Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)'s Reviews > River Road

River Road by Suzanne  Johnson
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-new-to-me-author, urban-fantasy, sentinels-of-new-orleans
Read from October 21 to 26, 2012

My Rating: 4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend (A)
Full Review:

The story opens with a meeting between our heroine, Drusilla Jaco (aka DJ) and the historical undead pirate Jean Lafitte. The scene is detailed beautifully, and I felt as if I was party to the entire interaction. Jean shares with DJ that 1) there are merfolks living in the New Orleans area, 2) there is something polluting the waters in the area, which is a threat to both pretes (preternatural beings) and humans, and 3) there is a brewing war between two of the mer-factions. Suddenly, DJ finds herself in the middle of a dangerous whodunit mystery with dangers at every turn. 

Without going into a lot of detail about the different factions and pretes, I will mention a few things I liked a lot. First... I enjoyed the whole wizard congress political set up. It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter in that there is a very complex governing body for all things magical. I love that DJ even wears a pair of Harry Potter PJs! The reader gets a pretty good account of the backbone of the Elders and wizards about a third of the way through the book, and that helped a lot. The primary folks involved in this story are the sentinels (DJ and partner Alex) who seem to me like the inspectors and police of the supernatural world - especially in New Orleans where the doorway between our world and the “Beyond” is opened. In addition there are enforcers who are the military component - security, cleaning up messes, keeping things in line. Oh, by the way, humans know nothing about this world.

I am a fan our our heroine, DJ. She is girly, but tough. She doesn’t know everything, but works to figure it out. She is willing to rely on friends, but also will take charge of a situation. She makes mistakes and may whine a short time, but in the end is resilient! 

Then we have cousins Jake and Alex Warin. Alex is a true, born shifter and DJ’s best friend. I don’t know their history from the first book, but Alex was awfully flirtatious, jealous and a tad possessive for “just friends.” I really liked him, but I was constantly worried that his behavior is more due to competition with his cousin than honest feelings for DJ. 

Jake on the other hand is loup-garou (made werewolf). Based on dialogue and memories, it is clear that Jake and DJ were on the verge of something special prior to Hurricane Katrina and Jake turning were. His anger and her guilt kept them apart until the beginning of River Road. With time and forgiveness, the pair seem to have a few sparks. However, Jake’s inability to control his wolf kept things moving slowly. I felt for Jake, and want to see him whole and healed. But honestly, I'm not sure who would be the best romantic interest for DJ. Alex is really making a case for himself, and the way things ended... well, I’m anxious to see what is next for our group. 

In the end I have to say I really enjoyed River Road! The primary plot is an absorbing mystery and a pretty good one at that. I will admit I didn't know whodunit. And while I am not a fan of love triangles, I appreciate DJ's confusion and the romantic story line is well played thus far. There is much more to learn about DJ and her powers, the elves and DJ’s new neighbor. My interest is certainly piqued!!
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Reading Progress

10/26/2012 page 180
54.0% ""Maybe I was overthinking it. I'd have to give that some more thought." --DJ"
10/26/2012 page 330
100.0% "Wow! Loved it! Cannot wait until the next book!"

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