As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.
While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover. To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank.
Local author Suzanne Johnson's "Sookie Stackhouse meets Harry Dresden" series is a perfect choice for urban fantasy fans. Johnson uses the New Orleans setting to great effect, and she's created a realistically complex fantasy world around it. The heroine is more scientifically-minded than most heroines, but she's still fun and sassy. The writing is a little choppy in this first book -- the mystery elements can be overly obvious, and the romantic subplots unwieldy. Still, it's a strong and atmospheric first book, and in the sequel (River Road), those problems are solved!