Ashley's Reviews > Santa Olivia

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
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's review
Mar 04, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, urban-fantasy-paranormal-romance, weres
Read in June, 2009

This is the first book of Carey's that I've read that takes place outside of the Kushiel's Legacy's universe. This time Carey brings her eloquent prose to an alternate universe where a buffer zone has been established between Texas and Mexico, and the people there are kept isolated from the rest of the world. The story centers around Loup, the daughter of a human woman and a genetically-engineered werewolf, and her struggle against the injustices of her environment--everything from oppressive soldiers to her inborn inability to feel fear.

Don't come into this book expecting anything like the two Kushiel's Legacy trilogies. It's not a story of a heroine, or a tale of a great love, although it definitely incorporates those two elements. In the end, I think it's a well-written and engaging coming-of-age story told through a unique perspective in an interesting world. It's also a take on the werewolf myth that I've never seen before, in that it largely disregards the hallmark characteristics of the fictional werewolf. In the end, I liked this novel less than the Phedre novels but more than the Imriel novels. Carey has the admirable ability to navigate through years of a character's life, knowing when to touch ground and give the reader dialogue and elaborate on events. I'm not sure what's keeping me from loving the novel, but I think it's definitely worth a read.

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