Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
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|Thu, 11-15-2012 - 3:58pm|
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey 341 pages 11/14/12 pub 2009
Loup (pronounced Lou) is a girl raised in a secret town named Santa Olivia, and in the orphanage there of the same name, where there aren’t supposed to be any towns, next to an Army base. (The US and Mexico have been decimated by epidemics of killing flu and the Army is stationed along the walled Border, to keep revolutionary Mexicans in Mexico. Or that's what is said.) The people of Santa Olivia are stateless and powerless: the only jobs are working for the Army. Waitressing, bartending, whoring for girls and women, running a criminal syndicate, being in the syndicate, hauling garbage, maintaining the golf course the Army officers use for boys and men are the only jobs there. Loup’s only way to leave town is to participate in the fixed boxing matches with the Army soldiers. But Loup’s father was genetically modified; he has “strength, endurance, speed, metabolism” (23) and so does Loup. Loup and her father don’t feel fear, but Loup, along with her fellow orphans, is able to give the people of her small town hope, for which I was willing to put up with the boxing. There's a wonderful love story between Loup and her fellow orphan Pilar, which all might not agree is wonderful. Also I am giving a heads up for language all might not be comfortable with. It made sense to me in this dystopia with science fictional and magic realism elements. I’m really looking forward to book #2, Saints Astray.
I've read all of Carey's Kushiel books and these are nothing like those, except for the compelling story and fascinating characters.