Title: Royal Street
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #1
Author: Suzanne Johnson
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: April 10th 2012 by Tor Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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.
"I took a deep breath. The alligators were halfway up to my ass. Might as well let 'em keep climbing."
made knits so people didn't have to iron."
ROYAL STREET by Suzanne Johnson is the first book in her fascinating Sentinels of New Orleans paranormal/fantasy series. I have to admit that I was guilty of starting this series out of order as I read ELYSIAN FIELDS, the third book in this series first. However, once I'd read ELYSIAN FIELDS, I was hooked and vowed then to go back and catch up with the series before the next book was released which I've done. I will be posting my reviews of the series in order :-)
ROYAL STREET introduces us to:
• Drusilla Jaco aka DJ and her post-Katrina New Orleans world. DJ is a junior "green" wizard sentinel with some elven blood. Wizard sentinels are the police of the supernatural world, keeping preternaturals in check and protecting the mundane world. I really liked DJ. She was feisty, sassy, relatable and now she's in charge of New Orleans!
• Deliciously HOT Alex, the enforcer, who is paired with her by the Wizard Elders after her mentor, Gerald St. Simon, goes missing after Katrina. He's a hard one to decipher. I love him but I don't trust him.
• Sexy hearthrob Jake, Alex's cousin who runs a popular nightspot there. He's a wonderful hang-out friend for DJ and oozes sensuality. Ooh La La!
• Several famous historical undead including pirate Jean Lafitte, Louis Armstrong and Marie Laveau.
The setting in New Orleans is perfect. The rich mix of new and old in the city contrasts with the author's blending of fantasy into the modern day. Having the story take place after the huge storm permeated the area brought out the raw emotions from that time and was a more-than-appropriate backdrop for the unceasing suspense, missing people, murders and voodoo elements in the tale.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:
“I was unsure about many things in my life, but I was fairly certain God did not intend bacon to be made from a plant.”
“I always hated it when TV reporters stuck a microphone in the faces of people who'd just lost a home or a loved one, wanting to know how they felt. They felt like shit. They hurt, and they didn't know how they were going to get through the night. They wanted to scream and cry and hit the guy with the microphone.”
Referring to the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte:
“Keeping up with him would require running, and there is no dignity in running after any man for any reason, injured or not.”
“The fight wasn’t over,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’d have won it.”
“Right,” he said. “And something just flew past your window. It was oinking.”
"I hate it when life forces me to be mature."
I loved ROYAL STREET! Suzanne's writing lures the reader in right away. The story is uniquely original. I've never read anything like it. IF you are looking for a story heavy in romance, you should know that there's just a simmer of romance herein. Hopefully there'll be more in future in future installments as I love romance too! But with the captivating atmosphere and the non-stop action, I truly didn't miss it.
Oh! AND did I mention the humor? I'd be on the edge of my seat in the middle of a gripping scene and DJ would blurt out something off-the wall and I'd burst out laughing... Yep! This book is fabulous like that.
IF you love paranormals... IF you love stories about New Orleans and the bayous... IF you are a fan of True Blood... YOU will enjoy ROYAL STREET! I am enthralled with this post-Katrina world teeming with wizards, magic, shifters, the undead, alligators and famous pirates and chefs. I've already read the second book in the series, RIVER ROAD. You can expect to see my review for it soon!