ARC, Fantasy

The Quarter Storm by Veronica North (ARC)

Thanks to Kayla from Wunderkind PR and to the author for providing me with this new book!

Themes: Fantasy, Adult, Mystery/Thriller

The synopsis

A practitioner of Vodou must test the boundaries of her powers to solve a ritual murder in New Orleans and protect everything she holds sacred.

Haitian-American Vodou priestess Mambo Reina Dumond runs a healing practice from her New Orleans home. Gifted with water magic since she was a child, Reina is devoted to the benevolent traditions of her ancestors.

After a ritual slaying in the French Quarter, police arrest a fellow vodouisant. Detective Roman Frost, Reina’s ex-boyfriend—a fierce nonbeliever—is eager to tie the crime, and half a dozen others, to the Vodou practitioners of New Orleans. Reina resolves to find the real killer and defend the Vodou practice and customs, but the motives behind the murder are deeper and darker than she imagines.

As Reina delves into the city’s shadows, she untangles more than just the truth behind a devious crime. It’s a conspiracy. As a killer wields dangerous magic to thwart Reina’s investigation, she must tap into the strength of her own power and faith to solve a mystery that threatens to destroy her entire way of life.

The review

I immediately accepted the offer to review this book because of its intriguing premise. First, it was a mystery and I really like mysteries. Then, an unexpected element was added with the voodoo part, since the main character is a voodoo priestess or a Mambo if I want to be precise. So, I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about a subject I am absolutely not familiar with!

Even if I am not the biggest fan of the writing style of the author which is way too descriptive for me, I have to admit that it creates a strong atmosphere and that I really had the feeling of travelling in New Orleans. Even the way the characters are talking is mimicking the Southern accent. My favourite parts were the moments when Reina was practicing her magic, which were fascinating because I discovered an entire new witchcraft (if I can call it that way).

After a quick introduction of the main character and a bit of her background, the action is triggered and you are discovering other characters as Reina’s investigation is going on. I do not know if it is because of that or because of Reina’s numerous, digressing thoughts but I had some trouble remembering all the characters. I usually like the first-person narration but here I was given too many details at the same time and it slowed both the action and my reading. However, if you are a reader who is most of all character-driven, this narration might actually be for you.

I think my favourite aspect of the book was the integration of some social issues to the plot. In A Quarter of Storm, the author is talking about some important topics such as injustice and discrimination. And these are even more powerful since Reina is one of the victims. Coupled with the first-person narration, it allows the reader to live what is happening with her.

In brief: It was an interesting book, even if the pace was a bit too slow and the mystery simple for me. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had had in mind that I will be reading a mystery which is just an excuse to talk about other subjects such as injustice and the voodoo culture.

My rating: 3.5/5

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