River Road

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RiverRoad

This is the second book of a supernatural/fantasy series set in Louisiana.  My review of the first book is here.

Several years have passed since the events of the first book, and in that time, apparently nothing has happened.  DJ hasn’t talked to Jake or Tish, and Jean Lafitte hasn’t called in her debts to him.  After some serious mixed signals between them, DJ and Alex are still just partners/co-sentinels.  The only difference is that DJ is now renting a space in a strip mall to act as her office.

Right from the start, the author has irritated me.  Either DJ has horrible coping mechanisms to go along with her chronic stupidity, or the author is lazy.  I’m inclined to believe it’s a combination of the two.  DJ is flaky enough that I could see her thinking avoiding situations is a good way to handle them, but I also suspect that the author didn’t want to deal with explaining events that happened between books.

Once we get past the “introduction,” we learn there are two clans of mer-people living in southern Louisiana, and they’re getting sick from swimming in the Mississippi River.  Both clans insist the river is poisoned and blame each other.  DJ is asked to step in, mediate between the clans, and figure out what’s going on with the river.

As the book progressed, we were treated to more examples of the DJ-brand stupidity and tepid “romantic intrigue” I disliked from the first book.  We also got hints that DJ is a speshul snowflake, shoving her into firmly into Mary-Sue territory.  My already less-than-impressed opinion of her slowly ticked down throughout the book.

Yes, this book was set in Louisiana.  Yes, it had magic and supernatural stuff and a potentially interesting story idea.  But while I could tolerate it in the first book, the flaws seemed more glaring and the missed potential more depressing in this book.  Unless you are a fan of YA romance triangles like Twilight, I’d suggest you steer clear.

Rating: 4/10 (At least I finished it)

SpoilerAlert

It’s already obvious to the readers that there’s something between Alex and DJ, even though Alex is supposedly seeing someone else.  At the end of the book – after DJ has been on dates with both Lafitte and Jake, mind you – Alex makes it clear he intends to pursue DJ too, to which I said “fucking finally.”  Not because I was interested in whatever feelings they might have for each other, but because I was so damn sick of the waffling and dancing around each other.  Maybe other people think it’s cute or romantic, but I thought it was just dumb.

Along with having some elvish blood, DJ’s magical elven staff is apparently rare and famous in the elven kingdom.  Because, you know, being pretty and having 3 good-looking guys interested in her wasn’t enough to make the readers see that DJ is awsum-sauce and that they should want to be her, so she had to have a speshul weapon too.  A speshul weapon that let her circumvent the restrictions/limitations of other Green Congress wizards, because wouldn’t it be boring if she had to use her smarts and creativity to deal with those limitations instead?

Considering what’s happened thus far, I’ll make some predictions about the rest of the series:

  • In at least one more book, Jake, Alex, and Lafitte will all continue to show interest in DJ, and there will be more waffling.
  • DJ’s ability to use the staff will prove significant.  Likely it will be because it’s a sign that DJ has a lot of untapped power/magic, that she’s descended from some royal elven bloodline, and/or because there’s a prophecy associated with the staff.
  • DJ’s heritage will eventually be a key plot point.
  • A hot male elf will appear at some point, and will be interested in DJ too.
  • DJ will play a pivotal role in a war between factions of the Beyond and the wizards/Elders.

I don’t intend to read the rest of the series, so if someone else does, maybe they can let me know if I’m right.

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