Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Royal Street~ Review

Title: Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans #1)
Author: Suzanne Johnson
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

Yep, I have a thing for YA urban fantasy. And dystopia but that is another story.  Maybe it is because when I was a YA we didn't have such cool books.  I always loved supernatural stuff, but there just wasn't much out there.  At least not that I knew of.  So I am apparently addicted to it as an adult. I just really like them. Its almost a secret I don't like to share. ;)

I also have a thing for books that are set in New Orleans~it is my favorite city to visit by far, and sometimes I dream about living there.  I have a good friend who grew up in and lived in New Orleans until about 8 years ago, and  I ask her about it every chance I get without bugging her too much. She puts up with me though.  This book got my attention because on our honeymoon, my husband and I stayed on Royal Street.  Then I saw that the book takes place before/during Hurricane Katrina. I was in New Orleans with my family a week before the hurricane hit - in fact my brother got an eye ulcer while we were there, and if it hadn't gotten better, we would have been there during the hurricane.  My father went back down with the Red Cross as a volunteer as well.  I just feel a huge connection to the city.  It was also a little strange to read it when I did, because of Hurricane Isaac and its threat to the city.   I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will all be ok down there.

So, now that you know my life history ~ I thought this book was entertaining.  Johnson made up some of her own rules regarding ghosts, and they worked for me.  Sometimes they don't for me, like the shiny vampires in Twilight.  Johnson created this world where famous ghosts can exist as long as people still talk about them and remember them.  I think this was a way to get famous New Orleans ghosts like Marie Laveau, Louis Armstrong, and Jean Lafitte to be characters in her story.  At first I was skeptical of this device, but then it grew on me and I liked it.  

This book reminded me a bit of the Harry Dresden series, and while I liked Royal Street, it is not quite as good as Jim Butcher's books.  But this is the first book I have read in the series, and I think it has potential.    I do plan on reading the next in the series, River Road in the future.  Royal Street was just a fun read with ghosts and wizards, in my favorite city, although the parts regarding the devastation that Hurricane Katrina left behind were very moving. 

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