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River Road by Suzanne Johnson
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River Road (edition 2012)

by Suzanne Johnson

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8217147,013 (4.02)1
Member:TheLostEntwife
Title:River Road
Authors:Suzanne Johnson
Info:Tor Books (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:2012 Reads
Rating:****
Tags:None

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River Road by Suzanne Johnson

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So I was a little disappointed when I started reading this book and realized it takes place 3 years after the first book left off. I felt there were enough unresolved issues in the first book that it could have continued with a much shorter time gap... particularly when you consider we were in the midst of a love triangle, and the death of Drusilla's father (Gerry) left New Orleans without a sentinel just after the borders between the worlds/dimensions had collapsed. However this does take place several years later, and is set during the time of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that happened in the Gulf. Although that tragedy was not mentioned, the plot involves the water in the lower parishes being poisoned, but by a paranormal event rather than oil.

That being said, I still loved River Road almost as much as Royal Street. Johnson describes New Orleans and the lower parishes like only a longtime resident can. She does such a great job of bringing the city and parishes to life that the settings become another character to the story. I have yet to travel to the marches and southern parishes, but Ms. Johnson has me wanting to take a drive down to sightsee this weekend.

My favorite part of this book was that we got a lot more of my new favorite fictional character, the undead Jean Lafitte. He has so much character and personality, that I think he could support his own spinoff series. I absolutely love him, and I was happy that he was able to present his more gallant and debonair side in this book.

What I did not like about this book is that we still have an unresolved love triangle 3 years later. I am not a fan of the love triangle here, probably because I like both of the love interests (plus Jean Lafitte) so I don't know who to root for. And I don't like Drusilla playing Yoko Ono between the cousins. These guys are close and care about each other, so it seems like Drusilla being with either one will be a huge bone of contention between the two. So I would like to see her keep Alex and Jake in the friendzone, and sail off with Jean Lafitte!

The action continued to keep a good pace during this book, and I finished it in one setting and happily moved on to book 3. This will be one of those series that I will not like to wait for the next book... I will be impatiently waiting (and maybe stalking the author's website for updates). ( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | Mar 19, 2016 |
I liked the first book. Royal Street was funny and promising. I truly hoped i found another PNR series that i could enjoy. But in the second novel the standards fall.

Biggest issue is sitcom quality. Nothing worth reading ever really happens. The cases she investigates are missing that gritty factor, the romance is come and go, and with more then one guy involved it just gives me a headache at the end. You remember those old soaps? The ones where if a character puts a pot of coffee on it will most probably be done at the end of the month???? Well this book is like that. Started off great but just not my cup of tea.

I don't think i will be reading the next installment. ( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
4 ½ Stars ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
River Road by Suzanne Johnson is the second in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, so there might be some spoilers for the first book, though nothing too big since they occur pretty far apart. I had trouble getting in to the first book, Royal Street, but I ended up loving River Road much more. I highly recommend you give the second book a try even if you were only so-so on the first book ;-).
Note: I purchased River Road.



River Road by Suzanne Johnson (Sentinels of New Orleans #2)
Published by Tor Books on November 13th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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 someone—or something—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 urban fantasy series continues. -- Goodreads

Strengths:
I have read very few urban fantasy that focus heavily on mermaids, but River Road did just that! It really makes perfect sense giving the New Orleans setting after all. I was quite happy with how merpeople were presented (werefish basically), which has been rare in my mermaid reading.
The plot twists, especially the big reveal, were quite clever and I definitely didn’t see them coming. I always enjoy being duped by a book :D.
River Road had a fun summer feel to it, making now the perfect time to read it! Royal Street had a very dark and sad feel with the Katrina setting, but River Road had a much stronger emphasis on sunny deltas which was nice to read about.
The writing style of River Road was very light and readable. I found myself excited to sink back in and have some fun, making me finish it in just over two days.
Weaknesses:
The combination of weres, shifters and a sexy neighbor reminded me strongly of the Mercy Thompson series. Obviously UF stories are going to have some similarities being in the same genre, but there was a moment where I sat back and furrowed my brow in distress at how close River Road came.
Tired of love triangles? Try love quadrangles! Seriously, I don’t care how awesome a female MC is, three guys is just a little ridiculous.
River Road is set ~3 years after Royal Street, which was a bit of a time jump to take. Except when the timing was mentioned, it really didn’t feel like three years had passed for the relationships, so it seemed just a convenient way to avoid too much Katrina damage….
Summary:
River Road takes full advantage of the New Orleans setting but goes back to the fun and easy readability that UF is awesome for. While there are some tropes I’m just tired of, River Road did bring merpeople to the UF genre in a way I haven’t heard of before and was quite enjoyable to explore. I’m hoping there isn’t so much of a time jump for the next book though, otherwise our characters might start dying of old age by the end of the series! (Well, not actually since I think all of them are long lived…. Silly wizards!) ( )
  anyaejo | Jan 7, 2014 |
See my review of this book, and many more, at Tales from the Great East Road.


(Spoilers for book one.)

It’s been three years since Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans, and through DJ’s life, but she has come to terms with what happened and is settled with her life working for the Elder wizards along side her close friend and FBI enforcer, Alex. But when, out of the blue, undead pirate Jean Lafitte contacts DJ about conflict between two clans of merpeople and the debt she owes him for saving her life, DJ must investigate before poisoned water spreads and harms the humans of the city. Whilst breaking up fights between the mermen, and judging whether to trust Jean and his advances on her, DJ also has to juggle a werewolf who likes her but may not be able to control himself, her parner Alex who is suddenly acting funny around her, and the elves who want to meet (and probably use) her. Maybe running off to the Beyond with an undead pirate isn’t the worst idea in the world…

River Road picks up three years after the events of Royal Street, and though the time gap may seem a little much, the main characters have , thankfully, not changed. This book is in fact an improvement over the first: the pacing is a lot more even, the events are better connected to each other and don’t feel hastily thrown together (as the last book suffered a little from), and DJ on the whole felt more sure of herself without losing any of her humour, stubbornness, or practical mindedness. She is a character who is not afraid to get her hands dirty or push her limits. Though this is a trait often found in Urban Fantasy heroines, DJ doesn’t fall into the trap of being too headstrong to make rational decisions that end up putting herself in danger. When danger does arise, she uses the backup help Alex offers her, without insisting she doesn’t need him or taking his offer to mean that he thinks she isn’t strong enough.

The world of this series is expanding, be it slowly. River Road heavily featured merpeople, nymphs, and their relation to the human world, but also mentions the River Styx (a place in the Beyond), the fact that the Beyond has links to different time periods, and the elves (who seem to be becoming an increasingly bigger part of DJ’s life as she tries to research her own elven heritage). Once again the Beyond is visited, but only briefly, giving the reader an almost infuriatingly small glimpse of this huge world. As DJ learns more about herself, and discovers yet more ways the Elders are trying to keep wizards from travelling to the Beyond, I can only hope that this means a greater amount of time spent there.

The other big part of this book is the romance, and all the male character are written so well, it’s hard to know who to choose. Though slowly taken, DJ has not one but three romantic interests, each with their own charms and faults. Her partner and friend Alex seems the obvious choice, as the relationship they have is both sweet and funny – in any other series he’d be the only guy to root for. Whilst his cousin Jake also seems sweet, his struggle to control himself since he became a werewolf makes him dangerous, but also sympathetic and vulnerable beneath his tough exterior. Lastly, Jean Laffite is the wild card, both dangerous and attractive. Though he (mostly) behaves in this book, the fact that he not only hurt DJ in book one but actually tried to kill her, makes him unstable and untrustworthy. Had that incident not happened, I would have been a big fan of Jean.

In summery, River Road takes everything that was good in Royal Street and makes it better. Add some more journeying into the Beyond, and the next book may even be a five star read.

4 stars. ( )
  Great_East_Road | Sep 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765327805, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:51 -0400)

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 somethin--or someon--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--s 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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