Customer Reviews for

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

new urban fantasy with New Orleans as the backdrop

The tale takes place against the backdrop of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Johnson beautifully captures New Orleans, some of its most famous citizens and creates a fresh new fantasy world. While this first novel deals a lot with establishing this new world, I fo...
The tale takes place against the backdrop of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Johnson beautifully captures New Orleans, some of its most famous citizens and creates a fresh new fantasy world. While this first novel deals a lot with establishing this new world, I found the tale and the characters to be delightful. This tale contains wizards, assassins, Fae, elves, vampires, shape-shifters and more. With Kim Harrison’s series the Hollows winding down, I am excited about this new series. The protagonist is twenty-five year-old Drusilla Jane Jaco.( DJ for short.) She is a junior wizard and empathy. She is employed as the deputy sentinel in New Orleans. Gerald St. Simon has been her mentor and father-figure since the age of seven. DJ is a Green Congress wizard who specializes in rituals and spells. She is eager to learn more and take on more responsibilities. She gets her first chance when Gerald asks her to send pirate Jean Lafitte back to the other realm after he was summoned. Jean Lafitte offers DJ a deal, one she refuses. After trapping him she sends him back to the Otherworld. As he leaves he swears revenge. When warnings start coming in of a hurricane bearing down on New Orleans, Gerry orders DJ to head out of town to her grandmother’s in Alabama. Gerry stays behind to watch the borders of the Beyond. When fluctuating barometric pressure happens during a hurricane, it opens doors that keep the Pretes (supernatural beings) in their world. Left unchecked they would begin crossing over and causing problems for the humans who reside in New Orleans. Reluctantly she agrees, but when Gerald ends up missing, she is ordered back to New Orleans. DJ returns home, to find her home spared and Jean Lafitte in her home seeking revenge. Without time to invoke a spell, DJ has to use her wits to save herself, and just when it looks like she might have the upper hand, Alex an enforcer for the Elders rushes in like Rambo and shoots Lafitte, sending him back to the Otherworld. She learns she is now the Sentinel for New Orleans and the Elders have sent Alex to assist her. DJ’s main concern is finding Gerry and GI Alex is not about to stop her. The tale that unfolds is actions packed, as DJ and Alex search for Gerry and try to stop a killer using voodoo. The characters in this novel are interesting and unique. I easily connected with DJ. She is bright, feisty and determined. The thoughts that pop into her head were a riot and reminded me of a younger Charley from Darynda Jones fantastic Charley Davidson series. I cannot thank Johnson enough for creating a heroine who isn’t winey and doesn’t need a man to make it all better. DJ is not a tough in this novel. In fact she spends almost the entire novel in various shades of black and blue. Johnson hints of DJ’s untapped powers and we learn some unique things about her that have me excited to watch this young protagonist grow into a warrior. Combine that with her ability to piece things together, negotiate with those in the Otherworld and think outside the box, DJ has the potential to be one of my favorite heroines. Alex is a likeable guy and while his FBI training can make him act like a neanderthal, he respects DJ and listens to her. We learn a little about his history, but I have a feeling there is more. His buddy Jake owns a bar called Gators and is ex-military. Watching the two of them try and stake a claim on DJ was delightful. Jean Lafitte is a giant flirt and a true pirate. I

posted by kimba88 on March 11, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Didn't excite me

I never fully connected with this book. It just didn't excite me. Drusilla is a Green Congress wizard living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. She leaves the city before the hurricane hits, but her mentor Gerry sticks around. At first, the two remain in touch,...
I never fully connected with this book. It just didn't excite me. Drusilla is a Green Congress wizard living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. She leaves the city before the hurricane hits, but her mentor Gerry sticks around. At first, the two remain in touch, and Gerry appears to be fine. But then Gerry disappears. The wizard Elders demand that Drusilla return to New Orleans, locate Gerry, and address the crack in the divide between the Beyond and the real world. To help her, they send Alex, an enforcer whom Drusilla finds to be very sexy. What I loved about the book was seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina through Drusilla's eyes. It's clear to me that the author did a lot of research on this topic, and it showed. After having read this book, I actually feel a bit more educated about the hurricane. So kudos to the author for that. I also loved the idea of "historical undead." These are undead people who remain alive in the Beyond (and sometimes manage to sneak their way into the real world) because their memories are still alive in the real world. The historical undead who made appearances included the pirate Jean Lafitte, musician Louis Armstrong, and voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. It was cool to see these people brought to life with personalities and weaved into the story. Unfortunately, there was little else that I found to be special about this book. Drusilla was your usual, feisty heroine. She didn't completely understand her powers. And although her powers were cool enough, I was annoyed that Drusilla figured them out later than I did. Actually, Drusilla figured out everything later than I did, and there were times when I wanted to shout at her through the pages of the book. I also did not like the love triangle. There was Alex, and there was his cousin Jake. Drusilla was attracted to both of them, but her feeling toward both men came across as being superficial. She was immediately attracted to both despite having any deep connection to either. In contrast, I got the impression that both men had real, growing feeling for her, and I found her attitude toward them to be fickle and selfish. I understand this is the first book in a series. While I will add the next book to my to-read list, I'm in no big hurry to read it.

posted by Brewsters_Bookshelf on April 24, 2012

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is part paranormal and part alternate reality. This

    Royal Street is part paranormal and part alternate reality. This is a world where magic is real, those with fame can live forever, and every supernatural being you could dream of lives in the Beyond – or on Earth. Fascinating sexy pirates, deadly vampires, and even famous jazz musicians all grace this thrilling, mysterious, funny read and of course our main star, DJ the little wizard.

    It starts mere days before New Orleans fell to Hurricane Katrina. DJ is a young Green Wizard who is forced to leave her post before the onslaught of the hurricane hits. She leaves behind her home, the mentor whom she loves as a father, and is forced to evacuate on the orders of the Wizard Congress. She complies though she voices her opinion with Jerry; after all she just dispatched an ancient pirate who tried to seduce her into making a bargain.


    She hadn’t been gone long, and she watched in horror as the city she loved fell when the levees broke. If anything could have been worse, she wouldn’t expect it to be Jerry. Her mentor had gone missing, and upon the Wizard Congresses orders, DJ would have to return and find him quickly before the breaches between Earth and the Beyond allowed more supernatural’s to waltz on in.


    DJ would have to do the impossible, but not alone, no, the Congress sent in an enforcer, a delectable enforcer as both her partner and protector. Alex has many of his own secrets, his own talents, and one is to infuriate DJ. But when his cousin comes into the picture jealousy rears-up when DJ shows interest.


    Oh but this is so much more than a love story, or a triangle, and no I won’t give a single thing away beyond this point! You’ll have to nab yourself a copy and get your read on!


    I really loved this story, and I sure hope the author will be writing more. There weren’t any real loose ends, but I could see it continuing here and there. This story was very well written and filled with facts, lots of paranormal, fantasy creatures and ideals, and it all worked well together. I even enjoyed the humorous bits that were nicely splayed into the story. A lot of times they seem awkward, but no these really meshed nicely.


    Character, world, and plot creation was superb. I actually got sad when I watched the book come to an end. I’ll say it again, I want more of DJ, Alex, Jake and oh even Jean, loved him – and hated him at times too! So, please, please, please keep writing more!
    Originally Reviewed at: Mother/Gamer/Writer
    Reviewer: Heather

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    I got this one from net galley so I gotta say extra thanks to th

    I got this one from net galley so I gotta say extra thanks to them This story is a version of magical wizard meets cops, with a side of Hurrican Katrina. Now I will start with, being in south Louisiana, I lived through Katrina, not terribly like New Orleans, as I live more to the western side, but all the way at the bottom on the west side, however I really lived through Rita… My house got it pretty bad. But, hurricanes are a way of life… we have summer-aka hurricane season, almost all year, and a slight fall, with a small side of wet, cold, windy winter. *sigh* I miss winter, it’s so hot down here LOL I will give it to this author, she is either familiar-in a “I was there” way, or she did some really good research. I also like the dated times from the local Times-Picayune paper quotes. I also thought she was fantastic with landmarks I normally stay away from books about/based in/having to do with NOLA (yes, we say NOLA when we talk about New Orleans, LA).

    Drusilla is a junior wizard sentinel. This job entails her guarding her territory from breaches of the Otherworld-they call it the Between- and making sure those supernaturals that do cross over don’t cause any trouble, or get sent back when they do. It’s a very fine line to walk. She is a green level-this means she does potions and retrieves the easy level things. Red levels have all the physical magic magic-aka can throw fire balls and things like that. All she wants to do is become a senior level sentinel, and she is willing to prove it. She’s tired of being treated like the new rookie, and a child. And then tragic strikes, and all hell breaks loose-literally. The walls are crumbling from the Between, and all kind of creatures are coming through, and to make matters worse, her mentor has gone missing. The Elders-like a government type of council-send over Alex-hot, rugged, carrying enough fire power to supply a small nation with weaponry, and a real FBI agent- over to become her partner, as she is now in charge of the New Orleans territory. This is all she ever wanted, but not how she wanted to get it. She is literally falling apart and has a very big job to do. I love her strength, her courage, her fantastic sarcastic attitude, and most of all, her growing abilities. I think she is a fantastically built character!

    So, let’s talk about Alex, and his FANTASTIC cousin Jake- yeah I think I’ve got the hots for Jake! Alex is all tall, dark and broody, with a side of gun power. Jake is like the sun-kissed surfer southern boy. I can’t help but wanna hug him. I do like Alex, but he’s kinda predicatable, so I’m trying out the cool sweet-HUMAN- kid for once. Jake has no idea about any of the supernatural things in the world. I kinda like that about him. Trust me, Alex is pretty awesome, but I can’t help but gravitate towards Jake. And maybe that will change as the series grows. Drusilla makes it clear she has no time or emotional capacity right now for any kind of relationship, but that doesn’t stop those lovely cousins from trying!

    Along the way, she also meets some very fascinating characters. This is very well written, it’s definitely an easy read, as it’s fast paced and action packed. And boy, were there some major twists and turns. I cannot wait to see where this series is going to go, and being a born-raised-and never leaving- native south Louisiana girl, I’m glad that she didn’t make us sound like stupid idiots, nor did she get crazy with the discriptions of New Orleans. Sorry, a lot of people write about us like we aren’t edumacated Yes, we are weird, crazy, whole different culture, but most of us are decently smart LOL This one gets an excellent 4.5 stars from me!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    I love the fact that this story had everything I was looking for

    I love the fact that this story had everything I was looking for in it. From the description and the cover I knew what to expect and it lived up to every bit of the excitement I had since I first heard about the story. The author does a great job informing the readers about the events that occurred during Hurricane Katrina, and has it as the actual events that the characters have to work around to solve their own mystery. Hurricane Katrina and the resulting events could be considered a character all in itself. A well handled way of introducing a real-life event into a great Urban Fantasy storyline.
    After our MC Drusilla has left the New Orleans area because of the hurricane warning, she finds out that her boss and father figure Gerry has gone missing. She is asked by the Elders to return to the area and investigate, upon her return she discovers that the Hurricane has not only opened the levees around the city, flooding the city, but the doors to the otherworld have also opened and released the preternatural beings that have been banished there. As DJ is just getting started in her investigation and trying yet again to get out of the groping hands of the 200 year old undead pirate Jean Lafitte, her newly appointed partner shows up. A partner she had no idea was coming, or felt she needed.
    Their investigation takes them around the city finding clues that may lead to what happened to Gerry. A combination of entertaining and dangerous characters that reveal clues that this could be a mystery beyond finding Gerry, but some of the beings that were released just may be planning something bigger.
    With a combination of otherworldly characters (like famous ghosts finding their way back home) to the soldiers and the every day people trying to clean up after the storm. To the run-in with some very powerful voodoo magic. I'm not sure what else I could have asked for, humor, with light romance and a mystery that goes beyond just a missing persons case with entertaining and humorous situations and a twist ending.
    I love stories that involve a combination of different characters and possibilities of which direction the story can go. This opens up the series to have a variety of directions it can go in the future in both the magical world and the mundane. DJ is just touching on some of her magical powers and has a potential in becoming a beloved heroine in today's Urban Fantasy world. She is strong, determined, and loyal.
    Royal Street is a must read debut novel, it can only get better from here.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Liv and Julia's Room

    A large room, walls painted a soft pink and dark blue hearts. The floor is a dark brown wood with cream specks. 2 king sized beds for royals are fitted near each other with silky drapes around to keep privacy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    ,

    Very good book. I like how the author worked Katrina into the story. I will be reading the second book in the series soon.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Royal Street is about Drusilla Jaco who is the junior wizard sen

    Royal Street is about Drusilla Jaco who is the junior wizard sentinel of New Orleans. DJ is biting at the bit to prove herself. She always gets sent on pixie-retrieval assignments, or gets stuck mixing potions. She wants a real assignment so she can show her mentor, Gerry, that she is ready to be a full fledged wizard. When the threat of Hurricane Katrina threatens New Orleans, Gerry sends DJ to Alabama to stay with her Gran. New Orleans is decimated and its people devastated. They do not know that due to the destruction there was evil that was unleashed from the Otherworld; an evil that DJ will have to face in order to save everyone that she cares about. Gerry has gone missing and to make matter's worse the wizard Elder's decide to send an assassin to help her. Alex is as hard headed as they come. DJ and Alex fight like cats and dogs, but both feel an undeniable attraction toward the other. They both do their best to ignore it so they can concentrate on the mission at hand. Will they be able to beat the evil that has taken over New Orleans? Can they resist the allure of the other?

    Suzanne Johnson has blended the paranormal with facts and created a whole new world. The devastation that Karina left in her path can never be told. You would have to have lived it, experience it, and lost because of it. Through her writing you can see that Suzanne Young experienced Katrina and it affected her deeply. Royal Street is not only a kick ass urban fantasy, but a literary tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. DJ is a strong heroine that has her flaws, but still rises to the occasion. She learns from her mistakes and loves with her whole heart. Alex has his own reasons for his attitude and the shadows that haunt him. Royal Street is an adventure full of magic, danger, zombies, voodoo, undead pirates and pixies! Add a bit of a love triangle and this story will grab you from the beginning and not let go till you have reached the very last word. Great start to a new series!

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Loved it and on to the second book :)

    Loved it and on to the second book :)

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredibly satisfying read. If you are a fan of Karen Marie Moni

    Incredibly satisfying read. If you are a fan of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series or the earlier Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series you will not be disappointed. There is great character development in a different genre of paranormal fiction. Most mass market PF offerings tend to rely heavily on insipid romance or violent fighting these days. It's refreshing to read a good story that has deeper plot development. Sure there is romantic flirtation and the occasional battle but this book has so much more. I read this novel in a day and wanted to give my thoughts before starting the next one. I'm hopeful that this series won't devolve as the Sookie Stackhouse novels have. If you are on the fence about purchasing it, go for it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!  

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    I knew from the first chapter that I would love Royal Street and

    I knew from the first chapter that I would love Royal Street and I did. Ms. Johnson’s voice was perfect for the story. DJ was a believable 25 year old wresting some very complicated and dangerous situations. I can’t say she didn’t have a few “to dumb to live” moments, but what 25 year old hasn’t. I can’t wait for the sequel, River road, in November. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has a ton of potential and I can’t wait to see Jean Laffite again. Undead pirates are hot! Oh, and Alex isn’t bad either!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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