Friday, 8 February 2013

A Review for River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans #2) by Suzanne Johnson

River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans, #2)
Posted by Melanie
Release Date: November 22nd, 2012
Finished Date: January 29th, 2013
Publishers: Headline
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 387
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

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.

The Review: 4.5 Stars! 

River Road is a great follow up to Royal Street. It was nice to catch up with these characters and their world, I really haven’t been reading enough of this genre lately and this reminded me of how I’m missing out.

It’s set a couple of years after book one and not much has changed – DJ is now the regions Sentinel, working alongside Alex to keep the preternaturals in order because now that the borders are down, they’re busier than ever. This time it’s the Merpeople acting up and they get brought into a dispute by two rival clans, each claiming the other poisoned the water trying to kill the other side and when they head out there to resolve it, they’re in for more than they bargained for as they begin to find dead wizards in what looks like ritual killings. Suspicion turns to the merpeople because of their hatred of the wizards, so it’s down to DJ & Alex to work it all out before the contaminated water starts affecting the humans and exposing the pretes. If things weren’t complicated enough, DJ has found herself back in favour with the men in her life – in particular one troublesome pirate to whom she owes a debt – how is she ever going to repay him?

As I said, it’s a great sequel which actually was better than the first for me. Royal Street was very much tied to Hurricane Katrina and its immediate aftermath, which I loved but with this set around 5 years later and things have calmed down some. We still get the backdrop, descriptions of the rebuilding and the changes in the way of life being spoken about but that isn’t the main focus although the author does use the BP oil spill in a slightly different way as she starts to open up the preternatural world by introducing new species, who in turn bring their own histories & feuds.

The characters are just as good, DJ has come into her own a lot and is doing a good job with her elven staff. The love quadrangle seemed to just drop of a cliff only to be restarted in this because we find out that DJ & Alex had a ‘discussion’ and decided to remain as friends especially seen as they now work together permanently, Jake blaming DJ for his predicament – takes off – only to return in this along with his interest in her and Jean Lafitte also went about his business and rekindled his interest in her five years later which is a bit confusing. I LOVE the banter, the posturing, the staking claims and the sexual tension this brings but I think the time lapse between books was not a good thing for the continuity and made the progression seem a little off, it would have been better with a year gap, maximum.

I really enjoyed the developments throughout, it had the same action, humour, romance etc as the first, even the pacing was great and I like it a lot. As I said, the author is introducing us to the wider world and I like that development, it gives a lot of space for the author to go in future books. I like that we get to know Alex a little better through the introduction of his family and that there are things DJ is just discovering about herself which is bringing interest from unexpected places too. Is her life in danger?
 I loved everything about it to be honest, even the love square – for the fun factor – I have a favourite Jand am already counting down the months until the next book which will be going on my must read list. 

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