Nov 29, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Guest Review: River Road by Suzanne Johnson (Sentinels of New Orleans #2)

Marcela from The Bookaholic Cat is here today to review a book I really want to get around to reading one day soon. It sounds really good!

Urban Fantasy
November 13 2012
330 pages
Tor Books
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Drusilla Jaco

From Goodreads –
Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.


*Warning: This review may contain spoilers from first book of the series, Royal Street.*

 River Road is the second book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson.

River Road starts three years after the events in Royal Street (the first book in the series). New Orleans is recovering after Hurricane Katrina and Drusilla Jaco (DJ) is working as the Wizard Sentinel of New Orleans.  Alex Warin is still in the picture and working as an enforcer alongside DJ.

DJ is doing better but she can’t stop blaming herself for what happened in Royal Street, not only for what happened to Gerry but for what happened to Jake Warin.  She she hasn’t seen Jake in the last three years because he left New Orleans as soon as he became a loup-garou; he knew he needed to learn to control this new side of him not to be a danger to others.  Thanks to the help he received from the Congress of Elders Jake has learned to control his loup-garou side and now has been appointed as an enforcer in New Orleans.

The undead pirate Jean Lafitte asks DJ for help.  The swamp has been poisoned and two clans of merpeople are not only being affected but they are blaming each other.  If things continue like this they will go to war.  Jean Lafitte wants DJ to investigate what’s going on before things get worse between the clans.  DJ can’t say no to him because he saved her life in Royal Street and she feels she owes him.

DJ’s investigation gets more complicated when she finds the bodies of two wizards in the swamps.  Not only is the water being poisoned but somebody is also killing wizards.  At least DJ is not alone; Alex and Jake are now helping her with the investigation.  The problem is that while they are solving the mystery of the swamps the tension between them is increasing and the rivalry between the Warin cousins is at its peak.  And between all that Testosterone Fair is DJ and her confusing feelings.

And if all that wasn’t enough the Elves are showing an interest in DJ and being interesting to the Elves is not something to be proud of, but wary of.

DJ has come a long way since Royal Street; some years have passed and now she has more experience.  She is a better wizard and is more self assured. At the same time she is discovering things about herself, her family and her past, things she didn’t know, and I’m sure there are many more surprises to come in reference to her ancestry.

With regards to her heart, she doesn’t know what or whom she wants. She is very attracted to Alex but she knows that while they are working together they shouldn’t get involved.  At the same time she really likes Jake and though they had something in Royal Street, circumstances took them apart.  Now that Jake is back she doesn’t know if they should try to resume where they left off or if they should leave it at that.  Of course we also have to take Jean Lafitte into consideration.  He may be undead but he has the moves and wants DJ.  And even though DJ doesn’t want to like him, he has charisma in droves and when he is playing all his cards it’s impossible for DJ (or anyone) not to feel a bit attracted to him.

I wasn’t so sure about Alex in Royal Street but I liked him a lot more in this installment.  He’s now DJ’s partner in all the sense of the word.  He supports her with her investigations and is also a good and caring friend.  Some changes are coming, Alex and DJ’s situation is going to change and maybe that change won’t be only on a professional level.  We need to wait for future books to see what Mrs. Johnson has in store for them.

One thing I didn’t like much about him was his misgivings about Jake’s control.  I think Jake needed people to trust him now more than ever and Alex’s doubts didn’t help him at all.  It just made him doubt himself even more.

Talking about Jake, he broke my heart in this installment.  He really got the short end of the stick in Royal Street; the Jake in River Road is a shadow of the one he was.  I really hope Mrs. Johnson has something very spectacular planned for him, he deserves it.

In regards to Jean Lafitte, I’m with DJ here.  I don’t want to like him, I know he is not alive and I don’t know how trustworthy he really is, but I can’t help it, I love him!  I love the way he is, the way he dresses, the way he talks, I love everything about him and really hope to see a lot more of him in books to come.

In River Road we are introduced to an array of new characters.  There are the merpeople who are like nothing you could have imagine or anything you have read before.  Don’t expect an “Ariel” because you won’t find it here and I really liked that.  I liked that Mrs. Johnson took them and made them hers.

There is also a new neighbor with a secret agenda, of that I’m more than sure and we can’t forget the scary Elves, I’m guessing they will have an important part in books to come.

One of the things I liked the most about River Road and this series in general it’s the setting. I loved how Mrs. Johnson gave it life with her words and transported me to New Orleans, the swamps and their surroundings.

River Road was an action packed page-turner with a plot full of twists and turns that kept me page after page on the edge of my seat.  And with one of those “I didn’t see that one coming” ends, an end that left me wanting for more.

I recommend you to read Royal Street before reading River Road.

4.5 stars paws

Books in the Sentinels of New Orleans series –
Royal Street
River Road
Elysian Fields (August 2013)

  1. Great wrap up and review. I LOVED this book and had many of the same comments and reactions as you. I did not read Royal Street first, and felt the book can be read without it; however, I did bug the author on Twitter a few times for some background info. Clearly you had some additional insight and different reactions because you did read RS first. Either way, I cannot wait to read the third book next year! Thanks for the review!

  2. Enjoyed your review. I liked River Road more than Royal Street, really good when the second book in a series is better. Looking forward to Elysian Fields next August. Recommend readers buy two, one for them and one for a friend.

  3. ^^ i love this book and i adore Jean^^ ( even with his hidden agenda!)

    thank you for this well written review!

  4. Yup I totally want to read book 1, please book 1, come by my house and live there, lol

  5. Jen, You did good asking Suzanne for the background info, I wouldn’t have thought of doing that.

    Roger, That’s a great recommendation, there is nothing better than gifting books to friends.

    Miki, Jean is dreamy!! 🙂

    Linda, LOL you are funny.

  6. Oh great review Marcelia! I loved this book as well. totally understand for the men in her life, she is a lucky girl, not one, not two but three!!!

  7. Great review. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts

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