Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #5
Format: Kindle, 336 pagesRelease Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Bewitching Book Tours
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Suzanne Johnson's "strong and intriguing" (Publishers Weekly) urban fantasy series continues with Belle Chasse. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has earned starred reviews from Library Journal ("a resourceful heroine who relies on her magical ingenuity") and PW ("vivid...a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists").
With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.
With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.
It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.
Belle Chasse, by author Suzanne Johnson, is the Fifth installment in the Sentinels of New Orleans Series. For those who haven't read this series yet, Belle Chasse continues the story where Pirate's Alley left off. In fact, I dare say that it would make total sense to go back to the beginning of the series with Royal Street, and progress forward until you are caught up. This series is set in a world Post-Katrina where the supernatural community surged into the modern world thanks to the borders between worlds crumbling.
Series protagonist Drusilla (DJ) Jaco is a Green Congress wizard with the ability to use powerful Elven magic. She even carries a staff called Charlie that makes her dangerous and a threat to others. She recently lost her card, her job as Sentinel of New Orleans, and now has a death sentence waiting for her if she is ever caught. What's a girl to do with all of this falling on her shoulders? She, and her allies escape to Pirate Jean Lafitte's home of Old Barataria, where wizard's magic don't work. Old Barataria is the 1815 version of South Louisiana. It is a place where perpetual darkness leaves no room for sunshine.
Team Lafitian consists of merman Rene Delachaise, Shifter Alex Warin, Loup-Garou Jake Warin, Loup-Garou Collette, Vampire/Wizard Adrian Hoffman, and Christof, Faerie Prince of the Winter Court. In addition, DJ finally meets her cousin Audrey St. Simon, and her uncle Lennox St. Simon who both play interesting parts in this story. On the other side of the equation are First Elder Willem Zarkov who has made DJ's life horrible, Quince Randolph, DJ's "bond mate" who I loathe with every fiber of my being, plus vampires, and the Elven Synod.
Belle Chasse really doesn't move the series forward all that much, except perhaps closer to the preternatural war that has been on the minds of a whole lot of characters for several books now. We still have a whole lot of politics and shenanigans that we need to sort through before we get to the end. DJ's main focus in this book are to keep her best friend safe, keep Rand away from a very pregnant Eugenie while she figures things out, and make sure her friends are safe and sound and survive until the war can either be diverted or won.
One could say that DJ is a very stubborn character who often trusts the wrong people that leads to dangerous situations. One could also say that Jean Lafitte, not DJ is the real leader of the group. He has been using up all of his resources while also standing in the shadows waiting to see which side he chooses to support. I am happy that DJ has made friends with not only Rene, but Jake and Collette as well. I'm still curious as to the romantic entanglement that still exists, but I do hope that Johnson sorts it out quickly in the next book.
Belle Chase is definitely not a standalone novel. You need to have read Pirate's Alley before jumping into this story. Plus, the ending of the story not only leaves heart break, but also leaves a clear path to what the author claims with be the Sixth, and final installment in the series. See you then!
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About the Author:
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.
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