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Review: River Road by Suzanne Johnson (urban fantasy)

Review: River Road by Suzanne Johnson (urban fantasy)Author: Suzanne Johnson
Title: River Road
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #2
Publisher: Macmillan
Pages: 332
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
River Road by Suzanne Johnson is the fun, fast-paced second book in the Sentinels of New Orleans, a series of urban fantasy novels filled with wizards, mermen and pirates.  These novels are perfect for readers of paranormal fiction and “fans of Charlaine Harris and Cat Adams” (Booklist) and RT Bookreviews agrees that “for readers missing Sookie Stackhouse, this series may be right up your alley.”Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator. Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two. It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.
Format: eBook
Also by this author: Royal Street, Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Pirateship Down, Belle Chasse

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

River Road is the second book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson.

Tense: Past

Point of View: First Person

Audience: Older teen to adult due to graphic violence. No sex, only kissing.

jennifers review


The second book is just as fast-paced and interesting as the first. In this one, D.J. must deal with feuding merpeople who believe that they are being poisoned, while also trying to figure out the murder of two Green Congress wizards. Plus, she has to deal with her romantic interests: Jean, Alex, and Jake.

I really enjoyed reading River Road. It has a solid mystery that kept me guessing, lots of action and danger, and some humor.

D.J. is a great character. One thing I love about her is how she takes notice of the sexy men but doesn’t let them rule her life. Her job comes first, which it should because she has to prevent deaths of both humans and preternaturals. I also like how there are limits to her magic and consequences if she uses it too much. It makes her seem more realistic in my opinion. Also, she can be sarcastic at times but she’s not overly snarky or cynical. She’s a likable character who has a good outlook on life and people, even if she is a little too trusting at times.

Suzanne Johnson got straight to the point and into the action. Although she worked in a little backstory, I believe this series should be read in order to get the full picture. You could probably jump into the series here if you haven’t read book one, but it wouldn’t be as rich.

I liked the wit and tone of the writing in River Road. Although there were sad times and gory moments, the overall tone was upbeat and positive, which fits with D.J.’s character. One line I really liked was on page 123: “If her hips twisted anymore she’d be moving backwards.” That made me giggle.

In my opinion, there were only a few things that distracted from my enjoyment of the book. One was when D.J. opens the door and describes Tish’s appearance before the reader even knows that it’s Tish at the door. The reason I see this as a problem is because Tish and D.J. are practically family. It’s a point-of-view problem for D.J. to notice and describe Tish’s appearance. Since they know each other, that wouldn’t have really been in D.J.’s thoughts. It threw me off a little because the way she described Tish was the way she might assess a stranger at the door.

Another thing that went in the negative column for me was the lapse of time between the first book and the second one. It was hard for me to believe that nothing had happened in the three years that had passed between the two books, especially when it came to her relationships. They stalled totally for three years, and then suddenly, when this book starts, everything gets going again between her and Jean, her and Alex, and her and Jake? I didn’t believe that.

The biggest negative, the one that made me take off a half a star, was I was totally lost about the motivation behind the villain creating the rifts and poisoning the river. I understood the motivation behind the killings, but not the river-related problems.

Overall, I thought the book was great. It was hard for me to put down. I definitely recommend the Sentinels of New Orleans series to readers who like a variety of preternatural creatures and magic users in urban fantasy, a good mystery to figure out, and a main character who can protect herself and doesn’t go insane whenever a hot guy comes around.






About Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.


Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

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