Santa Olivia by Jacqueline CareySanta Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Santa Olivia

byJacqueline Carey

Paperback | May 29, 2009

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Lushly written with rich and vivid characters, SANTA OLIVIA is Jacqueline Carey's take on comic book superheroes and the classic werewolf myth.





Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a <_st13a_country-region _w3a_st="on">US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between <_st13a_state _w3a_st="on">Texas and <_st13a_country-region _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">Mexico. A fugitive "Wolf-Man" who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the <_st13a_country-region _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">US government as a weapon. The "Wolf-Men" were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.





After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town.





Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.
Jacqueline Carey is the author of short stories, essays, novels Banewreaker and Godslayer, and the New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series. Carey lives in west Michigan. http://www.jacquelinecarey.com/
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Title:Santa OliviaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5 × 1 inPublished:May 29, 2009Publisher:Grand Central PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:044619817X

ISBN - 13:9780446198172

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A winner! I was uncertain if I'd like this novel, as my previous experience with Jacqueline's writing was the Kushiel books, and as some others do, I felt that Jacqueline might best have wrapped those up about three-quarters of the way through the first book. But I did enjoy it! If this book's any indication, the author has continued to improve her writing, and I'm grateful for it. At times this book reminded me of two other books I have enjoyed: Marge Piercy's 'He, She, and It' and Octavia Butler's 'Fledgling'. All three novels feature a similar voice and similar elements- dystopian near-future communities (well, not so much for Fledgling), a mix of races and sexualities, and characters coping with coming into their unusual abilities and seeking to learn how to move through the world in a way that benefits the other people in their communities.
Date published: 2015-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tears and grins A heart warming story about an unchecked government and genetically modified humans.
Date published: 2014-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Santa Olivia Wonderful book. I am looking forward to the next one.
Date published: 2014-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting premise I liked the future/alternate world created in this book, but the quality of writing wasn't as strong as Carey's Kushiel series which was much richer in detail. This story focuses on a place trapped in a time where the US has been (?) devasted by disease and controlling its borders. The herioine's story is intriguing, if a little unlikely, but fun and quirky characters along the way.
Date published: 2010-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Minor spoilers in this review. All right, to start off this review: I will be the first to admit that I have not read the Kushiel series. I can't tell you if Santa Olivia holds up to that, or if it's anything like that (although it sounds completely different). I *can* tell you that I have absolutely no interest in that series and that what I've heard about it kept me away from it, as well as wary of this title, but Santa Olivia's plot sounded interesting, so I took a chance and picked it up. I was pleasantly surprised. I adored the main character. Loup (pronounced "Lou"; she was named after the French word for 'wolf') is unique and sympathetic and oddly sweet despite how tough she is. She's the product of a genetically engineered father, and she inherited his traits. She is stronger than any normal person, male or female. She can run faster. She's incapable of feeling fear. Carey incorporates the very important nature of not feeling fear into the book magnificently. She doesn't glorify it; in some ways, it acts as a hindrance to Loup. There is one situation, however, that Carey brings up that surprised me, as it was something I'd never thought of. It's an offhand remark by another character -- "You don't embarrass easily, do you?" -- that made me realize how well-realized Loup's lack of fear is. She doesn't embarrass because she has no fear of being mocked or laughed at. Carey fleshes this out beyond the usual usage of a lack of fear just in the face of danger, making one reckless and cocky. Loup is neither. All of the other characters are extremely well-done as well; I felt close to all of them once Loup felt close to them. They're all different, with their own dynamic, but without falling into the trap of having simply one defining feature and feeling one-dimensional because they *rely* on that defining feature to define their entire self. Most characters have a history, and those whose history we either don't know, or know little about, make up for it with their personality. I was also pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a homosexual relationship. There was absolutely no hint on the back cover of the book that there would be any romance at all, much less homosexual romance. There is no real hint for a good chunk of the beginning of the book, either. I began this book without a single thought toward whether or not the main character would be straight; it was in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, after all. I simply unconsciously assumed that she, like most characters in non-specialized fiction, would be heterosexual. That was not the case. Loup experiments with boys, as well as with a girl; the woman who becomes her lover has a more-than-healthy relationship with boys and sex. She *likes* boys and sex. The fact that she finds sex with men appealing doesn't spontaneously disappear when she begins a relationship with Loup. It just means that she finds Loup (and sex with Loup) *more* appealing. In short, realism. I think what got me about this book, beyond the characters and the plot itself, was that nothing in the plot had anything to do, really, with Loup's sexuality. It was a point in the book, but not a plot point. It wouldn't have been interchangeable with a relationship with a man, not in the least, and it wasn't treated as though it was, but it was just refreshing to read a book where the relationship was just *there*, if that makes sense. It's a lesbian relationship. Great. Back to the plot. The relationship itself was most certainly a plot point, but not because it was with a woman; it was a plot point simply because Loup was in love. I don't want to give the impression that the relationship is treated flippantly. That isn't at all the case. I fell just as much in love with the relationship as I did with the characters. It was emotional and realistic and passionate, and just plain wonderful. I suppose what it comes down to is that the relationship was treated as a normal thing. There were certainly mentions that a homosexual relationship wasn't the norm, but there wasn't this sense that it was something *different*, something worrisome, the way it is in most gay literature. I'm not saying that the way gay relationships are usually presented is bad -- it's usually very true to life -- but it was just... nice to read something where the relationship simply existed on its own merit, without the plot having to revolve around it at all. In short, I would highly recommend reading Santa Olivia. I loved the characters, the plot was intriguing and the pacing was spot-on, and while I won't spoil the ending, I'll just say that it was just as well-done as the rest of book.
Date published: 2009-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a great read! I had an idea of what this book might be like in my head before I even started reading it. I was expecting just your regular run of the mill female lead who is tough as nails and sassy and who kicks some ass. I was expecting just a quick mindless book that is average in its entertainment. well silly me, i should have realized that since Jaqueline Carey was the author that i was in for a great read. This story starts out in a town that is locked within walls between the US and Mexico. This is called Outpost. Basically the situation is that disease ransacked the area and the US wanted to keep it from themselves so they walled the way. Well with this town stuck in the middle under government military control it is not the best place to live. Death is everywhere and the citizens are kept there under force and under the assumption that it is due to a war that is going on. The main guy that overlooks this town is obsessed with boxing and has said that if any twon person can beat a soldier than they will get two tickets to leav and go up north (to the US), so the book really revolves around boxing. The central character at the beginning of the story meets a guy and has a son. Later she meets another man and has a daughter. The thing about the second man is that he is the result of a genetic experimentation in where he is made into like a supersoldier, which they call a wolf-man. Basically enhanced physical abilities, but no animal transformation. Another thing about this man is that he is unable to feel fear. These are all traits that are passed onto his daughter. The man is forsed to leave and the woman is left ot care for her two children. The central character then shifts to the young boy as we see life in Outpost from his point of view. This boy, whos father was a great boxer grows up to learn the art of boxing. After a while the central character changes to Loup (Loup-garou - the daughter). We see her life as she is different and once her mother passes away she is taken to the church to be raised. In this church she befriends other orphans and friendship bonds are created. The patron saint of the town is Santa Olivia (hence the name of the book). While in the orphanage the children (with Loup) descide to empersonate this saint and do "good" for the town. There is much more that happens but I don't really want to give too much away. The story ends with a good conclusion, but with a definate open ending that is just waiting for a sequal. My opinion of the book is that it was great and just the type of book that I needed to read. The story flowed so well that I found I could just not put it down. And I love Careys way of writing. Her characters are interesting without being too showy and flashy and the conversation in the book is really.... real!! Not everyone is a great person, as that is not the case in real life. I found that the conflicts in the book were entertaining without being so unreal that you were aware that you were reading fiction. This book really showed some human nature. I would suggest this book to anyone who just needs a good read. Even those that are not into the whole para/super-natural could easily pick this up and enjoy it as that was not a major part of the story.
Date published: 2009-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very enjoyable read (The Chapters-Indigo website has been deleting my ratings so: I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars/leaves.) This book is the story of Loup, a girl with unusual aibilities inherited from her genetically manipulated father. She grows up in a town known as 'Outpost', formerly known as 'Santa Olivia', which has become part of a no-man's land buffer zone between the USA and Mexico. The town is controlled by the US army, while its citizens are essentially imprisoned and forbidden to leave. It is in this unusual setting that an unusual young girl grows up. Basically, this is a gripping tale which will draw you in and keep you up well past your bedtime. Jacqueline Carey has created a world which does not exist but which easily could, given the right (or wrong!) circumstances. The only annoyance, to my mind, was the occasionally poor editing! One particularly irritating error was the term "I'd've" which is actually written as "I'd of" throughout the book. Similar recommended titles (given here because of the weird problems I've been having with the Chapters/Indigo website and which they STILL haven't fixed): -The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins -On Basilisk Station, by David Weber -Heart of Gold, by Sharon Shinn
Date published: 2009-07-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Santa Olivia-Spoiler Alert In this new (I hope series) book by Jacqueline Carey, it follows the life in a barely habitable no mans land between the US and Mexico. It takes place in the near future, after a pandemic that kills of huge amount of the population of the area. Scared of the Plague and the stream of people leaving Mexico, to escape the plague, they set up walls and say war is inevitable, with the ghost El Segundo in Mexico. The Army Outpost allows people to leave for a short period of time, but because of the plague and lack of funds in this backwater, few are able to leave. They are stuck in this no mans land at the mercy of the two gongs that run the outpost, the Garza's and the Salamanca's (or Salamanders), and the soldiers of the base. Carmen Garron, has one son by a soldier of the base, who is one of the Prize Fighters the General brings in, but he gets killed in a patrol before Tommy Garron is born, and Carmen struggles to raise Tommy. Carmen then meets Martin at the diner she works at. Lonely and recognizing he needs a place to hide she take him in and hides him. She doesn't know why and knows she shouldn't, as he is a deserter, and very different. Martin, is a GMO, or genetically modified organism (that the army engineered and doesn't even consider human) and he and some of his fellow "Wolf Boys" have escaped from the US Army and are making their way to Mexico. Martin and his brethern have super human strength and endurance. Carmen becomes pregnant by Martin, but he has to leave her and Tommy, because in the outpost nothing stays hidden for long, and the Garza's threaten to turn over Martin to the Army. After Martin leaves Loup, is born on the Santa Olivia day, the Outposts patron saint. She and her brother grow up to be very close, but have to be separated when her mother dies when she is about 7 years old. Tommy is taken in by the owner of the boxing gym he cleans and trains at, and Loup goes to the orphanage at the Church of Santa Olivia. The orphanage is run by Father Ramone who is not a priest, and Sister Martha who is not a nun. They just inherited their positions when the nuns and priests that ran the church succumb to the plague, and since no one knows the outpost exists, they will not get replaced. Loup tries to keep her secret at the orphanage, that she is like her father, but it is not to be. The other children soon find out what Father Ramone and Sister Martha know. And when one of the girls at the orphanage gets raped, they concoct a plan to get even with the soldier that attacked her, when the base protects him. Santa Olivia is reborn, and the children have many adventures righting wrongs, until the general threatens to shut down the church. Life goes on until Loup's brother is killed in a Prize Fight, trying to win their freedom out of no mans land. It is one of her kind that kills Tommy, and Loup convinces her brothers trainer to train her so she fight him and revenge Tommy's death. In this one nothing is as it seems, and the good guys are some time the bad guys, and the bad guys are often the good guys. A good little read, and I hope there are more of the adventures of Loup Garron, and I think this would have made a wonderful Graphic Novel, it has that wonderful Super Hero feel to it
Date published: 2009-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I've heard a lot of good things about Jacqueline Carey's work, though I haven't read any of her books before now. I can finally say I agree with it. This book was absolutely amazing. From both the front and back covers, I expected Loup to be an adult. So I was surprised when the book started from before she was born and ending when she was only 18. But I wasn't at all disappointed. While she may be young in age, Loup is forced to be more careful than other children. Her point of view is really interesting to read from because of her complete lack of fear. I loved her character development. The other characters were also very well written. Another of my favourite parts of this book would be the romance. It was unexpected to me, but was written so well. It was bittersweet and touching. And lastly, the plot was fantastic. Carey made this story seem so real. It had both its fun moments and emotional ones. It was way too hard to put down. I really hope theres a sequel planned because I don't want it to end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's looking for something new to read.
Date published: 2009-07-11