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River Road

River Road

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Suzanne Johnson

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  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Format: Hardback | 332 pages
  • Dimensions: 148mm x 214mm x 30mm | 417g
  • Publication date: 13 November 2012
  • ISBN 10: 0765327805
  • ISBN 13: 9780765327802
  • Sales rank: 1,134,772

Product description

"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.

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Author information

SUZANNE JOHNSON is a magazine editor and feature writer with more than fifty national writing and editing awards. A longtime New Orleans resident, she helped rebuild for two years after Hurricane Katrina. "Royal Street" was her first novel and is the first book in an urban fantasy series about the Sentinels of New Orleans, wizards who guard the storied city against preternatural dangers. As Susannah Sandlin, Suzanne is also the author of The Penton Vampire Legacy, a series of popular paranormal romances.

Customer reviews

By Andrea Thompson 07 Nov 2012 5

River Road is the fantastic second installment in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson. The first in the series, Royal Street, is a book that I really liked. But River Road is where I fall in love with this imaginative Urban Fantasy series.

I think what makes River Road so special for me was that it was FUN. The world has been established, the characters are known, and life in post-Katrina New Orleans is interesting to say the least. I love Johnson's pretes; you have loup garou, shifters, nymphs, were gators, mer people, and my personal favorite, the historical undead. The historical undead aren't ghosts, but are real historical figures, kept "alive" through memory.

The most prevalent of the Historical Undead, in this series, is Jean Lafitte, a 18th century "privateer" (ie, pirate). And though Jean Lafitte is long-dead, he is one of the three men who drive our heroine Drusilla "DJ" Jaco up the wall. The other two men being Alex and Jake Warin. Alex is DJ's partner, which makes him off-limits, for now. Jake is Alex's sexy, sweet, and slightly dangerous cousin. The sexual chemistry that DJ has with each man, yes even the undead Jean, makes River Road so much fun.

But, these three men, and DJ's potential relationship with each, is not the focus of River Road. DJ takes her job seriously and though she sometimes stumbles, she is good at it. Her dedication is admirable. She has become more confident in her abilities and is no longer one to let her superiors walk all over her. DJ has turned into a full-blown, take control, urban fantasy heroine.

River Road kicked off to a fun start, quickly developed into supernatural mystery, and kept me hanging on the entire time. The story ended with a strong finish and the last line left me dying for book three. The Sentinels of New Orleans is a series that will surely be loved by all Urban Fantasy fans.

By frisch 28 Oct 2012 5

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 eve

Review quote

Praise for "Royal Street", first in the series: "A vivid debut that's far more than the sum of its parts... Sympathetic, entertaining DJ is the perfect narrator for a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists." "--Publishers Weekly", Starred Review "Rarely has an urban fantasy so moved and entertained me on the very same page! "Royal Street" offers an insider's view of post-Katrina New Orleans, in all its heartache--and all its heart. A witty, resilient heroine and an irresistible cast make this a sure hit with fans of Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher." --Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of the SHADE and WVMP RADIO series "Unplug the phone. Turn off the TV. You won't want to be interrupted. I read it in one sitting. A thoroughly enjoyable world and a likeable heroine make for a fun read." --Cat Adams, author of "Siren Song """Royal Street "is a great book, bringing totally fascinating magic and people together in a wonderful setting in a perfect storm of urban fantasy." --Susan Sizemore, "USA Today "bestselling author of "Primal Instincts"