Stephanie's Reviews > Royal Street

Royal Street by Suzanne  Johnson
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's review
Feb 20, 2012

it was amazing
Recommended to Stephanie by: NetGalley
Recommended for: Everybody - no sex, clean language

One thing that becomes clear in reading Suzanne Johnson's writing is that she is a "mature" writer. Before you get all up in my face I mean mature in an experienced sense—

She is an experienced writer without the need to prove she has a big vocabulary or to describe anything in minute detail.
She also has the creds to write about the hurricane and NOLA because she was there. Writing about something is one way to help one's self and others work through it.
And, like NOLA she tells the story with spice and jazz.

With so many disasters happening throughout the world it's easy to lose sight of one as the next becomes overwhelming. I included a picture above just in case we've forgotten how complete the devastation was.

On Goodreads Suzanne Johnson discusses ROYAL STREET in her Bio:

After living in New Orleans for many years, a couple of years after Hurricane Katrina I moved to bucolic (really) Auburn, Alabama. ROYAL STREET started as my attempt to come to terms with the Katrina debacle, but soon took on a life of its own. It has wizards, sexy assassins, undead pirates and other New Orleans royalty, some voodoo goods, a pretty Mississippi guy with dimples, and what I hope is a sensitive and truthful feel for the horror and strength of spirit that marked New Orleans in the post-Katrina months. (Suzanne Johnson on Goodreads)


As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. Her boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the other world crumbled. Now, the Undead and the Restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover. Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and an undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and the killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love serves up one bitter gumbo.(

Perhaps it is the maturity along with talent and the million other variables that make someone a good writer that elevates this story from genre fiction with funky supes in New Orleans, to one that deals with a host of issues as one would if they were to arise in life. Suzanne's experience brings us into the mud and stench of the flood and to the confusion of a little girl who felt abandoned.

She has also created believable characters with whom I can sympathize. And, she creates a complex world we plain-old, everyday humans can't see. While it is not explained in a wholesale information dump, it is comprehensible enough and we get to fill in some blanks! In fact Suzanne meets one of my most important criteria for a great read: a balance of description, action and dialogue and reader involvement. Thank You!

Sometimes when I am really enjoying a book I am reviewing I forget to note why I am enjoying it. Or, even better, I don't know why I am unable to stop turning the pages and get bummed out and miss the characters at the end. This is one of those books. It's written with humor but also pathos. There is resolution but no ride off into the sunset. It's also pretty "clean," but with enough chemistry you'll be hoping for something dirty. But even without sex the book is edgy, especially with complex relationships full of love, mistakes and subtle "friendly malice."

It's hard to say much about the plot without spoiling it, but it involves undead pirates, musicians, voodoo queens and former-gods, as well as family problems and man-trouble. I am hoping the man-trouble gets a bit hotter in the next story. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ROYAL STREET. I think people who enjoy Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison, as well as other urban fantasy, will enjoy it.

Original Review: http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspo...
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