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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 ...
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...
Stupid phobia. I'd never even seen a wolf in the flesh, and there was no way a wolf would be prowling the roof space of an abandoned theatre in Plymouth. No reason to think the creatures above me were anything other than rats.
It would serve Tony right if his building was infested. I might call the local council tomorrow and let them know. After all, I was supposed to be surveying the place. Might get a pest-control inspector down here and make it official before Tony even knew he had a problem.
On the other hand, I would probably walk away and leave him to his rats.
The place smelled old. Not damp. Not rotting. Just dusty and ancient. I rolled onto my back, gave my scalp and beard a good scratch and tried to concentrate on the noises and the smell of dry centuries. I preferred them to the sound of my thoughts and the stink of betrayal.
But the scurrying rats and deep darkness offered no distractions, and my haunted mind slid back to the source of my misery: the bright hotel room to which I'd returned unannounced twelve hours earlier, to find my naked wife riding my naked best friend.
I couldn't blank out the memory of her hair swaying across her back, or their moans of pleasure as I walked into the room, or Tony's grunt of pain when Carole twisted off him to crouch on the floor by the other side of the bed.
"Joe." They gasped it simultaneously.
They tried to talk to me, but I didn't want to hear any of their shit. Tony took a step towards me, covering himself with a pillow and spouting some pacifying crap, until I punched him in his lying mouth. He went down, spitting blood, and had the sense to stay down.
Carole wrapped herself in the bedsheet and stood tall. She raised her chin to me, as if offering a second target.
How could she think that of me? I'd never lifted a finger against her. She might have felt better about herself if I had hit her, but that wasn't my style.
I sighed into the darkness. So here I was, alone in a strange city, at the lowest point in my life, spending a night on the dirty floor of my property developer friend's latest auction purchase, with nowhere else to go and no one to turn to. Great.
New noises broke into my thoughts: footsteps and low-pitched voices coming from somewhere inside the building, as if men were walking up the corridor from the fire exit towards the foyer, on the other side of the wall from me.
I scrambled around for my boots, grabbed the heavy lamp without turning it on and pushed open one of the double doors a crack.
Three lithe, muscular young men dressed in dark clothing filed purposefully across the moonlit foyer. Their supple movements put me in mind of cats.
They didn't break stride as they approached a blank wall. Just before he hit the old plaster, the front man snapped his fingers, and a door appeared in the wall.
My jaw dropped, but I managed to stay silent.
The finger snapper held the door open for the others, then walked through and left it to swing shut behind him.
I hurried across the foyer to catch the door before it closed, opened it carefully and slipped through, then stood on the pavement and stared out to where the office buildings should have been. But they weren't there. In their place, a raggedy square of Elizabethan houses surrounded a small public garden.
Posted July 6, 2011
TBR Reviewer: Nat
The plot is good, but it wasn't an engaging read.
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.
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Posted July 13, 2011
(This review was originally published at VampireBookClub .net)
David Bridger has crafted something refreshingly different with Quarter Square with great doses of escapism, fear of being hunted and a heaping of 'otherness.'
Our protagonist Joe has just suffered the ultimate shock - his wife in bed with his best friend - and in his pain ends up ditching them, his house, his former life to refinish an old theater. Sounds classic off-the-deep end, right? But Joe isn't really all that broken up over it. Something had never been quite right between him and the wife, and, well, he's feeling oddly at home in this run-down building. He hears people in the building late at night, following them through a door that so wasn't there before. On the other side is a whole other world. A small community with lively music and interesting people. He's (mostly) welcomed to Quarter Square, where people who are 'other' can live. The big distinction here is the people who live in Quarter Square can do magic, but are never really defined as fae. Their skills are varied and it's a very communal, gypsy-esque lifestyle. (And, admittedly, one I wouldn't mind escaping to from time to time.)
Along with the interesting, endearing and, occasionally, aggressive folk of Quarter Square, Joe meets Min. He's immediately taken with her, but realizes he's in a weird situation. He's now promised the people of Quarter Square to restore the theater - one of the few remaining portals into the other world - provided the artistic folk are willing to perform in it. He's just trying to do right by them, but can't stop dreaming of Min.
I won't go into more details, as to avoid giving away the plot. But know there is more to the 'other' side than just Quarter Square, including The Wild, werewolves, war and enough immortality to go around. Min and Joe are fated to meet, but he'll have to decide if he should go with his gut or let others make hard choices for him. Additionally, he begins to learn of his own magic, and must determine how to use it.
I don't know the last time I related better to the male lead in a novel than his female counterpart, but that's certainly the case with Quarter Square. He's a honest guy trying to deal with crazy situations and trying to own up to his own role in things. You want him happy, and love experiencing the freedom of Quarter Square with him.
You may be thinking: If I loved the world-building and the protagonist and the conflict so damn much why is it only 4 stars? It's a fair question. And the reason is this: Once I got to really know Min - when she let her guards down - I didn't like her as much, and the quick change in her personality was a bit grating. Joe was still all about her, but she just gave me the itch where I wondered if she was really good enough for him. Or even good for him. I expect to make a firm decision on my feelings for Min in the second book. Until then, I'll be keeping an eye on her.
Bottom line: Great characters throughout and fantastic world-building make Quarter Square an excellent paranormal read.
Sexual content: Sex scenes
Posted July 10, 2011
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