by Suzanne Johnson
(Sentinels of New Orleans #1)
Published April 10th 2012 by Tor Books
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 loved how Johnson mixed the real life events of Hurricane Katrina with the urban fantasy world she built. She takes New Orleans history and myths and makes them her own with great world building and characters.
While reading Royal Street I felt like I was reading about a real person’s account of the time in New Orleans during Katrina. It brought me back to all the news reports but it was entertaining to read about it from a fictional aspect.
New Orleans has such a rich history that it’s totally believable that if the supernatural world was real, New Orleans would be a hot spot for paranormal activity. Johnson’s writing had me envisioning DJ driving through the streets looking for bad guys like Jean Lafitte, a sexy ghost pirate. And while I’m on the subject of sexy, DJ’s new partner Alex is the total alpha package. And there’s also his fun living cousin, Jake. DJ can’t swing her fae stick without hitting a sexy male; wither he’s, human, a ghost or something else all together different.
In true UF form, DJ is a snarky heroine with the problems of saving the world from paranormal creatures and the hard luck of having two sexy guys wanting to keep her warm at night. What a problem to have.
So if you enough UF books featuring a heroine that can weld magic while throwing smart one liners at people then you should try Suzanne Johnson’s Royal Street.
I’m off to start the second book, River Road.
If you liked Royal Street then you should try Dead on the Delta.