Fabulous! Above all my expectations; I'm used to Suzanne's writing style and so far she never disappointed me so I couldn't wait to read this book. However book 1 "Royal Street" was really well written with a great story and I though book 2 was going to be playing in the same league: a really good book. Big Mistake, "River Road" is even better a "must have" for any urban fantasy fan.
This story takes place 3 years after the events of "Royal Street", DJ is still the Sentinel of New Orleans with Alex as a partner since the elders don't trust her enough to handle the job yet. Their relationship has calmed down a bit and now they do trust each other and don't regret their assignment.
We discover a more responsible DJ, not as impulsive as before. She has learned from her mistakes, or is sometimes still trying, and does her best. Still wound by the lost of Gerry, DJ is still afraid to loose someone else or to see someone dear to her being hurt or leaving her. It's the reason she tries her best to stay professional with Alex and when she knows she is doing something that could endanger his position she prefers to let him know afterwards.
She is also more attentive to the "reality" around her and can put the elders and their system in question, discreetly of course - Who wouldn't want to hit Hoffman?-. She is using her own talents and gifts when it's needed; she has accepted her difference and heritage. She still has her pet - or little master ^^- Sebastian, so funny little thing and I understand her feeling when he makes his stink eyes...mine acts more friendly but also part Siamese and I know those eyes too well *brrr*
Now, as for her heart, it's more complicated. No matter how much she denies it she is attracted by Alex, she thinks she has that in control until he decides to act more no matter the competition. Because the competition is there first there is Jake, after being mad at her and disappearing for 3 years, he still wants her and he doesn't fear to tell her, show her and ask for a date. . Then there is Jean Lafitte, immortal historical undead, cunning and sexy, who flirts with her since day one. Not sure if he is that sincere but he doesn't leave her indifferent. For a girl who was mostly alone, it's a bit too much at the same time^^.
I must admit I really enjoy Jean Lafitte. He is fun, intelligent and he knows what he wants -perhaps not concerning DJ- his honour is important and he is really determined. You should not underestimate him. I love it's relation with our favourite wizard even if Alex is also really interesting with her.
In this book, Alex tries to make his feeling known and with someone as DJ that's not an easy task. He goes all alpha and protective on her. Possessive even, when it comes to Jake and Jean, but he is able to see past that for the good of the investigation and DJ's safety. He was so fun this time,I can't tell you why but you could be laughing to tears at some passage of this book^^.
The story in itself is excellent; we have action, suspense and humour all perfectly dosed with a touch of romance to keep our heart beating and a small dose of drama to keep us on toes. The investigation here was original and captivating. Suzanne managed to surprise me with several twists and I wasn't expecting the ending at all. (Though I have high suspicions about Rand...) The humour was welcome and didn't clash with the seriousness of the investigation at all...I laughed so much with this book (Sebastian high on magic , the family dinner so dreaded)that in the end I was nearly crying all the time from laughing or emotion ( some descriptions of "post Katrina" are emotionally charged, DJ's thought on Gerry and Jake) it's so well written that you can't stay unmoved.
Added bonus, we got to meet new creatures: mermen (not new you if you have read "Chenoire", so ^^ jump on it while it's still available), Rene is really a interesting character and I hope we will see more of him. Nymphs (you will love their "human" job) and finally we met one elf, a proclaimed one, an elder really important and not friendly at all. So we can expect a lot of adventure and action in the future. (Jean was so protective and loyal hum ^^ he is winning good points^^)
I really enjoyed the description of the wetlands area and the old New Orleans, we can feel the love Suzanne Johnson has for the region and it's communicative, it really made me want to learn more about it. She is slowly becoming a major author of the urban fantasy with this book.
To recommend wholeheartedly to all fan of urban fantasy and to everyone who wants a really good book to enjoy. So if you haven't started the series yet don't hesitate. You can find my review of book 1 here.
Don't forget that if you preorder/order this book " River Road" a small percentage will go to a funds to help the region suffering from oil pollution, a good deed we can do even as simple human being. A great gift for Christmas or New Year eveshow more