Stephanie's Reviews > Santa Olivia

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
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Dec 15, 10

Read on December 14, 2010

I resisted reading this book for a long time, mostly because the setting and the premise didn't really do anything for me. Eventually it was bargain priced on Amazon, so I ordered it to round out my total for free shipping.

Firstly, the style of writing completely shocked me. I'm a pretty big JC fan, and I love her in part because the beautiful and elegant prose that you can find in her other books. In this one...I'm not sure what was going on exactly, but there were a lot of expletives. Secondly, there isn't much explanation as to how or why any of these circumstances came about. I find it incredibly annoying to read about dystopian societies and then not know what *exactly* went wrong...it's such a powerful method of social critique that was completely wasted in this book. The Road was the same way.

On the other hand, it was fast-paced and interesting. I chewed through it in about a day, and nearing the end of it I wanted to shake the book and tell it to get to the big fight already, as if the pages might rearrange themselves to accommodate my demand. The end on the whole was a bit anticlimactic after all that foreplay, but satisfying enough that I don't feel a powerful urge to go out and buy the next one (which I believe is coming out sometime in 2011).

Santa Olivia is really a 3-star book. I liked it, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. It got the extra star because I wasn't expecting to like it AT ALL...so kudos to Carey for surprising me. I still prefer her prettier and more complex work.
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