Review & Giveaways: ROYAL STREET by Suzanne Johnson
With a fresh and original premise, a dynamic setting, complex characters and clean, witty prose, Suzanne Johnson’s ROYAL STREET is a magical urban fantasy debut. Chance to WIN a copy!
As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.
Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.
While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.
To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.
I found myself as fascinated with Drusilla’s spells and potions as with the deeper plot elements of how the killer would take his next victim or what the villainous undead pirate Lafitte would do to taunt Drusilla next.
ROYAL STREET is so complex, told in such a sophisticatedly straight forward prose, the reader is slowly pulled deeper and deeper into the multiple threads of conflict. At the same time, the characters’ true personalities come out in the face of each new test, creating a mesmerizing tale.
As a romance fan, I found Alex, Drusilla’s new partner, deliciously hot and their chemistry added a nice spice to the read. But that wasn’t all Suzanne had in store for us in the romance department. There are also sparks flying between Alex’s cousin, Jake, ex-military and pleasantly normal in her crazy and troubled preternatural world. Hello, color me pleased.
With New Orleans in the midst of hurricane Katrina, the setting becomes a wicked character in itself, an enthralling element to an already intense high stakes read. And for the paranormal lover, there are creatures a plenty to keep you entertained, right along with Suzanne’s intriguing view of Old Orleans and Beyond.
And while the main storyline is wrapped up by the end of ROYAL STREET, many interesting threads remain; lush story fodder for future books. I’m highly anticipating the next installment of this series, River Road, coming in November.
Share your favorite paranormal character type — witches, fae, vamps, etc. — and what you love about them and enter to WIN a copy of ROYAL STREET. Shipping to US/Canada only.
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A longtime New Orleans resident now living in Auburn, Alabama, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and a native of Winfield, Alabama.
During her daytime job, Suzanne is associate editor of Auburn Magazine, the quarterly magazine of the Auburn University Alumni Association. She has also worked at Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of San Diego, Rice University in Houston, and at the University of Illinois. Awards include: the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University Sallyport; feature writing awards in 2009 and 2010 from Writer’s Digest magazine; and more than 50 awards in writing and editing from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.