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Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Santa Olivia

by Jacqueline Carey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8706216,466 (3.92)62
"A SF/fantasy novel set in the near future and featuring a young woman with special genetically engineered 'wolf-like' powers"--Provided by publisher.
  1. 10
    Adaptation by Malinda Lo (knotbox)
    knotbox: A story of girls in love, a military conspiracy, inhumans, and friends who stick with you.
  2. 10
    Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: Though the writing styles and scopes are different, and Flight of Shadows is the sequel of Brouwer's earlier work Broken Angel, readers of one of these books will likely find the other worth diving into. Similar character types and situations make the books well-matched for each other as quick new-world reads that explore the ethics and moralities of a newer and more classed version of our familiar reality. It's worth noting, though, that while Santa Olivia is absolutely appropriate for young adult readers, Flight of Shadows contains graphic violence that you may or may not want to pass on to your teenager--certainly, I read far worse as a teenager, but you might not want your young adult to come across some of the material in Flight of Shadows without reading it first.… (more)
  3. 10
    Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For a different take on girls coming of age amid involvement in violent competitive sports.
  4. 00
    The Cage by A.M. Dellamonica (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Another story featuring lesbianism and werewolves, which is freely available online here.
  5. 01
    Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: While the writing styles and scopes are different, both show a new world order as experienced through a strong and somewhat outcast female heroine. Fans of one should search out the other.
  6. 03
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: Santa Olivia is admittedly built for a more mature audience, but the themes, character types, and situations in the Harry Potter series and in Carey's work make me believe a reader who enjoys one will likely enjoy the other. Santa Olivia, though, is not a traditional fantasy, but more in the lines of speculative fiction, so that fantasy-only readers who enjoy Harry Potter for primarily the inclusion of magic may not enjoy Carey's work. I'm recommending it with this Harry Potter book in particular since, for me, this was the book when the series took a leap toward becoming more adult. Santa Olivia is also probably the beginning of a forthcoming series.… (more)
  7. 03
    The Complete Harry Potter Collection (Books 1-7) by J. K. Rowling (whitewavedarling)
  8. 03
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: Santa Olivia is admittedly for a more adult-based audience, but themes, situations, and character types carry over between the works enough (plus a light integration of religion) that I think the readers of one work set would be well suited for the other.… (more)

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» See also 62 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Santa Olivia isn't a bad book. It's way better than Kushiel's Dart, which Carey is best known for and which I couldn't make it through. But Santa Olivia is an odd book, and not in a necessarily good way. It's hard to put my finger on what exactly doesn't work, but if I had to describe my feelings towards this book, I'd simply say, "It's ok." Not bad, nothing blatantly wrong, but just ok. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
Carey leaves the fantasy utopia of her Kushiel series for a future dystopia of a long barricaded town on the US/Mexico border. There aren't many surprises in the story of Loup the by-blow of a genetically modified soldier. It sometimes chugs along slowly. I liked her but she was just a little boring. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
This book was a surprise for me. I wasn't sure if I would like it as much I did by the end. It was a really interesting take on a werewolf story and a heroine. Really refreshing to have a heroine who isn't straight too. ( )
  rabidgummibear | Nov 28, 2018 |
Interesting! Queer, engrossing, and vivid. ( )
  emeraldreverie | Nov 15, 2018 |
First, the bad, or at least what I thought would be bad. The hero's father made her promise to name the baby Loup. Loup Garron. Because he is genetically modified and the name reminds him of loup garou, which, as we all know, means werewolf. I thought I would hate it, but, you know, Carey made me love it. She hung a lantern on it, went with it, and made it sweet when her brother calls her by it.

Carey managed to write a heroine who is different. She's young but because of her father's genetic modifications does not feel or understand fear so she isn't a typical child. She also doesn't run recklessly into harm's way (well, not often) because her father explained things to her mother and brother and they taught her to think deeply about every situation. She is, as I said, a child, with a child's resources, despite her incredible strength and speed. And maybe, like a child, she loves big.

Who does Loup love? Her brother, Tommy, who dies tragically but teaches her how to be a hero before he does. Her fellow orphans, the Santitos, who support her and keep her secrets. And Pilar, her girlfriend, her lover, the one person who feels right to her.

Pilar was a favorite of mine. Trapped in the Outpost, a no-man's land not acknowledged by our government, all Pilar wanted was an easier life. A husband who was reasonably cute, reasonably rich, and who could enable her to work less than she now does. At first she tried to deny her attraction to (and love for) Loup, but when they became involved Pilar embraced it, publicly and happily acknowledging their relationship. There's a scene toward the end of the book where she talks about her fear but I think Pilar is brave nearly beyond measure.

Another favorite was Miguel Garza. Miguel is that guy, the asshole who knows he's an asshole. Tommy died in a fight that should have been Miguel's and Miguel has always felt responsible and as if he owed Loup. That's how their friendship starts. By the end of the book she's calling him her "big, grumpy, pervy older brother" and he's jokingly cursing her because she almost makes him want to not be an asshole. I think if Miguel got out he became the hero inside of him.

Read this. Read this now. A hero who is not stereotyped by her gender. A lesbian. A racially diverse cast. Genetically modified "superhumans." What it means to be a hero and how we can all be one. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Jacqueline Carey's new novel is set in a near-future DMZ between America and Mexico - and her new heroine kicks ass. Superstrong and unable to feel fear, Loup is a genetic experiment gone right.
added by PhoenixTerran | editio9, Annalee Newitz (May 16, 2009)
I highly recommend Santa Olivia, not only to Carey's current fans, but to anyone who enjoys an outstanding, gripping, and in many ways credible near-future thriller.
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They said that the statue of Our Lady of the Sorrows wept tears of blood the day the sickness came to Santa Olivia. The people said that God had turned his face away from humankind. They said that saints remember what God forgets about human suffering.
After you, it's all cheap tequila.
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