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I Belong


Review: Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson

Elysian FieldsTitle: Elysian Fields

Author: Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Sentinels of New Orleans (Book #3)

Publication Date: August 13, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0765333198 (Tor/Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0765333193 (Tor/Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Shirene

Synopsis:

An undead serial killer comes for DJ in this thrilling third installment of Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series

The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi.

New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. Namely, DJ.

Combatting an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power.

Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench could be DJ’s best option.

Quick & DirtyMagic, Murder, and Mystery are the keys to this novel and make the journey one you will not soon forget.

Opening Sentence: The scariest sound in New Orleans’ French Quarter is silence.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Trying out new authors and series can sometimes be like looking for a new car. You have to visit dealership after dealership and test drive a whole lot of less than perfect cars.  Sometimes in your pursuit of your perfect car you may glance at a vehicle that on the exterior is ok, but you never actually take it for the all important test drive. Until either the dealer or maybe a friend says you should try this one out, because it has all the things you are looking for in a car. When you finally concede to trying it out you are amazed that it took you so long to see the value of this car because it is in fact perfect for you.

That exactly describes how I felt about this book. I can’t pinpoint or even narrow down why this book didn’t appeal to me, but I’ve been putting off reading and reviewing it for months. But I was wrong to feel that way in every way.

The basic premise of this book is that it is post Katrina in New Orleans and the divide between our world and the immortal world has basically collapsed, so historical figures can come and go from the city like any other human that decides to visit New Orleans. This premise is a good one, and one I fell head long into very quickly.

Our heroine, DJ or Drusilla Jaco, is on the hunt for supernaturals that are making their presence known in the human world. This includes discovering a serial killer that is on a murder spree is a copy cat of a serial murderer from 1918 known as the Axeman of New Orleans or the original Axeman returned from the Beyond.

And DJ doesn’t do anything at a slow creep so she may be infected with loup-garou, deals with a neighbor that is just too curious, a best friend that is being left out of the equation, a man sent to help her master her magic, a pirate that has more than his next business endeavors on his mind and a partner that she may or may not decide to move their relationship to the next level.

Just typing all this out makes me tired and it is no wonder DJ spends most of her time dealing with one chaotic mess or crisis or trying to keep all the balls in the air. However, I loved every moment of this woman’s story. The chaos in her life often reflects what I see and experience in my day to day, so I can totally relate.

My one minor quibble was the indecision that she struggles through the majority of the book as to who she truly cares for, and part of this I can get. We all have ideals that when they come to fruition can make us question the path on which we are traveling and I think that this is primarily what DJ experiences. But overall, the journey which you take with DJ is one that can best be described by Robert Frost’s poem most eloquently. “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Some of you may be like me and never read book 1, Royal Street or book 2, River Road, but I was able to navigate the New Orleans back streets like a native. So don’t be afraid to jump into this series. I know that I will be keeping my eyes peeled for Pirates Alley, which is set to release in 2015. The good news with the wait for book 4, I can hopefully squeeze in books 1 & 2 before the next release.

So next time you are unsure about a book — take a chance, the road not taken very well may be the road you wished you had traveled sooner.

Notable Scene:

He jerked away with an inhuman snarl an a nip at my forearm still clutched in his grip.  A burn raced across it as I jerked it away.

We stilled, the moment carved in ice as we both looked at my arm.  He’d broken skin.  A small scratch, three or four inches long with a deeper jacg at the end.  Not serious enough to need stitches, but deep enough for the blood to well up and start a slow drip onto the scuffed hardwood floor of the bar.

Deep enough for a little of the virulent loup-garou DNA to mingle with my own.

Deep enough to change my life forever.

Sentinels of New Orleans Series:

1. Royal Street

2. River Road

3. Elysian Fields

4. Pirates Alley (April 2015)

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FTC Advisory: Tor/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Elysian Fields. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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