Ebook - Carina Press - Novel
TBR Reviewer: Nat
In the haven known as Quarter Square, Joe encounters a community of supernatural street performers who straddle the mortal world and the magic realm known as the Wild. Here, Joe finds a sense of belonging he's never known before—and a chance to uncover the truth behind the frightening visions that have haunted him since childhood. He also meets Min, an enchanting singer who quickly captures his heart.
But as Joe settles into Quarter Square, he learns their haven is under attack, while an ancient enemy threatens to tear him and Min apart. Now, Joe must learn to wield his own powers in order to save the life he's come to love...
The book starts when Joe, the protagonist, finds out that his wife is cheating on him with his best friend. He throws everything away and decides to restore an old, abandoned theater. There, he encounters a community of magical dance performers and feels like he finally found a place he belongs.
The story itself wasn't strong enough to keep me reading. I wasn't "immersed" into their world. The narrative is too passive and he accepted this strange magical world so quickly. I didn't have any questions that needed an answer. I didn't feel a connection to the characters to like them. A lot of things were just random as well. It was so disjointed.
Mr. Bridger has lots of potential. I saw it in there but it's not quite up to par yet. I hope to read his second novel in this series and find that his writing as well as his characters have grown.
Excerpt of 'Quarter Square':
They looked more like a married couple than Carole and I ever had. Well dressed in similar styles and exuding the same casual confidence, like two peas in a pod. How come I’d never noticed that before? Too busy with my own stuff, I supposed. Certainly that was how things had been for the past year or so. Too concerned with the new direction my life was taking and always on the defensive against Carole’s complaints about the changes.
She saw me first, and Tony’s shoulders tensed in response to her expression. I paused by their table without making eye contact and told them, “I’ll wait for you upstairs.”
A waiter noticed me and moved to lay another place at their table, but I shook my head. This time yesterday I’d been enjoying a full English. Today I didn’t belong.
Somehow it didn’t feel right to go into the hotel room I’d shared with Carole, but I didn’t have to wait in the corridor for long. I guess their appetites were no better than mine. Carole opened the door, and I made a beeline for the armchair with a view from the window. I didn’t want to look at them.
“I’m so sorry, love.” Carole was near to tears.
I stared out at a yacht sailing across Plymouth Sound. “Don’t call me love.”
“Joe…” Tony whined.
When I glared at him, he glanced at my white knuckles on the arms of the chair.
He licked his bottom lip, which was swollen and shiny.
“I’m not going to hit you again. You’re not worth it. Say your piece and let’s get this finished.”
Neither of them spoke.
“How long has it been going on?”
“For a while,” Carole admitted. “We’re in love, Joe. It isn’t just sex. We’d never do that to you.”
“How. Bloody. Long?”
Tony bit the bullet. “Nearly a year.”
“We were going to tell you,” Carole said. “Honestly, love. It was never the right time.”
“Well, now it is. Tell me.”
“We want to be together,” Tony said. “We didn’t want to hurt you.”
Enough was enough. I stood and prepared to leave.
“Hang on.” Tony extended his hand, his fingertips splayed and quivering slightly, as if I were a hot plate and he didn’t want to get burned. “We can’t leave it like this.”
“We should sort it out,” Carole said.
“We can sort it out later,” I replied. “Right now I don’t want talk to you.”
“Carole and I are going to live together,” Tony blurted. “We’re going back to London today. What will you do?”
What the hell did they expect me to do? Sit in the car with them? Make small talk? Hang around the house like a spare part while Carole packed up and left me? Well, none of those things were going to happen. That much was certain. But what was I going to do?
For a moment music echoed in the back of my mind: a woman’s voice, singing in the distance.
“I’m not going back. I’m staying here.”