Duffy Pratt's Reviews > Saints Astray

Saints Astray by Jacqueline Carey
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's review
Feb 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction
Read from February 10 to 26, 2012

"Astray" is the operative word here. Loup Garron is back, but for most of this book she lacks any direction. There's lots going on here, but it's not going anywhere. Having escaped from Gitmo, I mean Outpost, Loup and Pilar have some fun on the beach in Mexico, get recruited for bodyguard training and pack off to Scotland. Then do security for a fashion designer, for a mafia family in Sicily, for the bratty daughter of a Swiss banker in Geneva, and for a Pop band in Australia and Japan.

There's lots of potential for great stuff here, but for some reason it all falls a bit flatter than the first book did. For the most part, there is an incident, our heroines triumph, and then they declare how hot they are for each other and say that they are going to have amazing sex together and the chapter ends. Beforehand, I would not have said that it was possible for me to grow tired of lesbian mutant werewolf sex, but somehow Carey managed to pull that off.

The last third of the book begins to have some direction, when Loup decides to return to America to testify about Gitmo/Outpost, and to rescue her former sparring partner from being held hostage in a swanky Vegas casino called The Hellfire Club. But even this sort of just fizzles, as everything comes much to easily to Loup and Pilar, and this ease short-circuits any real drama that might develop.

I'm not sure what happened here. The book feels like the wrong length. It could have made for a great short story. It could have been really compelling if Carey had put some more work into the situations and made it three or four times as long. As it is, the supporting characters seem kind of thin. Loup and Pilar seem less well developed than they were in the first book, and the way the book is structured left me wanting either less or more.

Having said all that, I still like the characters in this book, and the basic idea. I thought the treatment of the pop band Kate was lots of fun. It was just a step down from the first book.
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