Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson

Posted May 1, 2015 by Jennifer in Book Review | | 8 Comments

Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne JohnsonPirate's Alley by Suzanne Johnson
Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #4
Published by Tor on April 21st 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.

Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal.

Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband, Quince Randolph, is growing more powerful, and her best friend, Eugenie, has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back. And that's before the French pirate, Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest "death," returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ's assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.

Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won't be that easy.

icon magical icon snarky icon cliff Icon Library Book  

The streets of NOLA is running amuck with paranormal creatures like wizards, elves, merman shifters, vampires, and faeries. And this time there’s a freak snowstorm in NOLA that’s making things interesting for DJ and the gang.

I love Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans and I’ve been stalking her site for a release date for Pirate’s Alley ever since I finished the 3rd book, Elysian Fields. It’s been a long wait but all is forgotten and forgiven while I lived and breathed DJ and her inner circle of friends.

While DJ is usually involved in more physical action, this time around she’s having to work around interspecies political crap and mind games.  This all comes about after the events in Elysian Fields. DJ is dealing with what the bonding to Rand means and she gets a few surprises in that department. DJ and Alex are having to work hard on keeping their relationship together. DJ finally learns how the undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, truly feels about her. And the whole gang is bobbing and waving to keep afloat the in upcoming war between the Interspecies Council members.

What I loved

Damn near everything! I love the world and characters that Johnson has created. They are complex, funny and very entertaining. I really enjoyed getting to see more of some of the secondary characters that’s been introduced over the span of the series so far and we even get to meet a couple of new ones.

I really liked the addition of the faeries. They are weird and scary, I’m not sure if they are good or evil but they were fun to read about.

  • Jean Lafitte –  the French undead pirate is always a hoot and I loved the heart to heart that he and DJ had.
  • Jake – He seems to be back to his fun and carefree self and working towards a HEA.
  • Renee – what’s not to like about a cajun merman shifter?!
  • Quince Randolph (Rand) – I love to hate him. Like DJ, I like him when he’s not being the self-important elf asshat. I think he is a character that could go either way.
  • Christof – the Faerie Prince of Winter, again a character I’m not sure if he can be trusted but he was a fun addition to the group.

What I didn’t love as much

I waffled so much about Alex in this one. I almost wished he and DJ would break it off then he would do the right thing instead of being a straight-laced tight ass he can be. Alex sees the world as black and white with no move for a gray area. DJ lives in the gray area, knowing that sometimes you have to bend if not break a few rules to keep your friends and loved ones safe.

Why I took off 1/2 star

Hurricane Katrina . . . I don’t want to sound like an ass or uncaring but I feel like 4 books into the series we can let some of the references to Katrina go. I know in real life it was a horrible event that reshaped NOLA. And it played a big part of the world building in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, it was the event that brought down the walls between NOLA and Old NOLA causes all kinds of trouble for DJ. BUT I feel like the references could be cut down a little at this point. Maybe I’m being picky.



I have grabby hands for the next installment and hope the wait for it is no as long. I highly recommend to fans of strong, sassy and magical heroines. Pick up a copy of Pirate’s Alley today. It’s full of snarky humor and great secondary characters that keeps the heroine on her toes.  If you have not read the Sentinels of New Orleans series by Suzanne Johnson you should start with book 1, Royal Street.



Fun Scene:
The waiter brought a fizzy drink and set it in front of Capote, who took his little plastic spear, stabbed a cherry, and held it out to me. “Suck it. Let’s see those tongue skills,” he said.

I choked on my French Double-oh-Seven. “I beg your par- don?”

Jean’s smile widened into a full-out grin. “One should not wear such clothing if one does not wish to receive such invitations, my pet.”

Huh? I looked down at my sweatshirt for the first time. I’d grabbed the first thing I saw in the gift shop and hadn’t even pulled the price tags off. A line of gold crawfish claws danced across the front, with lines of enormous purple type above and below that said “suck dat head” and “pinch dat tail.”

Gah. “It’s talking about crawfish, not sex.”



About Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books. Royal Street, book one, came out in April 2012; River Road in November 2012. Book three, Elysian Fields, will be released on August 13, 2013.

A longtime New Orleans resident, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction for higher education, including the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University Sallyport.

Suzanne is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and is a member of the Georgia, Southern Magic, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters of RWA.

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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8 responses to “Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson

  1. I love this series too, and this was particularly fun since I read it right after my visit to NOLA. The references didn’t bother me..but lord did the cliffy have me craving more.

  2. Jen

    Great review. I totally love this series, the world building and my abso-fave Jean Lafitte! I gave it 4.5 stars as well in my review, and I hope she writes quickly for the next book. Though some of the little short stories do tide me over.

    Living in New Orleans, the Katrina aspect does not bother me so much. I mean we are 10 years later and everyone is still saying “before the storm” and “after the storm”. So it doesn’t surprise me that it is still being referenced in the series. I was more surprised that there was a 3 year delay between Royal Street and River Road, but Ms. Johnson said that was because she didn’t want the 2nd book to be so heavily influenced by storm clean-up, etc.

    • Suzanne told me on Twitter that she has already turned in the next book, BELLE CHASSE. So hopefully the wait won’t be too long.

  3. Nice review! I loved this one too. And I honestly was ready to hate Alex and be uber mad at the author if certain things happened. But I feel Ms. Johnson did a GREAT job with these too, especially starting to deal with that “gray area” by the end of the book. His character is changing and I hope for the “better.”

  4. i love this series really and i did not mind teh reference as we saw how the effect are long lasting….when you are far from the situation it’s easy to think everything get solved soon after and that life is back to normal but sadly it’s not that easy ( and teh reference were not that predominent either)

    i absolutely love Jean^^

    thank you a lot for recommending this series!

  5. I just notice the snarky icon & the flipped bird. Lol

    Katrina references can get old if the series is on its fourth book especially if the time frame from books 1-4 mirrors the time in between the novels.

    • The series takes place after Katrina and then there’s a 3 year time jump between 1 & 2. But really that’s my only complaint.

      I love that icon. LOL

  6. Roger Simmons

    I think we better keep a close eye on those faeries, I don’t trust them. I really enjoyed Pirate’s Alley. Recommend the series whenever I can. Thanks for your review, I hope it makes readers go out and buy the books.