Thursday 23 August 2012

A Review for Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans #1) by Suzanne Johnson

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans, #1)Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Release Date:  April 10th, 2012
Finished Date: August 17th, 2012
Publishers: Tor Books 
Source: For Review 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

The Review:  Royal Street is a great start to a new series involving Sentinels – who are Wizards in their various forms and governed by a group of Elders – they protect the borders of the real world from preternaturals who want to crossover from the Otherworld and live on earth for their own gains, they will do just about anything to stay here offering bargains and such to the Sentinels but are usually sent back to where they came from. Until Hurricane Katrina comes along and thins the veil between the worlds and lets loose a whole host of ‘pretes’ with their own agendas and to make matters worse the main New Orleans Sentinel – Gerry St. Martin - has gone missing. His apprentice – DJ- is recalled back to the devastation to lend a hand in regaining control of the area and whilst her priority is returning the escaped pretes, she has taken it upon herself to find and hopefully rescue her mentor. But, the Elders throw a spanner in the works by assigning her a partner, a very distracting partner who is an enforcer with his own mission and it may end up being in direct conflict to DJ’s for whilst he is investigating some murders that seem to be ritualistic (and DJ’s area of expertise) he also has doubts that Gerry is simply dead and word is. . . Gerry has made a deal with the other side. So, DJ  is in a quandary – can she trust her new partner? Can they help stop the serial killer? Can she solve Gerry’s disappearance and keep his good name? and keep out of the clutches of a few enemies she’s made along the way? Let’s just say she is definitely in for a few revelations. .

I was very impressed with this book, I’m a huge UF fan and I haven’t read enough of it lately so it was nice to delve back into it again and no better way than this. Drusilla Jolie aka DJ Is a cool main character, I liked everything about her – her skills are good and while she is capable with her magic, she isn’t all out ‘Kick Ass’, she’s capable of defending herself but is often out matched and her magic isn’t as reliable as it should be – until she finds something of use and does just that! She’s an interesting character and I really wanted to learn more about her, I loved what we got from this but it feels like there are a lot more discoveries to be made. Alex and Jake were great too, I love a man with a hero complex and both of these guys have it in spades and with hot bods to match plus a little something, something that you will discover in the book. Needless to say, both men have a bit of rivalry going on and not just about DJ but hey, I love it when two guys try to win a girls affection and I would certainly have trouble with these two. Another character of note is Jean Lafitte, ghost pirate and well known ladies man which equals fun times and precarious situations for DJ and an intriguing character indeed.

The storyline was really great too, the setting is New Orleans during the time of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. I loved the way that was used because not only were we getting a cool UF story but we got the story of real life events, the devastation, the loss, how the changes affected the people, the environment – everything - and then we get the historical and cultural figures and belief systems that are weaved into a story of supernatural. The story itself just screamed New Orleans, I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving something away but if you read it you will know exactly why I say this. I really liked it, the setting, the characters, the plot, the bit of romantic complications, the reveals and even the pacing and I can’t wait to see where its going to go next. I imagine there will be a lot of changes for DJ and this has left me with many questions, it’s one of those books where it’s a great set up but you know the best is yet to come so bring on the sequel! 


Jess C said...

I really liked the setting of this novel, I can't wait for the sequel

Rachelanbig said...

I've really enjoyed books with New Orleans for a setting. I've never been but have always wanted to go and when its the setting in a book it entices me even more so. This sounds like an an action packed fun story. The main character DJ sounds like someone I would like. I also love romance and it sounds like there's one brewing here. Wonderful review Melanie. I need to give this story a shot. :)

My keeper shelf said...

Great review Mel, I really enjoyed it too and can't wait for the next book.

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