Mimi’s Review of Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson

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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. =^.^=

bellechasse

Rating: paw5

Publisher: Tor Books

Date Released: November 8, 2016

Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #5

Goodreads Description:

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.

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Review:

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. =^.^=

Excerpt:

I expected Christof to start a snowstorm above Rand’s head. What I didn’t expect was for the prince to lower his head and charge Rand like a raging bull, head-butting him in the midsection. They hit the ground, and I saw my chance at the same time Eugenie spotted me.
I motioned her toward the woods where the transport lay. To hell with the Blue Congress wizards. We were going to make a run for it while Christof kept Rand too busy to notice.
She set off for the woods, and I met her halfway. “My family thinks I’m crazy!” she wailed, loud enough to draw the attention of the tall, skinny Blue Congress wizard with the rooster haircut.
“Hey, stop!”
Holy crap. I whipped out the elven staff, paused long enough to aim just to the right of the wizards. They already had their hands up and were doing some of their nifty Blue Congress magic when I released my fire and blew up the tombstone next to them, sending a rain of marble and playing cards onto their heads. Around us, evidence of their magic appeared as tombstones began moving to block our escape route.
I grabbed Eugenie’s arm and pulled her around a marble stag the size of a small SUV. It had lowered its head and pawed the ground as if to charge. Blue Congress magic was so damned cool— create and re-create.
“Stop, DJ!” Eugenie grabbed my arm as I tried to race past her. “A sinkhole!”
I looked stupidly at the ground in front of us, which had opened a gulf big enough to drive a Greyhound bus into. “Go around and run fast,” I shouted, sending another shot of the staff toward the Blue Congress wizards and blowing up a ginormous marble eagle perched atop a nearby tomb.
We didn’t stop to see if the stag was chasing us, but ran for all we were worth. Finally, at the edge of the tree line, I hazarded a look back at Christof and Rand. The faery stood watching us; the elf had crumpled on the ground. Not dead, though, because in my head, far behind my protective barriers, I heard him yelling my name.
Christof grinned and motioned for us to move along. He didn’t have to motion twice, because the wizards were chasing us, still chanting and doing their finger dance. The stag was getting way too close.
I raised the staff and blew a hole in the earth in front of the advancing stag, forcing him to change direction. Luck was on our side for a change— the stag began charging toward the wizards instead, who had to stop pursuing us in order to protect themselves from being trampled beneath marble hooves.
“Let’s run to the transport before those idiot wizards can get out from under the stag.” I grabbed Eugenie’s hand and we ran to the clearing. “Help me roll this werewolf out of the transport.”
To her credit, she didn’t ask a single question. We tipped the werewolf onto his side and rolled him outside the interlocking circle and triangle, leaving him at an awkward angle with his
feet in the air. Oh well.
I touched the staff to the edge of the transport and said, “Winter Palace, Faery” just before the Blue Congress wizards reached the edge of the clearing. I waved at them as the transport sucked the air out of my lungs. They were too late.
As soon as we materialized on the round floor of ice in the Winter Palace, Eugenie screamed. I figured she was getting her first look at the grisly remains of Faerie Princess Tamara until a blinding light knocked me off my feet and a big crack appeared in the ice between us.
“Where is my brother?”
I whirled to see Florian sitting on a block of ice behind us bundled in a heavy coat, a blanket spread beneath him, no doubt to protect his royal assets from getting cold and wet.
“He’s in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, having a fistfight with an elf,” I said, pretty confident that of all the things he might expect me to say, that wasn’t it.

About the Author:

suzannejohnson

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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Posted on November 22, 2016, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the 5 paw review. Belle Chasse is great. I hope all your readers go buy the book. Can’t wait for the next book.

  2. I enjoyed your review. I totally agree that Belle Chasse is a very satisfying read and you won’t put it down until you have read the last page!

  3. Oh man. Yeah I have got to get book one read this coming year. It’s been on the pile for way too long.

    • It’s a wonderful series that I highly recommend. Been enjoying seeing the city of New Orleans and the surrounding communities through DJ’s eyes. It makes me want to take a trip down there someday. =^.^=