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Saints Astray by Jacqueline Carey

Saints Astray (edition 2011)

by Jacqueline Carey

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2051957,211 (3.19)13
Title:Saints Astray
Authors:Jacqueline Carey
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 368 pages
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Saints Astray by Jacqueline Carey



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This is the 2nd book in the Santa Olivia series and this book ties up the Santa Olivia series by Carey. It was a very well done book and I enjoyed it a lot.

Loup and Pilar have escaped the Outpost and finally get to meet some of Loup’s family on the outside in Mexico. They both get an offer to join an elite bodyguard firm and decide to take the offer. The offer gives them a chance to travel and earn some money. However, when they bodyguard for a band called Kate an opportunity arises for Loup and Pilar to help stop the atrocities in the Outpost and the prejudice against GMO’s once and for all.

There is some excellent world-building here. This is a world that is recovering from being ravaged by a horrible disease. Most of the world is recovering okay, but the United States still has these horrible secret Outposts that they are hiding from the rest of the world.

I continued to love the idea of genetically modified humans that can't feel fear. This has so many implications as to how Loup interacts with society and how society responds to her.

I really enjoyed watching Loup and Pilar journey outside the Outpost and make their way in the world. They are excellent characters and watching them learn about the outside world and how to make their way through it was fantastic and incredibly engaging.

Pilar in particular grows a lot and really kicks butt in this book. She is such and girly girl, but she also shows herself to be incredibly capable and intelligent. Pilar confronts a number of fears head-on and really goes out of her way to become a better person. I thought she was an admirable, entertaining, and completely engaging character. I love how her relationship with Loup grows in this book and love how they respect each other and support each other.

There are a number of sensual scenes between Pilar and Loup, they never get all that graphic. However, Pilar and Loup’s love for each other is definitely a prominent theme throughout the book. This book doesn’t have as much action as the first book, but I still found it to be a very engaging story.

The story is tied up in a way that is complete, hopeful, and sweet.

Overall this was a great read with wonderful characters and I enjoyed it a lot. I loved the world-building and really enjoyed watching Pilar and Loup make a life for themselves outside the Outpost. The story ties up very nicely and ends on a very hopeful note. I wish this duology had gotten more coverage because it is a good one. I would recommend to fans of urban fantasy. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 21, 2015 |
A sequel that puts the HEA cherry on top of the frothy whipped cream that wrapped up Santa Olivia. These are fun books -- not exactly deep, but a quick romp through a femme lesbian love story. Not much drama in this sequel, and more reiteration of some of the plot points that annoyed me from the first -- in particular, the protagonist somehow has something genetic that somehow brings out the best in other people, which ranks with some of the silliest woowoo I've ever encountered in fiction. The first book was better and would stand-alone, but the second book is okay too -- a pleasant, quick read on a cold afternoon. ( )
  lquilter | Feb 16, 2015 |
This sequel was ok, I really felt like Santa Olivia was/should have been a stand alone novel for some reason, so this one covering a honeymoon of sorts felt like wrap up. ( )
  librarycatnip | Jan 12, 2015 |
I find myself wanting to give Saints Astray two different ratings: one for how happy I am for its heroines, Loup Garron and Pilar Ecchevarria, and the other for how well Saints Astray works as a novel. I love the characters and am glad their lives have become easier since the events of Santa Olivia, but the result is a book that does not have enough tension or conflict.

Loup and Pilar have escaped Outpost and travel to Mexico, where they enjoy a brief idyll in the company of Loup's relatives on her late father's side, many of them genetically modified organisms (GMOs) like Loup. Then they take jobs with an elite bodyguard service and travel the world in the company of a string of wealthy clients: a fashion designer, a Mafia bride, a businessman, a rock band. Later they return to the States to rescue a friend, and become involved in a political battle for the rights of GMOs. All the while, they are adorably in love.

The problem is that there's not much grit or real adversity. Even when situations do look dire, they tend to be resolved much more smoothly and easily than expected. The bodyguarding adventures are fun, but they feel episodic rather than connected to the main plot arc -- and we're seldom really worried about our heroines. The novel becomes more moving when the girls return to the US, where Loup is considered "stolen military property" rather than a human being. That too, however, is a less insurmountable problem than it might appear. Favourite characters can start to feel like old friends, so it feels somehow wrong to wish more trouble on Loup and Pilar, but Saints Astray simply doesn't continue the level of tension established in Santa Olivia. ( )
  Jawin | Dec 28, 2014 |
I liked this one, but I feel like the first one was the better novel. I loved watching Loup and Pilar explore the world with all their innocence, and I thought the parts at the end that dealt with the political situation were pretty good.

But man. At first, I was loving the fact that a lesbian couple was training to be bodyguards and were probably going to eventually save their town. But there's SO. MUCH. AFFECTION. They have sex a lot. They talk about how hot they both are, to each other and others. Pilar constantly asks Lupe to make sure she's not attracted to anyone else. They have a lot of PDA that other people talk about. It's cute, but I'd had more than enough about halfway through, then it kept going.

Another thing that got on my nerves a little bit was the dialogue. Mostly, just Lupe and Pilar. Their dialogue makes sense, because they're orphans for an extremely isolated outpost town. But Sabine isn't wrong. Their vocabulary is limited, and they don't seem to share any thoughts more complicated than how much they love each other, or, in Pilar's case, how scared she is. Again, it's in-character, and it gets a little better after their "elocution training," but it still bothered me a little.

I did like how capable Pilar turned out to be. I would have loved to see more of that, or have Pilar more directly masterminding rescue attempts.

It also seemed like they didn't really have to fight to get things their way. The only part where I felt like they weren't leading a charmed life was when Pilar was trying so hard to pass the physical challenge. Afterwards, there was a series of happy accidents, and a lot of sex and fawning, that led to the end.

I adored the first book, and I loved almost everything else by Carey (the first Agent of Hel novel was a shock after the other fantasy, though). I liked this one okay, but I wish there'd been a little more meat to the story. ( )
  ConnieJo | Aug 30, 2014 |
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For Julie, my bordertown dreamer.
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(from the back of the book)Fellow orphans, amateur vigilantes, and members of the Santitos, Loup Garron - the fugitive daughter of a genetically engineered "wolf man" - and Pilar Ecchevarria grew up in the military zone of Outpost 12, formerly known as Santa Olivia.  But now they're free, and they want to help the rest of the Santitos escape.  During a series of escapades, they discover that Miguel, Loup's former sparring partner and reprobate surrogate brother, has escaped from Outpost 12 and is testifying on behalf of its forgotten citizens - at least until he disappears from protective custody.  Honor drives Loup to rescue Miguel, even though entering the United States could mean losing her liberty.  Pilar vows to help her.

It will take a daring and absurd caper to extricate Miguel from the mess he's created, but Loup is prepared to risk everything... and this time she has help.
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After her escape from military custody, Loup and her girlfriend Pilar have a chance to reinvent their lives thousands of miles away from the forgotten and disenfranchised Texas border town of Outpost 12, known as Santa Olivia to those trapped there for decades. Thanks to Loup's preternatural gifts of strength, speed, and an innate fearlessness, as well as Pilar's unexpected skill with a pistol, they find new careers as high-priced bodyguards for a world famous British rock band. Back in the States, an investigation into the existence of Outpost 12 begins in Washington, D.C. When the key witness with evidence to expose the military cover-up, their old comrade Miguel, vanishes, the case seems lost. The abandoned citizens of Santa Olivia need a champion, a voice raised on their behalf, which pushes Loup and Pilar into a hard choice. If Loup returns to U.S. soil, she'll be an outlaw. If she's caught, she'll be taken into custody again; and this time, there may be no escape. But if she and Pilar don't fight for freedom of those they left behind, no one will.--From back cover.… (more)

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