanding on the history as well as some characters, but also fell out of love for our main character. And the writing felt really descriptive and lecturing, which gives the book the extra length compared to other books in the series. It was imperfect, but I’m glad for one last chance to return to the Watson’s Island, with all its flaws and imperfections.
Profile Image for Nicole .
656 reviews179 followers
June 4, 2017
3.5 stars... I enjoyed this more than I thought I would! And it was full of these mature perspectives/life lessons that I enjoyed being reminded of (although some might consider it preachy or unrealistic coming from a teenager)
Profile Image for Kim.
506 reviews31 followers
October 2, 2017
Not the ending I was hoping for. Not that it was a bad ending, but it's always disappointing when the technicalities of the "magic" overshadow the wonder. I loved the almost-magic-realism feel of the first book, but this one had more in common with a metaphysical science text.

Add in some philosophical ponderings about the horrors of slavery and the shortcomings of historical records, and the relationships and mystery shaping the rest of the series read more like window dressing for an (albeit interesting) educational lecture series than the heart of the book.
Profile Image for Kathy MacMillan.
Author 31 books437 followers
November 15, 2016
A swoony, fast-paced end to the series. It was gratifying to see Barrie step up and take ownership of her story, of her relationship to Watson's Landing, and her role in atoning for her family's past. Eight remains one of my favorite book boyfriends. There were a lot of moving parts to this story, but Boone keeps all the plates spinning right through to the satisfying conclusion.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,639 reviews161 followers
December 23, 2016
"It's a fine line, isn't it? The difference between persuasion and compulsion."

A very interesting but good conclusion to the series. It was a little...anti-climatic, but I did like following how they got to end and for finally having answers for everything. So many questions followed from book 1 and 2 through to this conclusion but it is all wrapped up.
Profile Image for Mary C.
584 reviews
January 28, 2017
I'm so sad, I had a down day and decided to power through this book, couldn't wait to get it and I just couldn't do it. I so enjoyed the first in the trilogy and the second was tough but good... this just slogged through the middle until I skipped to the end ( hardly ever remember doing this) and still had to put it down.
Profile Image for Jennifer Harris.
51 reviews2 followers
January 8, 2017
I loved the first two books in this series, but not this one so much. It seemed really slow, there was a lot of conversations that I couldn't follow, there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary descriptions, and I just had a hard time finishing it. Overall great series though.
Profile Image for Diana-christie Biancardi.
1,465 reviews26 followers
February 7, 2017
It was hard to read this to the end!!! I remember I loved the first book in this series, Compulsion, then I don't know what happened. It seemed like a creepy start to a good series about ghosts, murder, and cursed plantations.
Profile Image for Kerryn (RatherBeReading).
1,498 reviews93 followers
August 6, 2017
While I still enjoyed this, overall I was a little disappointed in this final book in the series.

The intricacies of the plot became really hard to follow and the book felt overly long.

I do love Barrie and Eight and I would really have liked an epilogue.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews

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