Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson
|Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson|
|Reviewer: Gina Garnett|
|Summary: Simultaneously glamorous and down to Earth, this is a really engaging read. If you think you don't like fantasy and magic, this might change your mind.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 377||Date: August 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
I think it’s official now. Fantasy is back in fashion. Magic is very much in vogue. Magic in a modern day setting is what the chic novel is wearing this season and it’s books like this that are making it happen. I had thought that the real couture was magic in London, so it was refreshing to find that Elysian Fields is set in New Orleans – a place I am far less familiar with.
Drusilla Jaco (DJ) is the sentinel for the preternatural community in the greater New Orleans area and is still recovering from bereavement, Katrina and broken ribs from her last adventure. No such luck as life taking things easy on her, however, as it is discovered that the copycat of a famous serial killer is not, in fact, a copycat. The Axeman of New Orleans himself has been raised from the dead by a necromancer or necromancers unknown. To make matters worse, her loup-garou fiend Jake bit her in a fit of pique and her best friend’s creepy boyfriend won’t leave her alone. She doesn’t know what he wants and she doesn’t know whether she’ll turn into a wolf at the next full moon but she does know that the Axeman is after her, specifically.
DJ is a really strong character and I find myself empathising with her deeply, even though I haven’t read the first two installments (yet). The plot stands alone well by itself and I feel that reading the first two now would feel more like a prequel – finding out how everyone got here – rather than a desperate catch up. By strong character I don’t only mean well written. She is strong minded, strong willed and survives physical and mental ordeals that would send better people insane. That, too, is refreshing. She is who she is and neither men (dead OR alive) nor elves nor a bad tempered cat is going to upheave that.
The other characters, antagonistic and supportive, are all interesting in their own way – I particularly liked Jean Lafitte, the shade of the pirate king – and the sum of everyone’s individual agenda could have been a cluster disaster. In a way it is, but only for poor DJ. From the reader’s point of view, they’re all handled in the right way at the right time giving the plot layers, intrigue and drive. A lot of work has gone into this novel, both for these reasons and the sheer scope of the preternatural world. The races, disciplines, rules and hierarchies are extensive and have been solidly put together. This gives the book a real sense of immersion.
If you’re lucky enough to be escaping to somewhere sunny this autumn, Elysian Fields is a fantastic sunbed read. The next page has always got more for you to delve into and I’m really hoping there’s a fourth installment.
If this appeals then you might also enjoy The Glass God (Magicals Anonymous) by Kate Griffin
You can read more book reviews or buy Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson at Amazon.com.
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