Kathy Martin's Reviews > Royal Street

Royal Street by Suzanne  Johnson
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Jul 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 13 to 14, 2012

I enjoyed this new urban fantasy set in post-Katrina New Orleans. DJ Jaco has been the junior Sentinel in New Orleans working for her mentor and foster-father Gerry St. Simon. They are both wizards but are from two different schools of wizardry. Gerry has physical magic; DJ has to use potions and spells for her magic. Her kind of magic is seen as less useful for a Sentinel. Their task has been to keep magical creatures in the Beyond or send them back there if they have come to our New Orleans. Nlow Hurricane Katrina destroyed the barriers that keep the paranormal out of New Orleans.

Gerry had sent DJ back to her grandmother's house to wait out the storm. But the Elders, the council that controls the wizards, have called and sent her back to New Orleans because Gerry is missing. They also send along an enforcer to help DJ. Alex Warin in his name. DJ thought on first seeing him was that "he looked like the poster child for an upscale GQ mercenary." She can't deny that she is hot but he more than makes up for it by being irritating. The two have a very contentious relationship.

I liked the world that Johnson created. Her paranormal creatures include werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and a new one for me - the historical undead. Among them are Jean Lafitte, Marie Leveau, Louis Armstrong and other historical figures. She has a special relationship with Jean Lafitte in that she has sent him back to the beyond a number of times and he is determined to get revenge on her.

DJ is a great urban fantasy heroine. She is smart, loyal, and determined. What she is not is some sort of well-armed ninja. She doesn't want to learn to use a gun. She prefers to rely on her spells and potions to save the day. She is also the sort of smart-mouthed heroine with a sarcastic sense of humor that I enjoy reading about. This story sets up a moral dilemma for her that forces her two choose between two equally dreaded outcomes.

Watching she and Alex try to track down Gerry, find out who or what is killing National Guardsmen in voodoo rituals, and trying to keep the human and paranormal worlds from going to war while developing a friendship that could blossom into a romance was very entertaining. Add in Alex's human cousin Jake for another side of the romantic triangle and you have me reading as fast as I can to find out what happens next.

I recommend this one to urban fantasy lovers.
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