Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
Typical Urban Fantasy cover, variation #17.
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.
There is one out and another one released soon.
It didn’t quite sweep me away, but there was enough in it that I’m interested in reading the next volume.
New Orleans! Like any good urban fantasy, the setting is important. This book clearly has come from a place of true knowledge and love of NOLA, its people, and its history.
Of course, it is set during one of the sadder chapters of NOLA’s recent history: Katrina. This necessarily made it a bit less lighthearted than many UF novels.
Jean Lafitte is a wonderful love-to-hate antagonist.
There were weak spots (DJ was too trusting, the half-hearted love triangle), but overall a good start to a series that should improve, I think. I’m willing to give it a try, anyway! I also liked some creative aspects to the worldbuilding. The different kinds of wizards, the various types of ghosts, etc., were cool, unique touches. And I really did love the NOLA setting.
Borrowed from library.