Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Her tears are the
tears of suffering
and of hope...

The world has changed and walls have been built between the United States and Mexico. In an isolated military buffer zone between the two countries the people of Santa Olivia have no power. They are poor, lonely and are destined to stay there, forever. Then an unlikely superhero comes along. Born to a poor mother and a genetically enhanced father, Lupe has inherited his speed, strength and total lack of fear. Along with her fellow orphans she decides to avenge the injustice that has been brought to their community by the military occupiers.

While it may best be described as a dystopic urban fantasy it's not so far into a future that's it's totally unbelievable. Although the people of this forgotten town lead bleak lives the characters were still so intriguing and there was even a touch of humor here and there. I think the common factor was the hope they all had. Each of them faced such hardships and the children had never known another life but they still dreamed about a future. While Lupe didn't feel or experience the same thing that the others did she still inspired the best in them. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and want to avenge injustice. Santa Olivia, their patron saint, provides them with inspiration and feeds their faith. Lupe provides them with hope and courage.

I wasn't sure what to expect at first but I truly enjoyed this book and the fantasy Carey created. The landscape may seem hopeless but this story made me cheer on the underdog. I cared what happened to these characters and I desperately wanted them to have a future. I really liked Lupe, her brother Tommy and the rest of their patchwork family. I had to turn the next page to see what would happen, wanting to know but not wanting it to end. Although this genre may not be for everyone it's the story that will draw you in and I would definitely recommend this book. I look forward to reading more by this author and hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Thank you to Hatchette Books for a review copy.
author website

Publisher: Hatchette Books
Release date: 5/29/2009
Pages: 352
Price/format: $13.99/Trade Paperback
Type: Fantasy/Sci Fi


  1. Glad that you enjoyed this book too!

    Guess what! Jacqueline is debating on writing a sequel or not. I hope she does!

  2. This sounds interesting. I'm not a huge dystopic fan, but I might look for this one.
    I've passed on an award to you...


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