Title: Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans #3)
Author: Suzanne Johnson (website | twitter)
Pub. Date: August 13, 2013
Source: e-ARC via netgalley
Summary: The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi.
New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. Namely, DJ.
Combatting an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power.
Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench could be DJ’s best option.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Picking up nearly immediately after River Road ended, Elysian Fields plunges readers into a post-Katrina New Orleans with the added bonus of wizards and werewolves. DJ Jaco is a wizard and newly-appointed Sentinel for the city; it’s her job to keep the magical community under control. Easier said than done though, right?
As if her job wasn’t hard enough, she’s got a sort-of-kind-of-maybe budding relationship with a shifter, her human best friend is slowly pulling away, a neighbor who’s keeping a secret, and a serial killer is on the loose. All in a day’s work.
I’m not the biggest Urban Fantasy reader, but I adore these books. This series is so much fun and I couldn’t wait to dive into Elysian Fields! Whereas the previous two could work as standalones, River Road is definitely required reading before starting this one! There’s SO. MUCH. that went on in this book, but it definitely feels like the middle of a story while the previous installments had distinct endings.
It was a joy to see where DJ and Alex’s relationship went. From the early days when she took care of a dog (not realizing that was Alex’s shifter form) to their first kiss, these two have grown and matured and I was nothing but flails and squeals. The happiness comes at a price however, and Alex begins to wonder if DJ’s chaotic life is really what he wants.
Romance naysayers, don’t fear – the novel isn’t completely lovey-dovey. There are multiple Big Bads this time around, but my favorite by far was the Axeman. Initially thought of as a copycat killer taking inspiration from the 1918 Axeman murders, it’s eventually determined the original Axeman is back from the Beyond and has a serious bone to pick with DJ. More than one attempt on her life and the loss of both her car and house lets DJ know this guy isn’t playing around; someone wants her dead and she’s going to find out why.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say the reveal was shocking! Over the course of the novel I had suspects pegged, but I was way off and completely surprised. It’ll definitely be interesting to see where things go from here. Also, things are really getting serious now that the human characters (DJ’s bestie and a fellow cop) have been told about the Preternatural world.
Whether you’re a seasoned fan of Urban Fantasy or a complete newbie, I highly recommend this series! The Sentinels of New Orleans series is so fun – and there’s a super-charming undead pirate!