PJV Quickie: ‘Royal Street’ is an Urban Fantasy about Katrina, New Orleans and the aftermath. I was instantly intrigued, but at the same time fearful. Luckily, Suzanne Johnson is a genius and delivered everything and more that I could have wanted.
Title: Royal Street Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #1 Author: Suzanne Johnson
Type: Adult/Urban Fantasy
ARC copy provided by publisher.
I was going to wait for Patti so we could do a joint review of ‘Royal Street’, both being from New Orleans and both being impacted by Katrina in different ways. But, I had to talk her into one review a week so I didn’t want to be too pushy… so hopefully we will manage to do a fun dual post soon.
‘Royal Street’ is a story about Drusilla Jaco and her job as a Sentinel Wizard of New Orleans, of the junior variety.Her specialties include a lot of potions and incantations, but hardly any dealing with lethal supernatural bad guys, those big baddies are usually left to the higher-ranking wizards. She has just recently been assigned to her first take down, which happens to be the pirate Jean Lafitte, who is still up to no good. Quickly after her first “real” case, news of a huge hurricane in the Gulf has DJ being forced by the Elders to evacuate and leave her boss to man the supernatural lines on his own. She obeys and stays with her family, but her obedience can only go so far, especially as she watches the news, witnessing the levees crumbling and no word from Gerald follows. Gerald lives in Lakeview, only blocks from where the levees broke. DJ knows she has to find her boss and for once the Elders agree with her, they assign a very rough-around-the-edges enforcer to help her and DJ is assigned the daunting task of keeping the walls up that separate New Orleans from the Otherworld and finding her boss, whom suspiciously seems to have something to do with the reason the walls are coming down in the first place.
This book was a rare gem in the Urban Fantasy genre. I absolutely loved every minute of it. And to say I was scared when I started this book was an understatement. How many times have I read New Orleans portrayed all mixed up in a book? Add Katrina to the mix, something I’m still all PTSD over and if it was bad, it would have made things ten times worse. But, Johnson just grasped the moment and displayed it in full force for this reader. I was sucked back into every moment of Katrina she portrayed it so well. Then she added all these fantastical elements that gave it the extra pizazz that made it perfectly Urban Fantasy. Am I raving yet?
I loved the quotes that she added to each chapter beginning from the Times-Picayune [The Local New Orleans Paper]. I loved how she captured the anxiety of watching the film footage on the television. I loved that Gerald St. Simon lived in Lakeview, which is the neighborhood that I lived in before Katrina. It was just well done as far as the Katrina and New Orleans elements. Pair that with the larger-than-life characters, DJ was perfectly flawed and snarky, Alex and Jake were delectable and I even enjoy Jean Lafitte. The plot was suspenseful and action packed. The back story was well flushed out and displayed very nicely and the author’s voice was soft and slightly gritty, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with horrific details or suicidal heroines. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.
For that Urban Fantasy fan you should really enjoy. Adults only because this one does have some sexual content, but nothing over the top, so the mature reader shouldn’t be too scandalized. Fans of the Sookie Stackhouse might get a kick out of this one, but be warned, this isn’t a romance.
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