Jill's Reviews > Royal Street

Royal Street by Suzanne  Johnson
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Mar 09, 12

bookshelves: fantasy-pnr-sci-fi-romance, 2012-debuts
Read in January, 2012


Twenty-five year-old Drusilla Jane (DJ) Jaco is a junior wizard, empath, and deputy sentinel for New Orleans. She’s trained with Gerald St Simon, her mentor and father-figure since the age of seven. A Green Congress wizard who specialises in rituals and spells, she chafes at being restricted to basic pixie retrievals and research. When warnings start coming in of a hurricane bearing down on New Orleans, Gerry orders DJ to head out of town to her gran in Alabama. Gerry stays behind to watch the borders of the Beyond to ensure no preternaturals escape into the real world when the fluctuating barometric pressure experienced during a hurricane, opens doors that would otherwise keep the pretes out.

When Gerry goes missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, DJ is promoted to head sentinel for the New Orleans area. Overseeing her promotion and also DJ’s new partner, is Alexander Warin, field agent with the FBI, and an Enforcer for the supernatural community. With a number of murders, and symbols appearing on the entrances to wizards’ homes, DJ and Alex have to work out whether they have a human serial killer on their hands or if this is the work of some pretes that have passed into the natural world. Or are the two series of incidents related? And where is Gerry?

The world author Suzanne Johnson has crafted is pretty amazing. Detailed, well-described, easy-to-understand, highly entertaining. Set in 2005 in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, this urban fantasy has it all including the infamous (and sexy) pirate Jean Lafitte and the famous jazz singer and trumpet player Louis (call me Pops) Armstrong. Narrated by DJ, her voice is humorous and likable. The story is overflowing with interesting and historical characters. Captain Jean Lafitte is one of the best secondary (almost a primary) characters in this novel and DJ has her hands full dealing with the opportunistic dead pirate.

Suzanne Johnson was a resident of New Orleans until recently. She's written an entertaining and humourous fantasy/paranormal, yes. But there is also a great deal of respect that shines through for the people of New Orleans, and a sense of sadness about the devastation and deaths. She has fused historically accurate details with an entertaining story.

The romance between DJ and Alex is light. There is also a light triangle with Alex's cousin Jake, an ex-Marine who's been injured in Afghanistan. This is my one quibble with Royal Street. Although Alex does seem to be the choice for the role of ‘hero’ and DJ’s obvious love interest, she vacillates and fails to recognize that Alex was clearly interested in her. She comes off here as shallow and fickle, dallying with both men.

Although this story is wrapped up, the ending is left open nicely for the next book in the series River Road. Royal Street is an excellent urban fantasy/paranormal debut. Highly recommended.

Steam: 1.5


ARC courtesy of Tor/Forge via NetGalley

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Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Karla (new)

Karla Oooooh sound so good, love books that take place in The Big Easy. I can't wait for your review!


Jill Depending on the publisher Karla, (sometimes they don't like a review up too early) I should have it up within a day or two.


message 3: by Karla (new)

Karla I'll be looking for it! :)


Jill I loved it Danielle. Can't wait for book #2. When will you be reading it?


Elizabeth (Liz) Jill, this doesn't come off as disrespectful toward and/or making light of those affected by Katrina? I'm guessing not, since you enjoyed it. It bothers me when books/movies/etc take events like that, and others, and blatantly use them for entertainment purposes and to make money off of them. Sorry;) I'll get off my soapbox:) If the event is included in a historically accurate and respectful way, then this could be a *very* interesting book.

Can't wait to read your full review!


message 7: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Sounds good Jilly. Damn finger's on auto pilot, it's on. ;)


Jill @ Elizabeth
That was one of my concerns as well Elizabeth. I really dislike when a tragic event is an obvious marketing ploy. Especially when there hasn't been a great deal of time passed to ease the pain.

And no it does not come off as disrespectful at all. Quite the opposite. Author Suzanne Johnson was a resident of NO until recently. She's written an entertaining and humourous UF, yes. But there is also a great deal of respect that shines through for the people of NO. And a sense of sadness about the devastation and deaths. She has used this natural disaster as the focal point of her novel, but it never came across to me that the event was being 'used' as entertainment value. I hope that readers will see it in this light. I think she's fused a lot of historically accurate details with a humourous UF story.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Jill wrote: "I loved it Danielle. Can't wait for book #2. When will you be reading it?"

Probably not for a while.


message 10: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill @ Wendy
It is very good. Wen, I looked your name up in my urban dictionary and it had intervention screaming at me from the page. Any clues to what this may mean??


message 11: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Jill wrote: "@ Wendy
It is very good. Wen, I looked your name up in my urban dictionary and it had intervention screaming at me from the page. Any clues to what this may mean??"


Yes, I know... I need HELP!


Elizabeth (Liz) Thanks Jill, that's a relief:) And I will second the fact that Wen needs HELP!!!

;^D


message 14: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Thanks Baba!


message 15: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Thanks ME! What creeps you out about the cover??
And are you reading this one?


message 16: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Mary Elizabeth wrote: "What creeps you out about the cover?? << Uh ... Everything ? LOL

not reading it but it's on my radar. just finished Deliver Me from Darkness it was a fun distraction ..."


<>
Uh, okay!


message 17: by Dee (new)

Dee Great review Jill ☺


message 18: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Thanks Dee!


message 19: by Claudia (new) - added it

Claudia good review - thanks!


message 20: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Claudia wrote: "good review - thanks!"

Thankyou!


message 21: by Claudia (new) - added it

Claudia Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "good review - thanks!"

Thankyou!"


You seemed pretty taken with the first book. What was the reason that you continue with the series. I really think this could be interesting for me but I am not quite sure yet :-)


message 22: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Claudia wrote: "Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "good review - thanks!"

Thankyou!"

You seemed pretty taken with the first book. What was the reason that you continue with the series. I really think this could be in..."


It always comes down to just one thing for me, Claudia - lack of t.i.m.e. :)
Most of my reading and reviewing are ARCs, so I often don't get the opportunity to continue a series.


message 23: by Claudia (new) - added it

Claudia Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "good review - thanks!"

Thankyou!"

You seemed pretty taken with the first book. What was the reason that you continue with the series. I really think ..."


that's a shame - I love really good series because you get to know the characters so much better.
I will keep you updated on the series - if I start it ;-)


message 24: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Claudia wrote: "Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "Jill wrote: "Claudia wrote: "good review - thanks!"

Thankyou!"

You seemed pretty taken with the first book. What was the reason that you continue with the series. I ..."


Thanks Claudia, that would be great!


message 25: by Dd (new)

Dd Great review Jill!!:))


message 26: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Dd wrote: "Great review Jill!!:))"

Thanks Dd!


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