Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: River Road by Suzanne Johnson

River Road by Suzanne Johnson
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans, #2

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

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.

So I was a little disappointed when I started reading this book and realized it takes place 3 years after the first book left off. I felt there were enough unresolved issues in the first book that it could have continued with a much shorter time gap... particularly when you consider we were in the midst of a love triangle, and the death of Drusilla's father (Gerry) left New Orleans without a sentinel just after the borders between the worlds/dimensions had collapsed. However this does take place several years later, and is set during the time of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that happened in the Gulf. Although that tragedy was not mentioned, the plot involves the water in the lower parishes being poisoned, but by a paranormal event rather than oil. 

That being said, I still loved River Road almost as much as Royal Street. Johnson describes New Orleans and the lower parishes like only a longtime resident can. She does such a great job of bringing the city and parishes to life that the settings become another character to the story. I have yet to travel to the marches and southern parishes, but Ms. Johnson has me wanting to take a drive down to sightsee this weekend. 

My favorite part of this book was that we got a lot more of my new favorite fictional character, the undead Jean Lafitte. He has so much character and personality, that I think he could support his own spinoff series. I absolutely love him, and I was happy that he was able to present his more gallant and debonair side in this book. 

What I did not like about this book is that we still have an unresolved love triangle 3 years later. I am not a fan of the love triangle here, probably because I like both of the love interests (plus Jean Lafitte) so I don't know who to root for. And I don't like Drusilla playing Yoko Ono between the cousins. These guys are close and care about each other, so it seems like Drusilla being with either one will be a huge bone of contention between the two. So I would like to see her keep Alex and Jake in the friendzone, and sail off with Jean Lafitte! 

The action continued to keep a good pace during this book, and I finished it in one setting and happily moved on to book 3. This will be one of those series that I will not like to wait for the next book... I will be impatiently waiting (and maybe stalking the author's website for updates). 

Sentinels of New Orleans Series:

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