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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suitable successor to Sookie?
There must be lots of readers out there wondering what they'll do when the Sookie Stackhouse series draws to a close. Where are we gonna get our Deep South spookynatural kicks from in future? Well, River Road is the second in a very promising series. It's not got the bite (sorry) of the True Blood mythology, but it's certainly heading in the right direction...
Published on 3 May 2013 by Rowena Hoseason

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite enough to engage me
This book is set three years after Royal Street which was set in new Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. In this second volume the city is recovering but nothing else has changed with all the characters at the same emotional development as they were at the end of the previous story. I think you could probably read this book as a stand alone novel as it doesn't hark...
Published 20 months ago by Anne


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suitable successor to Sookie?, 3 May 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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There must be lots of readers out there wondering what they'll do when the Sookie Stackhouse series draws to a close. Where are we gonna get our Deep South spookynatural kicks from in future? Well, River Road is the second in a very promising series. It's not got the bite (sorry) of the True Blood mythology, but it's certainly heading in the right direction.

River Road is more focused than its predecessor, and wisely skips over a couple of years when trainee sentinel DJ moves from being a novice to rather more experienced Green Congress magician. The plot introduces a couple of novel paranormal species and a neat mix of myth/modern world interface. Suzanne Johnson is building a credible and comprehensive, multi-layered universe - at its heart we're following the investigation of a young female empath, but there's an awful lot of interest shuffling around the shadows.
The writing is easy going and accessible; the dialogue can be snappy and entertaining; the supporting cast make more sense this time around. DJ has stopped bickering with her partner and her immortal pirate beau - but inevitably encounters new threats. As with Ms Stackhouse, DJ kinda falls for every fella she meets and they all drool over her, so there's a definite leaning towards the romantic side of things in here. The action is also nicely flavoured with the atmosphere of New and Old Orleans and the backwaters of the Atchafalaya Basin. Jazz and beignets all round...

I would have liked to explore more about the aquatic characters and their life-styles and powers. That part felt a little thin; they were basically normal people who happen to go a bit finny. And indeed, it'd be nice if the supernatural folks in future episodes are made to feel *special*. The trouble with series like these is that after a while you tend to take loup garou and ghosts and voodoo children for granted. I hope Ms Johnson can retain a sense of awe and wonder as she builds her world and peoples it with interesting creations.
A satisfying read. You probably do need to start with the first in the series, Royal Street , to get the most from this episode.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars River Road to Hell, 18 Aug. 2013
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Great continuation. That was my first thought when reading River Road, that it passed the book two test with flying colours. Building on the strong start of book one - Royal Street - River Road was all that and more. Using her established template, Johnson was able to now focus more on developing relationships and characterization to great effect. I loved it!

River Road also gave us a new supernatural species to explore - Mer people. I know! So cool!

Not being wizard's greatest fans (Oh, who am I kidding? Wizards don't have fans in this series!) having to work side-by-side with two warring Mer clans to solve a series of grisly murders would be a perilous venture for most people. DJ handles it with aplomb in her no nonsense, forthright manner that seems to garner respect, however begrudgingly, from everyone she meets. Using all resources available, she again proved to be the smart, competent protagonist I so enjoyed from book one, with the added bonus of using her new uber wizarding powers as provided by Charlie, her elven staff.

One thing to note for readers moving on from book one, is that there is a 3-year time jump from the end of Royal Street. I think I know why the author did this, and that it was a good idea, but it did of course create some instances of having to play catch up. Alex and DJ, for example, have gone from almost strangers to best friends. Only friends. I can't say that didn't disappoint me, but their friendship is so lovely I'm not too disheartened. And don't think I don't see that sizzle still burning in their eyes sometimes...

Just friends my eye.

Other progression on the romance front was interesting in its complex, this-can't-possibly-be-going-anywhere way. Jake is in a bad way after the the events at the end of RS, but he's still a good guy and clearly attracted to DJ. I feel for Jake I really do, I want to reach into the book and soothe him somehow. They say bad stuff happens to good people. It does and it sucks every time. Poor guy!

Jean Lafitte is another character that is transforming before my very eyes. I'm so confused about him. Should I like him this much? Is he a bad person that occasionally does good things, or a good person forced to do bad things to survive? He isn't of this era, so that affects his personality and I forgive him for his occasional trespasses into sexism, but other than that, I just kinda like him. As a pirate, you might want to dismiss him as an ignorant thief with no morals. But that's so far from the truth too. Stupid he ain't. I look forward to more of him in the next book.

The mystery and its conclusion were gripping and exciting and overall, this was just a great read. Solid writing, great character development and an engaging lead. What's not to like?

5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... And I'm out., 31 May 2013
By 
AyJay (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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I'm in two minds when it comes to RIVER ROAD; I love the world settings, the mystery elements, anything to do with Jean, and the fact that the main characters interact with merpeople make a nice change from the usual vamps and werewolves.

RIVER ROAD is told from DJ's pov, but this time around we get a better look into the lives of some of the secondary characters, so they feel like actual players rather then cardboard cutouts. I had a problem with the pacing in the previous book too, but am pleased to say that RIVER ROAD does not suffer from the same problem - it hits the ground running and never looks back.

***

Sadly there is a but coming... Like in the previous book I dislike the time wasted that we spend on DJ's love life - especially since it's so messed up because of her own actions and in-actions. I want to read a urban fantasy, not some supernatural soap-opera, so became bored with her seemingly endless rambles over how hot Alex, Jake and Jean are..

I've got very little sympathy for DJ in the 'romance' subplot, because I'm a very right and wrong, treat-others-as-you-want-to-be-treated person - I just ended up frustrated at her thoughtlessness and blatant selfishness, as she encourages the men and sends out mixed signals, but sulks when they look at other women. So at times I came to almost dislike DJ.

***

The tired old multiple-love-interest angle both irritates and bores me, so I kept on finding myself somewhat distanced from the story. It's a shame as this series contains all of the ingredients to be something really special, but I failed to become fully immersed in the story.

As it stands I don't think that this is a series that I'm likely to stick with, even though this book is a lot stronger then the first one. This isn't down to the author's writing style though - it is just my personal reading preferences clash with the ongoing subplots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Sentinels of New Orleans" book 2, 28 Nov. 2012
By 
Book Addict - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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Set 3 years after the events in book 1 "Royal Street", Drusilla Jaco (aka DJ) is again neck deep in trouble when she is called in to hopefully halt a brewing war between 2 factious Mer clans who each claim the other is poisoning the water. DJ's investigation goes from bad to worse when out collecting water samples she stumbles across the body of a murdered wizard.

DJ is also juggling an increasing amount of men in her life; Alex the shape shifting Enforcer, his cousin Jake who was so abruptly thrust into the supernatural world in book 1 and dashing but dead pirate Jean Lafitte. These relationships are explored further and it'll be interesting to find out who DJ finally falls for considering the appeal of each of these men.

I thought book 1 set the scene well, contained some interesting ideas and introduced some intriguing characters, but I had problems with the overall pace. This certainly isn't the case with book 2; there is an attention grabbing twisting plot containing plenty of explosive action, plus DJ has further opportunities to explore her Elven magic whilst her research enlightens the reader to additional supernatural species. 4½ stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun., 20 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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I'm really enjoying this series and it was great to catch up with DJ and co. I liked that it was set a few years after the first book - it meant that the relationships had move forward more - and I have to say I am actually really enjoying the 3 love interests! Yes I do have my favorite (let's just say I know exactly who I'd like to play ball with...!) but I like the way DJ is conflicted - it makes the whole will they/ won't they thing a bit more interesting. Plus I really like all three.

This outing is much more action packed - I really enjoyed it - plus it was really funny in places too (the pink Gandalf thing? I was crying with laughter!) I also like the way they have both been self contained stories - they were resolved in the end but at the same time I was left wanting more and there were still unanswered questions (yes Rand I'm talking about you!)

Can't wait to read the next in the series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Second Instalment, 28 Jan. 2014
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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OK after a worrying start with the first book, I was a little apprehensive at starting the second s after all, in any series its usually the second that’s the make or break, so preparing with a selection of reading supplies (comfy blanket, extra pillows and of course snackages) I picked up the title and turned the first page in apprehension.

For me, this book is far stronger than the original, the characters grow in not only strength but emotionally and when added to a whole new set of problems that only Louisiana can host (and it was wonderfully inventive) all round generated a story that had me turning the pages until I finished the title in the early hours of the morning (I say early hours, its dependent as to what time you call sun-up. LOL)

All round a book that I really enjoyed and one that left me demanding the third when I’d captured up on some sleep.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite enough to engage me, 25 Oct. 2013
By 
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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This book is set three years after Royal Street which was set in new Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. In this second volume the city is recovering but nothing else has changed with all the characters at the same emotional development as they were at the end of the previous story. I think you could probably read this book as a stand alone novel as it doesn't hark back very much to prior events but it might be better to read the books in the correct order.

DJ is still sharing the sentinel duty of New Orleans with Alex. They are "just good friends". She also still has feelings for his brother Jake and for the pirate Jean. None of these relationships have moved on in the last three years but as DJ becomes involved in a plot involving merpeople, nymphs and poisoned water she begins to handle not only the magic but also the relationships.

The magic plot is curiously uninvolving and I'm not quite sure why. I didn't feel the grief because of the deaths nor any tension as rivalries hot up and peoples lives are at stake. I never really sorted out the new characters in my head to distinguish one family from another. I think that this was because the plot seems only to act as a background for the romantic elements of the story.

Like most urban fantasy heroines DJ finds herself pulled in several ways romantically. Firstly there is Alex who is brooding and dangerous (an incident when he played with a grenade is mentioned several times to illustrate this). His brother Jake is a particularly dangerous type of werewolf with little control over his savage nature and a line in self-pity. Jean is a very dead pirate who is totally selfish and tried to rape and kill her in the previous book. It's a real pity that all the men that DJ knows are likely to pose a threat to her (something that becomes a bit of a theme in her life - there are no "normal" and nonthreatening men in this book). Although a large chunk of the book is devoted to the men and DJ's fascination for them (she has one date with each man during the novel) there is no progress made at all and by the end of the book she is no nearer having a relationship with any of them.

With an unengaging plotline and a romance which doesn't get anywhere there isn't a lot to get excited about here. It isn't a bad book but it isn't particularly original either. The story seemed to indicate that this book would have sequels - I shall not seek them out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Might End Up Swimming With The Fishes, 19 Aug. 2013
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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There's nothing better than a good sequel and thank goodness this is one because so often they aren't.

It's three years since Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans is mending slowly. The frontiers to The Beyond have been relaxed, though, since Royal Street. That's not good news for DJ and Alex who are sentinels of New Orleans and need to monitor the activity of preternaturals.

This time there is trouble with merpeople and they're not hair-combing beauties of legend. Well, they are attractive, but they are also quite aggressive and they really don't like wizards. Something is poisoning their waters and it isn't just industrial waste.

Though it is a supernatural thriller, the style of Suzanne Johnson's series is also of the cop series - she knows it because she makes fun of herself using the style in this book. Drusilla makes a great leading character, quite clever at the detective stuff, but just a bit stupid when it comes to using common sense. She makes mistakes we can all imagine making, but at least she solves the mystery in the end and puts the sucker back where they belong.

Alex, Jean and Jake are great foils to DJ, each vying for her attention by trying to prove their macho qualifications. Alex, being the most involved because he is also an enforcer, seems to have the best advantage, but who's she going to chose in the end? Only the sequel will tell.

Reading this is an excellent way to pass the time. Can't wait to get to the next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Improvement on Book One, 31 July 2013
By 
Ginny (London, England) - See all my reviews
See my review of this book, and many more, at TalesfromtheGreatEastRoad.wordpress.com

(Spoilers for book one.)

It's been three years since Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans, and through DJ's life, but she has come to terms with what happened and is settled with her life working for the Elder wizards along side her close friend and FBI enforcer, Alex. But when, out of the blue, undead pirate Jean Lafitte contacts DJ about conflict between two clans of merpeople and the debt she owes him for saving her life, DJ must investigate before poisoned water spreads and harms the humans of the city. Whilst breaking up fights between the mermen, and judging whether to trust Jean and his advances on her, DJ also has to juggle a werewolf who likes her but may not be able to control himself, her parner Alex who is suddenly acting funny around her, and the elves who want to meet (and probably use) her. Maybe running off to the Beyond with an undead pirate isn't the worst idea in the world...

River Road picks up three years after the events of Royal Street, and though the time gap may seem a little much, the main characters have , thankfully, not changed. This book is in fact an improvement over the first: the pacing is a lot more even, the events are better connected to each other and don't feel hastily thrown together (as the last book suffered a little from), and DJ on the whole felt more sure of herself without losing any of her humour, stubbornness, or practical mindedness. She is a character who is not afraid to get her hands dirty or push her limits. Though this is a trait often found in Urban Fantasy heroines, DJ doesn't fall into the trap of being too headstrong to make rational decisions that end up putting herself in danger. When danger does arise, she uses the backup help Alex offers her, without insisting she doesn't need him or taking his offer to mean that he thinks she isn't strong enough.

The world of this series is expanding, be it slowly. River Road heavily featured merpeople, nymphs, and their relation to the human world, but also mentions the River Styx (a place in the Beyond), the fact that the Beyond has links to different time periods, and the elves (who seem to be becoming an increasingly bigger part of DJ's life as she tries to research her own elven heritage). Once again the Beyond is visited, but only briefly, giving the reader an almost infuriatingly small glimpse of this huge world. As DJ learns more about herself, and discovers yet more ways the Elders are trying to keep wizards from travelling to the Beyond, I can only hope that this means a greater amount of time spent there.

The other big part of this book is the romance, and all the male character are written so well, it's hard to know who to choose. Though slowly taken, DJ has not one but three romantic interests, each with their own charms and faults. Her partner and friend Alex seems the obvious choice, as the relationship they have is both sweet and funny - in any other series he'd be the only guy to root for. Whilst his cousin Jake also seems sweet, his struggle to control himself since he became a werewolf makes him dangerous, but also sympathetic and vulnerable beneath his tough exterior. Lastly, Jean Laffite is the wild card, both dangerous and attractive. Though he (mostly) behaves in this book, the fact that he not only hurt DJ in book one but actually tried to kill her, makes him unstable and untrustworthy. Had that incident not happened, I would have been a big fan of Jean.

In summery, River Road takes everything that was good in Royal Street and makes it better. Add some more journeying into the Beyond, and the next book may even be a five star read.

4 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another thrilling installment in the Sentinels series, 12 Jun. 2013
By 
ratscat13 "ratscat13" (North East Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) (Paperback)
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I read Royal Street last year without really being aware of what I bought at the time. I loved it and this second in the series is just as captivating. I read it in one sitting not finishing til 3am! Good job I had the day off work or I would have been fit for nothing!
DJ is a wizard, one of the green ones, that is she is good at potions and ritual magic but not so good with the innate power of the reds. She works in New Orleans with Alex at her side. Alex is a brooding very macho character who was once an enforcer (read guns, black clothes and macho posturing!) but now works as a sentinel. Add to the mix Alex's brother who is training as an enforcer but since an accident in the first book leaves him as a Loup garou things are not all that easy for him. Add in a 200 year old dead pirate who has his own sex appeal and things start to get interesting.
The book is well written and the characters are fun and quirky without seeming odd - even a 200 year old pirate who exists because people remember his history is not unbelievable. The tale of dead wizards, a mer people feud, poisoned water and voids with the underworld develops at a good pace. There are not too many people that you find the story hard to follow and the writing is in an easy style, educated and with nice bits of humour thrown in (well how would you explain a brassiere to a dead pirate from another era?)
All in all a really good read and I cant wait to meet up with DJ for her next adventure protecting New Orleans
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River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2)
River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) by Suzanne Johnson (Paperback - 22 Nov. 2012)
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