Bookish♥Sarah's Reviews > Royal Street

Royal Street by Suzanne  Johnson
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: series-read, read-in-2012
Read from March 05 to 14, 2012

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

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25-year-old Drusilla Jaco (better known as DJ) is a junior Green Congress wizard, specializing in ritual magic & spellwork. She is also an empath - the feelings of the people around her seep right into her. Sometimes it's a gift, other times... not so much. DJ is employed as the deputy sentinel of New Orleans. Gerald St. Simon (better known as Gerry) is her “boss”; her commanding officer, as well as the man who raised her from age 7 when her magic became too much for her parents and grandmother to handle.

Her job is to take care of minor preternatural problems around the city, but DJ is chomping at the bit to gain more responsibility as a wizard and more serious jobs. She is tired of doing all the dirty work and when she finally gains a chance, she rocks it. Historical undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, wants to make a deal. DJ meets with him under the pretense of making said deal, only to betray him and use her wizardly powers to send him back to the “Beyond” - a place where the naughty preternaturals of the world must stay. The historical undead can't be killed, though, and Jean Lafitte swears revenge against DJ upon his next return to the here & now.

Hurricane Katrina changes everything. The hurricane blows through New Orleans, forcing DJ to evacuate while Gerry stays behind to watch over things. The storm is bound to tear holes between the present and the Beyond, thus allowing all sorts of undesirables to escape and wreak havoc on the city in turmoil. While DJ is at her grandmother's home in Alabama, she gets a call from the Elder wizards. Gerry has gone missing, and she is ordered to get back to New Orleans immediately.

When DJ arrives home, she finds a very angry Jean Lafitte in her (luckily) undamaged home. After a short bout of fighting, an unexpected, yet drool-worthy visitor shows up to save the day... and that's when the fun really begins.

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This book was oodles of fun!

Complaints first. I don't have many! It was a little slow-moving, and I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. I won't give deets on that since it'll be spoilery, but the ending was less than fantastic. Minor detail considering the fact that I loved the rest of the book so much, though.

DJ is an engaging and hilarious character. I loved being inside her head! She is full of charm, wit and magic. Her empathy plays a huge part in her life. She uses it to her advantage most often, but other times has to stamp it down hard - like when sexy pirate Jean Lafitte unleashes his lusty feelings on her. ;) It was an interesting twist to bring to the heroine's personality. I enjoyed her very much.

I also enjoyed Alex, Jake, and their little rivalry over DJ. All of the historical figures were really interesting and were woven into the plot quite nicely. Jean Lafitte, Marie Laveau, Louis Armstrong... loads of fun!

The author portrayed the devastation of hurricanes very well. I didn't go through Katrina, personally, but I am a born and bred Floridian - so I have seen and been through my fair share of hurricanes. They are terribly devastating and I can only imagine what Katrina was like. Reading this novel brought a sort of new light to the subject. I understood how the people of New Orleans must have felt after the tragedy. Katrina plays a huge part in this story. I don't consider it to be done in bad taste. Many historically devastating events play huge parts in fiction, so why shouldn't this one?

The magic, wizardry, and preternatural elements were all fleshed out pretty well. It was a whole new world and I found it all quite unique. I want to see some of the other wizard's abilities later on in the series (hopefully!), as well as some more of DJ's abilities. She ends up being a very powerful woman and I know there is a lot more to her background than we were shown in this debut. There are a lot of open doors; lots of directions for the author to take. I think Ms. Johnson left things open in a nice way. There was some closure, but enough loose ends were left untied for the possibility of a fantastic sophomore novel.

Overall - A staggering debut! You've got pirates, sexy shapeshifters, voodoo gods, murder, mayhem, wizards, magic, action, suspense, romance, and a whole lot of humor. Royal Street has something for everyone. It's a journey of self-discovery. It's full of interesting and wonderful characters. There are secrets and plot twists galore, and it's all told in a charming and humorous voice. Royal Street is a wonderful urban fantasy for any fan of the genre. You definitely want to give this one a shot. I, for one, can't wait for more!

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Book source: NetGalley
Publisher: Tor Books/Tom Doherty Associates
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Quotes Bookish♥Sarah Liked

“I always hated it when TV reporters stuck a microphone in the faces of people who'd just lost a home or a loved one, wanting to know how they felt. They felt like shit. They hurt, and they didn't know how they were going to get through the night. They wanted to scream and cry and hit the guy with the microphone.”
Suzanne Johnson, Royal Street

“We'd all mourn for a while, but at the end of the day we were a tough lot, and we'd survive.”
Suzanne Johnson, Royal Street

Reading Progress

03/11/2012 page 67
03/12/2012 page 114
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