Elysian Fields is the third novel in the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson. As a series recap, Drusilla (DJ as she prefers to be called) Jaco is the Wizard Sentinel for the Greater New Orleans area and is responsible for investigating and keeping track of preternaturals in her area and stepping in when needed along with her partner Alex Warin (Shape-shifter) and cousin his Jack Warin (Loup-Garou werewolf).
Her party of friends includes the Undead like Louis Armstrong, who sometimes spies for DJ in the alternate reality, and the famous pirate Jean LaFitte, who was a privateer and smuggler who lived around the time of the War of 1812 (TRUE STORY!). He’s also more than a little obsessed with being with DJ.
The Undead and preters have been making their way into DJ's world since the veil fell after Katrina hit New Orleans. As the wizard in charge, DJ has been tested in many different ways, but none of them have helped her learn about her Elven staff called Mahout which once belonged to her father and mentor Gary or kept her from being hurt, and nearly killed. In fact, it has been called prudent that DJ learns about her Elven magic before she ends up in the middle of a faction war.
DJ doesn't get much of a rest in Elysian Fields. Not when a creepy serial killer from 1919 called the Axeman returns to New Orleans apparently on a mission which includes destroying DJ and everything she holds dear. Not when there are political games being played not only by The Elven Synod, The Vampire Regent’s Council, but her own Congress of Elders as well.
I had quite a difficult time coming up with an honest review for Elysian Fields without putting any emotional fits of hostility towards certain characters who kept coming back, and coming back, and ended up being tied to DJ in a such way that didn't exactly make me jump up and down for joy or want to shout from the roof tops. Since I enjoy this series so much, one story, or one character won’t destroy my intentions of continuing the series especially since books 4 and 5 release in 2014.
Elysian Fields had such a wonderful premise to the story that the twisted convoluted romance angles just didn't make a whole lot of sense in my humble opinion. Yes, I can see that there are things that happened below the surface that would make certain characters involvement necessary. But, DJ has been a character who has readily admitted that she likes to live dangerously and without a safety net.
On the positive side: I continue to enjoy the author’s use of New Orleans as the setting for her series. You can definitely tell that she’s a native of the city and that she uses the surrounding history and establishments to enhance the enjoyment of the book. I still enjoy DJ although she makes some interesting choices which I particularly wanted to throttle her for. I want Johnson to give DJ a chance with Alex without the continued involvement of other characters, including, Jean. DJ is quickly becoming a heroine in a UF setting that continually gets into troubling situations and ends up somehow scrapping by in the end.
On the negative side: I did not care for the numerous men in DJ's life who want to go further than just being colleagues. I only liked one, well, okay 2, and that is absolutely the limits as to what I can stand. It becomes really painful to read a book knowing that I have a severe case of hatred towards anything that appears to be a 3-way love triangle. Unfortunately, it appears that a character who shall remain nameless, will be along for the ride a little while longer.
Overall, Elysian Fields is definitely a worthwhile addition to the Sentinels of New Orleans series, and I recommend it to those who have read Royal Street and River Road. Looking forward to seeing what direction Johnson takes the series from here.
Author - Suzanne Johnson
Title - Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans # 3)
Publisher - Tor Books
Released - August 13, 2013
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Recvd via NetGalley from publisher