Reviewed by April Kirkland

Drusilla Jaco, also known to her friends as DJ, is a junior wizard  with empathic abilities. When her mentor, Gerald St. Simon, goes missing after hurricane Katrina strikes and breaks the levees in their town of New Orleans, she will stop at nothing to find out what has happened to him. But finding Gerry isn’t her only problem. The storm also weakened the borders between New Orleans and the other world, unleashing the unread and other pretes.

The Elders assign DJ a new partner, a sexy enforcer named Alex. At the same time, an undead pirate is after her, seeking his revenge. Now it’s up to DJ to stop the breeches from the other world, solve a series of murders, and find Gerry all while she tries to figure out exactly who she is and how she feels about the sexy enforcer.

Royal Street is a superb blend of fact and fiction. Johnson expertly blends the details of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina into her fantasy world of wizards and the undead. The emotions and thoughts of the characters in the aftermath of the storm leaps right off the page. I felt like I was there and could see the damage left behind and a town practically washed away.

The story is narrated by our heroine with wit, humor, and strength. She faces so many obstacles but still manages to discover herself and find her own strengths. I also loved the use of actual historical figures in the book such as Captain Jean Lafitte and singer Louis Armstrong. It was an interesting twist and very fun to see them brought to life with such colorful personalities.

Everything was crafted together perfectly for a wonderfully unique and strong story. Royal Street is an excellent urban fantasy/paranormal novel with a compelling dose of reality.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

April is a stay at home mom and wife. She lives in a small county in Alabama famous for its peaches. She loves to write poetry, read, and paint, and is also an aspiring author.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tor Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.