Mimi’s Review of Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson
I would like to first offer my thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for letting me participate in this wonderful tour event, and also would like to extend my thanks to Tor Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see and read all of the various posts available during this tour event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
I’d like to first start my review by saying that if you haven’t read Pirate’s Alley, or any of the previous books in Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series, you’ll want to make sure you do so prior to picking up this novel. The events in this book take place directly after the events in Pirate’s Alley, and while Johnson does a wonderful job of providing some backstory into events that happened in that book, your understanding of things will be more in-depth and rewarding for having read it. In short, Belle Chasse is not a book I recommend reading out of series as it does not lend itself to being a standalone. That being said, I shall now move on to my thoughts and feelings on this book.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster of a read! If you are a fan of the series, you are going to love this book! The series is getting better with every title, and Belle Chasse has got to be my favorite so far. The events in this novel serve as a turning point for so many of the characters I’ve come to know and love, I was literally reading each chapter on the edge of my seat both in anticipation and dread. There was laughter, hope, anger, and more than just a few tears, and by the end I was growling in frustration because I have a long wait ahead until I can find out what happens next.
DJ has grown so much since the first book and there is no question she’s come into her own. Though she’s repeatedly being compared to her father, Gerry, I feel that she is not her father’s daughter so much but a blending of him and her own self. She’s got her own set of ethics and rules and as she herself clearly states, she is a Wizard first and foremost and isn’t interested in fighting for power. She’s strong, compassionate, still stubborn as hell, and willing to fight for her friends and loved ones, but she isn’t willing to kill unless absolutely necessary. She’s chosen the side she wants to be on, for now, and I expect that once everything is said and done she’ll come out even stronger and wiser for it in the end. After the last book I wasn’t sure how her relationship with Alex was going to survive given everything that happened, and if I’m to be honest, I’m still not sure what is going to happen to them after the events in this book, but I have hope that when the dust has settled and the healing has begun they’ll manage to survive and attain the relationship they both desire and deserve.
All of the characters that we have met from previous books are back and they are just as wonderful and aggravating as before, at least for me anyway. My love/hate relationship with Rand is still as strong as ever, Rene and Jean both brought many a smile to my face, and Jake is still the sarcastic brother I wish I had. I greatly enjoyed finally getting the chance to meet DJ’s cousin Audrey, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her come the next book in the series because she quickly became a favorite of mine. She’s quirky, tenacious, and I get the sense that she’s also a bit accident prone at times, though I’m not sure how much of that is her natural personality and how much is her untrained magic. She’s certainly a wonderful addition to the ragtag group of allies and friends DJ has accumulated in her life. But as we say hello to a new character, we must say goodbye to another. As the synopsis indicates “not everyone will survive” and while I won’t say who it is that dies, I will say that my heart broke and several tears were shed in the end. And I get the sense that this isn’t going to be the last character whom we’ll end up saying goodbye to as the series continues.
There are so many twists and turns with the plot, it really will leave you wanting to read just one more chapter and then another. As I mentioned earlier, this book serves as a turning point for just about everyone, and it will be interesting to see what Johnson has planned for DJ, her friends, and New Orleans in the future. The war has finally started and the excitement and uncertainty has only just begun. Allies have been made, battle lines have been drawn, and the question of who will win remains to be answered. We’ve not yet reached the end of the series, but we’ve come to the turning point where nothing will ever be the same again. Whether the next book proves to be the final book in the series or not only Johnson herself knows, but I can promise that as long as she continues to write new titles for the Sentinels of New Orleans series I will be reading them. So until the next book in the series is released, I highly encourage everyone who has read and are fans the series to give this book a read, and for those newcomers to the series, you’ve got some time to read the previous books and discover for yourselves the amazing world that Johnson has created. Trust me, you won’t regret having done so. =^.^=
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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