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4.5 Stars: River Road by Suzanne Johnson

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.

4.5 Stars: River Road by Suzanne Johnson

River Road by Suzanne Johnson (Sentinels of New Orleans #2)
Published by Tor Books on November 13th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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

4.5 Stars

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!)

4.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 River Road by Suzanne Johnson

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. i didn’t feel it was quadrangle… jake is just teasing her to annoy alex, it’s more their competitive relationship since they are little.
    i agree though that sometimes you can think of mercy ( ^^ charlie did it for me since book 1) but at the same time suzanne is orginal in a way to show things and i get immersed in her stories really easily.

    Elysian fields is even more promising but first if you haven’t read it yes^^ i would recommend that you check her official website, there is a novella about jean lafitte ” jackson square” which is free, until next week, there and so, so funny ( with Rene included^^)

    • Jake and DJ seem to really want to try something given the beginning of Elysian Fields, so if he was just teasing, I’d feel pretty bad for DJ :( I actually liked him best as an option until Elysian Fields changed things up.

      I’ll definitely be reading the Jean story, love that pirate!

Trackbacks

  1. […] River Road got 4.5 stars, loved this second book :D […]

  2. […] 14. River Road (sequel to Royal Street with mermaids :D ) Review […]

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