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 11 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
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 5 months ago by Anne
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written fish-flavoured fantasy that lacks depth...,
My first disappointment with this sequel to Royal Street was that it is set three years after the first book. There didn't seem to be any real reason for this. One relationship in particular just seems to carry on from where it left off in the last book. I'm not a fan of large gaps between adventures, unless things have moved on.
We are told that the barriers between this world and other realms have come down and that there are now creatures from these realms living in New Orleans and environs. This is interesting, but might have been even more engaging if we could have shared in DJ's adventures set while the monsters were moving into their new homes. Also, one of the things that made the first book so compulsive was the immediate after effects of Hurricane Katrina, this was diluted by moving the action forward three years.
The central character DJ is good company, though thinly-drawn. Two books into the series and I still don't feel as if I know how she would react in a given situation, unlike someone like Sookie Stackhouse or Harry Dresden. While the book is well written, with gentle humour, I didn't find the action engaging. I didn't care why two mer clans were arguing, or why wizards were being murdered.
Equally the romance angle fell a little flat for me, two of DJ's prospective beaus don't seem fully-drawn characters enough for me to understand any attraction she feels. The third candidate is an undead historical pirate, who spent some of the first book attacking DJ, which makes me uneasy about the way she now interacts with him.
River Road is satisfactorily concluded, with just a few dangling strands to make me want to read the third book in the series, Elysian Fields. For while I do have some complaints about this book I am intrigued enough to want to read more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Watery mayhem in New Orleans,
I enjoyed the first book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, Royal Street, but this one was even better. The characters are settling down, developing their own quirks, and Drusilla Jaco, three years after the action of Royal Street, is getting used to handling magic, wizard and elven, standing up to the Elders, and generally making her mark on the preternatural society of New Orleans.
The story is good; wizards are found murdered and somehow the River Styx is contaminating the great Mississippi, the merfolk are restless and fighting among themselves while still hating the wizards in general, and it is up to DJ, as Sentinel, to sort it out.
There are strong and sympathetic characters here. Alex Warin and his cousin Jake, shape shifter and loup garou respectively, are very human with it and both very much interested in DJ. Jean Lafitte, the undead pirate, seems mellowed since the first book and is also very keen on DJ. The mertwins, Rene and Robert, feel very real and there is a vitality in this novel that is sometimes missing in fantasy.
Real humans do not appear very much in the story, but they are there, as is the city of New Orleans, still fighting back to normality after hurricane Katrina.
DJ's elven heritage remains to be worked out, hopefully in the next book, and a rather suspicious new character makes an appearance just before the end. DJ's involved but interesting love life is there to be explored further, and I heartily look forward to the next installment.
4.0 out of 5 stars River Road: Sentinels of New Orleans.,
I`ve had the good fortune to read this sequel almost immediately after "River Road" so the events of that novel were fresh in my mind.
There's a fairly good sense of continuity in this second outing even though It`s set three years later; I think the time lapse was a useful device to enable the dust to settle from the previous episode and it also helps "River Road" work as a stand-alone novel; there are references to past proceedings, but nothing to prevent a newcomer from engaging with what is still a fledgling series.
Johnson adds a neat twist to the genre in this story by dealing mainly with aquatic preternaturals, which takes the series in a different direction from the standard Urban Fantasy fare; this also sufficiently neuters those direct comparisons with the Sookie Stackhouse/ Harry Dresden stories which her debut novel attracted.
This is now shaping up as an interesting and entertaining series; DJ is an engaging enough heroine and the play of personal relationships, the newly established present/beyond borders of the preternaturals and the wizard`s enforcement apparatus are all beginning to open up with this episode.
The writing is snappy and the narrative is well-paced - It`s not quite as compelling as those other series just mentioned, but it`s a good venture nevertheless - superior to a lot of efforts in this genre.
This is a pretty recommendable novel, good on it`s own, better if you've read the preceding book. I'll certainly be looking out for the next instalment.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharper, wittier, more stylish than the first book,
This follows Royal Street and feels sharper, wittier and generally more stylish in the narrative voice. DJ (don't call her Drusilla) is a more mellow character here, slightly chastened by the events of the first book, and the toning down of her nature works well without turning into anything too wimpy.
There's much that I like about this series but, while it may sound a strange criticism, I felt that there was almost too much plot in this book: the undead pirate, the mer-people, nymphs, the ongoing shifters and wizards, the murders. There are also too many love interests for DJ: not just the customary love triangle, but a love square, perhaps even a pentagon if we include Rene - especially when it's pretty clear what her choice is going to be.
The best bits are the scenes between DJ, Jake and Alex, and Johnson could let their intriguing interrelations breathe a little more without harming the book. The scenes at the end, especially, centred on Alex/Gandalf are brilliant!
So in a sea of very similar urban fantasy books this series stands out for me for its great characters and increasingly assured writing - and with a fabulous hook at the end, I can't wait to read the next one.
4.0 out of 5 stars There's Something in the Water...,
Drusilla Jaco is back, flirting with an undead pirate, best friends with a hunky shifter and ready to take on all the preternatural action New Orleans has to offer. Three years have passed since the adventures in Royal Street but life hasn't moved on much for DJ and friends. Until now.
Something is poisoning the merfolk of the Mississippi and if DJ doesn't clean it up quick they might just start a clan war over it. Unless they decide that they hate the wizards even more, of course. So when wizard bodies start turning up by the riverside DJ soon has plenty of suspects. But despite the lukewarm reception she received in the swamps, life (and death) is rarely so simple, especially in this city...
I like the Sentinels of New Orleans series. It's fun, fast-moving and the magic is quirky. DJ is as mouthy and headstrong as ever, not to mention smart and with a very lax attitude towards the Elders' magical rules. Luckily for her, co-sentinel Alex is just as law-abiding, protective and long-suffering as he was in the last book, while willing to bend the rules to help her. I love reading about the two of them.
Which is probably why the love triangle stuff irritates me so much. In the first book DJ thought Jean Lafitte was hot, but untrustworthy. Here she just thinks he's hot and seems willing to trust him for no good reason. The whole Jake storyline would be much better without the romantic overtones, since the two of them have no chemistry and it seems to be just a smokescreen to hide her real attraction to Alex. Completely unnecessary.
Thankfully the mystery with the mers is fascinating - as are the mers themselves, particularly Rene. We get a nice insight into what other pretes think about the wizards and why. There's also the intriguing business with the Elven staff, and the tantalising prospect of further Elven interference in future stories.
Even with the same pointless relationship problems as the last book, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's a good, interesting Urban Fantasy from a clever series. I'll definitely be looking out for the next one.
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent sequel,
This is the second in a New Orleans set Urban Fantasy series and it benefits from being published fairly quickly after the first volume as I didn't have to try too hard to remember the characters who were still familiar to me. The author also doesn't have to spend as much time explaining the setup.
It's a few years after the events of the first book, which took place in a Katrina-drowned city, and more types of 'preter-naturals' have emerged from the Beyond. In this case it follows the problems involving two clans of mer-folk on the verge of a turf war in the Mississippi. Elves are taking an unwanted interest in our wizard heroine DJ who has some elf blood and an elven staff. Dead pirate Jean Lafitte is still hanging around with dishonorable intentions, and so on.
It's all quite reasonably done and moderately engaging. It didn't knock my socks off but the nature of the dangling loose ends ensure I'll be back for the third book. Three and half stars.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sentinels of New Orleans book 2,
Three years on from the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and brought down the boarders between here and the otherworld wizard and Sentinel DJ is still trying to keep things running smoothly between the pretes (preternatural creatures) and the humans who have no idea of their existence. Along with her partner and fellow Sentinel Alex it is up to DJ to keep the humans in the dark and make sure the pretes don't get out of control so when the poison in the Mississippi threatens to cause a war between two different clans of merfolk they must work quickly to keep the peace. Add in the mysterious murder of a group of wizards and things are about to get even more complicated.
I have to admit that I was a little confused by the 3 year time jump from the end of Royal Street to the beginning of River Road, it took me a chapter or two to get my bearings but it didn't take long to realise how much sense it made. If the story had carried on directly it would have been hard not to focus on the aftermath of Katrina and the rebuilding of New Orleans and that would have taken the focus away from DJ's role as Sentinel. Although New Orleans hasn't been rebuilt to it's former glory at the time this story takes place enough of the rebuilding work has been completed that Suzanne Johnson is able to concentrate on the effects of the boarders between here and the otherworld being broken down.
As much as I enjoyed Royal Street there were a few things that irritated me, the main one being the love square that was forming between DJ, shapshifter Alex, Historical Undead pirate Jean Lafitte and Alex's cousin Jake. Although that square is definitely still in place I found myself enjoying it so much more in River Road, probably because it wasn't so much the main focus of the story. I have actually developed a little bit of a crush on all three of the men in DJ's life so I can understand why she is having difficulty figuring out her feelings - I do know which team I'm on though and after the way things ended I have high hopes that my favourite Alex is going to start pushing DJ for more in the next book! Each of the guys bring something different to the table though so it will be interesting to see which one manages to win DJ's heart, especially when she is working so hard to resist all of them because she is so afraid of losing yet another person that she loves.
The main focus of River Road is definitely on the different pretes and how they all interact with each other though. We get to find out a lot more about the Wizards and how they ended up pretty much taking charge of the other preternatural beings. Sentinels basically act as the supernatural police force so we get to see a lot more of Alex and DJ working together as they try to uncover who is behind poisoning the river. It was nice to see how well the pair of them get along now, after a rocky start they have become best friends and I really enjoyed the way they banter with each other but always have each others backs. It was good to see a few new species introduced into the series - you have the two different clans of merfolk, some highly sexed nymphs and we even get our first (but I have a feeling not our last!) elf sighting!
The Sentinels of New Orleans is developing into a fantastic urban fantasy series and one that I'm incredibly excited about continuing. I would recommend reading the series in order but as this is only the second book you have plenty of time to catch up before Elysian Fields is published sometime next year (I wasn't able to find a publishing date yet). If you like your urban fantasy full of drama, action and fun characters with snappy dialogue, great banter and just a hint of romance then you should be adding this to your to read list. If you enjoyed Royal Street then you're going to love River Road even more, Suzanne Johnson has definitely added her name to my must read list of authors after this one!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent sequel...,
This is a competent sequel and continues to develop the story of the two sentinels battling to keep the lid on the supernatural maelstrom that occurred after Hurricane Katrina. There still seems to be a tension within the relationship of DJ and Alex that isn't fully explored and explained within this book despite the fact the book is inexplicably set three years on from "Royal Street". I am beginning to warm to the depth of characterisation within the novels and the interplay between modern police procedural and fantasy that Johnson is developing with DJ's problem/mystery solving skills. Throw in warring merclans and the love of a long dead pirate and the whole thing is just bizarre enough to work and be interesting.
I look forward to the next in the series. I just hope there's going to be a little less of a time gap with the next book and we don't leap another three years into the future.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) by Suzanne Johnson (Paperback - 15 Aug 2013)