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Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the River Road Blog Tour. For today’s tour stop, Heather gives us her EPIC 5 Controller review of the second novel in the Sentinels of New Orleans Series. We also have an Excerpt from the Novel and a chance to win an eReader of your choice!
Title: River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans, #2)
Author: Suzanne JohnsonISBN-13: 9780765327802
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date: 11/13/2012
Review Source: Blog Tour
Find It: Goodreads/ Amazon/ B & N
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.
River Road is the second book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by the very talented Suzanne Johnson. Please, if you have not read the first in her series Royal Street do so now. If you love fantasy and mystery then you shall not be disappointed at all.
River Road picks up with Drusilla Draco (DJ), and the rest of her gang years after the Katrina aftermath we saw in Royal Street. She is now the lead Sentinel for her area, but is a bit miffed that the Elders have kept steamy, shifter, enforcer that is so-still-off-limits on as a Sentinel too. DJ feels she is strong enough, smart enough, and a powerful enough wizard to take care of business without his help, plus he makes more money than she does.
With two murdered members of the Green Congress, polluted rivers, a crazy-sexy famous undead pirate that she made endless promises to when she thought he would die in the beyond, plus the rivalry stewing between Jake and Alex Warin over her, DJ really has her hands full in this novel. I know, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but I promise you a lot of action, magic, preternaturals of the fin, fur, and underworld kind, and the mysterious elven staff is back at it again! Even watching her cat through the book brings a chuckle or two, so there is plenty of wit to keep you amused as the story progresses.
Ok onto my thoughts before I am tempted to give far too much of this wonderful story away. First of all I am in love with this series. When emailed asking if I would like to review the second book, I jumped at the chance. The world building is phenomenal, I mean really I want to live in this world. No, it isn’t perfect, but between the rich history and preternaturals, I just found it as awesome as JK Rowling’s world of Harry Potter, just a US version, with adults, and more grown-up story line. I am a huge HP fan, so this is me saying “‘It’s all that and a bag of chips” (or whatever we said growing up in the 90’s.)
The character development was quite intriguing. While this is written in first person, we still get a real sense of each of them, even though we view them through DJ’s eyes. Alex is head strong, masculine, but underneath he really is an awesome, sweet guy. As the story progresses, we get to see it first hand as DJ notices him or notices little changes here and there. The dead pirate Jean we learn can send very uncomfortable signals, and DJ cannot help but be attracted to him, but we also get to see the softer side of the privateer that has her really looking at him in a different light. So while this is a first person POV, you get so much more as DJ not only watches these characters unfold before her eyes, but as she watched their development, readers do too.
Storyline was top notch, and I was sucked into this one big time. There was a perfect balance between conflicts, a progressive love story that has been in the works since the first book, and then the magical action. Laced into this all are the mysteries surrounding not only the murders, but the river pollution. I anticipated every new paragraph, every page, and in the end I left satisfied, but with a taste for more. This series is one you don’t want to put down, and you certainly don’t want to miss.
5 out of 5 Controllers
Excerpt River Road
The minute hand of the ornate grandfather clock crept like a gator stuck in swamp mud. I’d been watching it for half an hour, nursing a fizzy cocktail from my perch inside the Hotel Monteleone. The plaque on the enormous clock claimed it had been hand- carved of mahogany in 1909, about 130 years after the birth of the undead pirate waiting for me upstairs.
They were both quite handsome, but the clock was a lot safer.
The infamous Jean Lafitte had expected me at seven. He’d summoned me to his French Quarter hotel suite by courier like I was one of his early nineteenth-century wenches, and I hated to destroy his pirate-king delusions, but the historical undead don’t summon wizards. We summon them.
I’d have blown him off if my boss on the Congress of Elders hadn’t ordered me to comply and my co-sentinel, Alex, hadn’t claimed a prior engagement.
At seven thirty, I abandoned my drink, took a deep breath, and marched through the lobby toward the bank of elevators.
On the long dead-man-walking stroll down the carpeted hallway, I imagined all the horrible requests Jean might make. He’d saved my life a few years ago, after Hurricane Katrina sent the city into freefall, and I hadn’t seen him since. I’d been desperate at the time. I might have promised him unfettered access to modern New Orleans in exchange for his assistance. I might have promised him a place to live. I might have promised him things I don’t even remember. In other words, I might be totally screwed.
I reached the door of the Eudora Welty Suite and knocked, reflecting that Jean Lafitte probably had no idea who Eudora Welty was, and wouldn’t like her if he did. Ms. Welty had been a modern sort of woman who wouldn’t hop to attention when summoned by a scoundrel.
He didn’t answer immediately. I’d made him wait, after all, and Jean lived in a tit- for- tat world. I paused a few breaths and knocked harder. Finally, he flung open the door, waving me inside to a suite plush with tapestries of peach and royal blue, thick carpet that swallowed the narrow heels of my pumps, and a plasma TV he couldn’t possibly know how to operate. What a waste.
“You have many assets, Drusilla, but apparently a respect for time is not among them.” Deep, disapproving voice, French accent, broad shoulders encased in a red linen shirt, long dark hair pulled back into a tail, eyes such a cobalt blue they bordered on navy. And technically speaking, dead.
He was as sexy as ever.
“Sorry.” I slipped my hand in my skirt pocket, fingering the small pouch of magic-infused herbs I carried at all times. My mojo bag wouldn’t help with my own perverse attraction to the man, but it would keep my empathic abilities in check. If he still had a perverse attraction to me, I didn’t want to feel it.
He eased his six-foot-two frame into a sturdy blue chair and slung one long leg over the arm as he gave me a thorough eyeraking, a ghost of a smile on his face.
I perched on the edge of the adjacent sofa, easing back against a pair of plump throw pillows, and looked at him expectantly. I hoped what ever he wanted wouldn’t jeopardize my life, my job, or my meager bank account.
“You are as lovely as ever, Jolie,” Jean said, trotting out his pet name for me that sounded deceptively intimate and brought back a lot of memories, most of them bad. “I will forgive your tardiness— perhaps you were late because you were selecting clothing that I would like.” His gaze lingered on my legs. “You chose beautifully.”
I’d picked a conservative black skirt and simple white blouse with the aim of looking professional for a business meeting, part of my ongoing attempt to prove to the Elders I was a mature wizard worthy of a pay raise. But this was Jean Lafitte, so I should have worn coveralls. I’d forgotten what a letch he could be.
“I have a date after our meeting,” I lied. He didn’t need to know said date involved a round carton with the words Blue Bell Ice Cream printed on front. “Why did you want to see me?”
There, that hadn’t been so difficult—just a simple request. No drama. No threats. No double- entendre. Straight to business.
“Does a man need a reason to see a beautiful woman? Especially one who is indebted to him, and who has made him many promises?” A slow smile spread across his face, drawing my eyes to his full lips and the ragged scar that trailed his jawline.
I might be the empath in the room, but he knew very well that, in some undead kind of way, I thought he was hot.
I felt my face warming to the shade of a trailer- trash bridesmaid’s dress, one whose color had a name like raging rouge. I’d had a similar reaction when I first met Jean in 2005, two days before a mean hurricane with a sissy name turned her malevolent eye toward the Gulf Coast. I blamed my whole predicament on Katrina, the bitch.
Her winds had driven the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into the canals that crisscrossed the city, collapsing levees and filling the low, concave metro area like a gigantic soup bowl.
But NBC Nightly News and Anderson Cooper had missed the biggest story of all: how, after the storm, a mob of old gods, historical undead, and other preternatural victims of the scientific age flooded New Orleans. As a wizard, I’d had a ringside seat. Now, three years later, the wizards had finally reached accords with the major preternatural ruling bodies, and the borders were down, as of two days ago. Jean hadn’t wasted any time.
~Tour Wide Giveaway~
1–Choice of Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Simple Touch (or $100 gift card for Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository)
5–$10 gift cards for Amazon, B&N or Book Depository
[note color=”#66bd8f”]About the Author:
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’ birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.
Publisher Page: http://us.macmillan.com/author/suzannejohnson
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