Reviews

Royal Street, by Suzanne Johnson

ferrumage's review

Go to review page

The constant sexual harassment and misogyny (not to mention the attempted rape) of the main character was tiresome.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

serendipity_viv's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the setting, the characters - I couldn't get enough of them and I can't wait for the next book!
I don't normally read urban fantasy but when I realised this was set in New Orleans around the time of Hurricane Katrina, I had a gut feeling this book would be for me. I always listen to my gut feelings and yet again I was right.
Since I first heard about New Orleans when I was young, (I think it might have been while watching a James Bond movie) I became fascinated by voodoo and its birthright in New Orleans. Characters such as Marie Leveau, Jean Laffitte and Baron Samedi had been on my radar for awhile and will always attract my attention. The fact that the author brought them back from the dead to play a part in this book, alongside Louis Armstrong, was pure genius. Out of all of them Jean Lafitte was definitely my favourite, though that might have been because I kept imagining him as Jonny Depp! Ahem! Moving on.
I loved the way the book took a real event and incorporated the story around. Not to be morbid, I am well aware how devastating Hurricane Katrina was for New Orleans, yet I find myself in need of knowing more of why it happened and what occurred after the tragic event. Perhaps this is some kind of morbid fascination or just the need for clarity, I'm not sure, but as the story is placed in the hands of a New Orleans resident who has tirelessly worked to help with the clean up of New Orleans, I couldn't resist reading and enjoying this book.
Before each chapter begins, the author provides a snippet of information from the news , pinpointing the chronological events of Hurricane Katrina, so you get a feel of how the people changed their perspective of the devastating event; from the beginning they were quite blase about the effect it would have and were unprepared for the damage it finally created.
Within the story there is a love triangle which I felt worked really well, although perhaps 'love triangle' isn't the best description and 'lust triangle' would be better. It is clear from very early on, that D.J. is attracted to both Alex and his cousin, Jake. In their own way, they both have feelings for her too, but see her from different view points. Alex knows so much more about D.J., things that would seem unbelievable to Jake. It is only as the story progresses, that Jake realises D.J. isn't what she seems.
I really felt that the author captured the magical essence of New Orleans and entwined it with a thrilling well placed plot and a cast of alluring characters to create a winning combination. I am already and waiting for my next trip to New Orleans!

pelevolcana's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Thoroughly enjoyable urban fantasy fare. This book is made more interesting than the typical urban fantasy by the virtue of its setting, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I'm hoping I enjoy her next one even more.

abeautytoyourbeast's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Every time I'd say one more chapter I'd read about 3 or 4 more. I truly couldn't put the book down.

Drusilla Jones: She isn't necessarily my favorite main character. She is a bit weak magically, at least for the time being. She can only use potions and rituals, but there are hints that there is more to her than meets the eye. She whines that she wants to do more and take on more, but she doesn't really fight the powers that be. She doesn't have much in terms of training or additional skills to help protect her save for her wit and isn't willing to learn any new skills.

Alex: Enforcer/FBI Agent and now DJ's partner. I liked him from the beginning, he's a bad ass loaded with wit and lots of weapons. He is a bit hot and cold, especially in his feelings towards DJ. He seems like he should skirt the lines but he is a stickler for order and following the rules. Even still, I liked him and the parts when he was in the book.

Jake: Mmm. I don't remember what he looks like, but the mental image I had of him is hot as hell. He is a mundane, just a typical human who has no idea about the Beyond or the magical side of NOLA. He is attracted to DJ and she seems to feel towards him but the back and forth does get annoying.

Captain Jean: I really had high hopes we would see more of this character but the parts we saw I liked. He is a colorful pirate who uses English and French interchangeably. Like any pirate he does things with his own interests in mind first, but he does have a good heart and it does show up.

Overall, I liked the book and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

missuskisses's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Really liked how the author wove the reality of Hurricane Katrina into this imaginative piece.

ibustama's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

***I happened to know the author and want to say that she didn’t ask me to review her book and that knowing her didn’t influence my opinion.

Royal Street is a fantastic beginning to a series I plan to continue. DJ, the protagonist, is a likable heroine who—after a short evacuation—returns to find her beloved hometown, New Orleans, ravaged by a hurricane Katrina as well as supernatural creatures. On top of that, her mentor is missing, murders are taking place right and left, and 3 gorgeous men (one an undead pirate) are vying for her attention.

DJ is a stubborn and active character. She hardly listens to any advice from anyone and makes her own decisions, sound or not. Her impetuous nature gets her in trouble more than once, but as she begins to discover there’s more to her powers than she ever imagined, she gets better and better at getting out the same sticky situation she creates for herself.

I’m still curious as to why DJ couldn’t use her magic to cure her own injuries. She could make potions for all kinds of other things, but not to treat her various wounds. This was never explained, but I’m hoping it will be address in the next books.

ROYAL STREET ends with a lot of promise for the series, and I can’t wait to see what Suzanne has in stores for DJ in the next book.

lynseyt's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Wizarding wizards!

What a treat this was. I've had my eye on this series for a while now. Doesn't it have the most fabulous cover art? Thankfully, I found the inside of the book just as appealing as the outside. If you like any of the following in your urban fantasy, you should get along with this book (and series) very well:

  • Sensible, non-stupid protagonist

  • Interesting, complex and well-written secondary characters

  • Just enough romance to appeal, without overtaking

  • Villains you kinda-sorta have a crush on on the sly

  • Interesting hierarchies within the supernatural community

  • Magicky woo woo stuff

  • A well-plotted mystery with a thrilling conclusion

  • Vibrant and easy to visualize setting

  • Great dialogue and engaging narration

  • Wizards, weres, vamps, shapeshifters, and my favourite of all: historical undeads kept alive by the magic of memory (so. freaking. cool!)


If you don't like any of those things...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Just kidding. But seriously, this is a great start and I enjoyed Drusilla - DJ - Jaco very much. I also have my beady eye on the hunk of man goodness that is Alex, and Jean Lafitte? What an interesting fellow. I'll reserve judgement on him for now until I delve deeper into his delicious undead brain.

Ew...

I also really enjoyed the focus being on wizards for a change. And a female wizard to boot. Such a great idea to have your main character have an almost limitless potential for awesome. As long as she knows the spell for it, and can summon enough power, she can do pretty much anything. Which is so much more exciting than if she were, say, a werewolf or something.

What can you do? I can be a wolf.

What can you do? ANYTHING!

Which would you pick? Yeah, me too.

So I hope I've convinced you to go check it out. It should be on the shelf of every UF lover, without exception. I will not accept excuses.

Lynsey out.

4 Stars ★★★★

redheadedjen1's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

I could not get into this book no matter how hard I tried.

middlekmissie's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

In Which New Orleans Is Full of Magic (Not Really a Surprise):

http://thebookfix.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/magically-new-orleans/

elisquared's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I won my copy of Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson from Book Chick City, which is one of the few adult book blogs I follow. I'm so glad I did because this was a really fun book, and one I may not have read otherwise! Interestingly enough, this falls into the "New Adult" genre, which I hadn't heard of before. But Suzanne Johnson wrote a great read, and the Sentinels of New Orleans is one series I look forward to continuing.

The premise is that Hurricane Katrina not only broke the levees, but also destroyed part of the warding that kept the human world separate from the supernatural world. The protagonist, DJ, along with her mentor Gerry, are the Wizard Sentinels tasked with protecting New Orleans, and keeping the supernatural activity to a minimum. But when Gerry goes missing in the middle of the flooding, it is up to DJ, Alex, an enforcer from the Elders, and Jean Lefitte, a smokin-hot undead pirate, to figure out what is going down in the Big Easy.

The fact that the book takes place post Hurricane Katrina made me a little leery at first. I felt that using such a horrendous disaster as the backdrop to a supernatural story would be insensitive and gimmicky. However, Johnson writes about the aftermath with sensitivity and pays homage to the survivors and victims, as well as to the city itself, beautifully. The fact that New Orleans is so filled with supernatural lore already, Johnson was able to tap into that and expand it out without making it seem hokey. All my fears were eased within the first chapter.

My favorite scenes of the book deal with the relationships between the characters. The snark between DJ and Alex is great, as well as the sexual tension. Of course that happens with Jean Lafitte as well. But who can resist men with weapons....ehem. Of course the real character relationship that I love was between DJ and Gerry. There were some secrets kept, but the fierce love they share for each other isn't matched by anything else. I think the relationship DJ has with herself is also amazing. She really grows into her role as a Sentinel, and learns to trust herself and her powers!

The descriptions of the setting are great putting the reader directly in the scene. The action is fast and often dangerous and the men are smoldering. Johnson has really crafted a great book and the start to a great series. I can't wait to continue reading. If you like wizards, guns, and undead pirates, oh my, then you need to pick up Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson!