cover image River Road

River Road

Suzanne Johnson. Tor, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2780-2

Johnson makes the leap to hardcover with the second adventure in the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, following her well-received debut, Royal Street. Three years after Hurricane Katrina damaged mystical as well as physical barriers in the New Orleans area, half-elf Green Congress wizard DJ Jaco and her weredog enforcer partner, Alex Warin, venture into greater Southeast Louisiana at the behest of hunky undead pirate Jean Lafitte. Their goal is to investigate the local merpeople’s complaint of contaminated water in their hunting grounds, but wizards hate water and merfolk hate wizards, dating back to a preternatural war in the 1970s, so when the corpses of two wizards turn up in the wetlands, things get ugly fast. The counterpoint is DJ’s charmingly naïve romantic attraction to Alex, Jean, and anyone else cute who crosses her path, along with her continued exploration of the ramifications of her elven heritage. Solid plotting and a well-described, consistent setting make this a strong and intriguing addition to the genre. Agent: Marlene Stringer, the Stringer Literary Agency. (Nov.)