by Suzanne Johnson
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #5
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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 Suzanne Johnson is the fifth book in the Sentinels of New Orléans where wizards and other preternatural creatures live unbeknownst to most humans, slipping back and forth between the veil. Belle Chasse delivered intense scenes, exciting developments and plenty of snark. Johnson left me drooling for the next installment.
Our tale picks up where Pirate’s Alley ended taking us on an action-packed, dangerous adventure as war is about to break out. From the worlds within the Sentinels of New Orléans series to the beloved, snarky characters Johnson pulls me into this world again and again.
Our (former) wizard sentinel DJ Jaco is staying in the Beyond at the home of the undead pirate, Jean Lafitte. The faerie world is in chaos as Christof and Florian go at it for the throne. Their battle upsets the preternatural balance as the council, vampires and others choose sides. New Orléans and the Beyond are impacted as NOLA experiences severe weather patterns. Alex is stuck in New Orléans, and Quince Randolph wants the baby momma (Eugenie) brought to Elfheim. Poor DJ has her hands full, and as always, she is trying to please everyone and keep those she loves safe.
I adore, DJ Jaco. Jean Laffite, affectionately refers to her as Jolie. Until she was sentenced DJ was a sentinel wizard, but she also has some elven ability, and her bonding with Randolph has sharpened those skills. Her life is complicated, but her course is always truth north. We have witnessed growth and setback in DJ and she is still stubborn, but we continue to see her sharpen her skills and work with a team.
The synopsis indicates friends will become enemies and enemies will become allies, and not everyone survives. Johnson had me biting my nails as DJ transported into the city, Old Barateria, and Faery. While magic does not work in the Beyond or Faery, Charlie her elven stick aids DJ in her travels.
As the story slowly builds and alliance are made and broken, we increasingly feel the stirrings of war. Elder Zrakovi is a ninny, and I wanted to slap his arrogant, smug face. I admired how DJ and even Alex tried to work within the confines of their laws, even while seeking to do the right thing. DJ is a strong heroine and sees the bigger picture when looking at all the players. She also works to find a middle ground. She has a level of maturity some of her elders will never reach.
Of course, we face loss and setbacks that upset me, but Johnson still managed to weave in humor. I freaking loved the bit with Rene and the shopping he did. New alliances are made, and I am curious to see how they all align. The ending had me giddy as one new member joined these rebels. I need book six now, please and thank you.
Belle Chasse wrapped up nicely, but the Sentinels of New Orléans is far from over, and the battle is just getting started.
Sentinels of New Orléans
Teaser from Belle Chasse
“I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.”
I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm.
Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection.
I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt.
“Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol.
The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course, in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that.
I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches.
Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots.
None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head.” ― Suzanne Johnson, Belle Chasse
Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson delivered and left me drooling for the next book! Click To Tweet
*Disclosure, I am now currently working as an assistant to this author, but read this novel prior to accepting position. If you browse my reviews, you will see I have long been a fan of Suzanne Johnson and her pseudonym Susannah Sandlin. Working for her is a bonus and did not influence this review. All opinions and fangirling are my own.