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Lushly written with rich and vivid characters, SANTA OLIVIA is Jacqueline Carey's take on comic book superheroes and the classic werewolf myth.

Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. A fugitive "Wolf-Man" who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon. The "Wolf-Men" were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.

After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town.

Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.


Santa Olivia
Average rating
4.6 / 5
A winner!
July 30th, 2015
I was uncertain if I'd like this novel, as my previous experience with Jacqueline's writing was the Kushiel books, and as some others do, I felt that Jacqueline might best have wrapped those up about three-quarters of the way through the first book. But I did enjoy it! If this book's any indication, the author has continued to improve her writing, and I'm grateful for it. At times this book reminded me of two other books I have enjoyed: Marge Piercy's 'He, She, and It' and Octavia Butler's 'Fledgling'. All three novels feature a similar voice and similar elements- dystopian near-future communities (well, not so much for Fledgling), a mix of races and sexualities, and characters coping with coming into their unusual abilities and seeking to learn how to move through the world in a way that benefits the other people in their communities.
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1 review
Tears and grins
August 16th, 2014
A heart warming story about an unchecked government and genetically modified humans.
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1 review
Santa Olivia
March 31st, 2014
Wonderful book. I am looking forward to the next one.
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1 review

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