Here’s a secret. As a reader, I am in love with Jacqueline Carey’s writing. I read the Kushiel Legacy about two years ago. It is still the writing by which I gauge all other books. So I was both excited and a little nervous to read her book Santa Olivia which has a much a more modern setting.
Loup Garron was raised in an Outpost on the Texas-Mexico border by her mother and her brother. No one leaves Outpost 12 and no one enters, except the soldiers who rotate through on their tour of duty and the man who was Loup’s father. Like her father Loup cannot feel fear and is extremely strong and fast. With the help of her family she hides that she’s not normal. Until her mother dies and her brother sends her to live at the church with the other orphans.
I love this book. I love Loup and the other orphans. It’s interesting to speculate on how much fear affects how we express all of our other emotions and our relationships in general. It makes Loup hard to understand sometimes but also hard to resist because it’s her weakness as much as it is her strength. Without fear of pain or repercussions it makes her a danger to herself and her friends and hard to understand why she couldn’t be herself.
It could also count as an LGBT novel as there is a lesbian couple, but I love that it’s just a part of the novel. A fact, but not a major plot point. Their love factors into a couple major plot points but it in itself is not a big deal. I think if more writers would write about things like LGBT and interracial relationships as if they were no big deal it would stop being such a big deal in real life. Art influences life as much as if not more than life influences art.
As for pure entertainment this one novel covers the spectrum: love, sports, action, sci-fi and super heroes with an air of fantasy. There are enough romances to write several novels and the boxing is done superbly. More importantly, there’s character growth and it’s believable.
Rating: 4 out of 5 quills. It was great but her other series was epic. I didn’t expect the same kind of story but I expected it to be as epic. I know it’s bad to compare the different series but I can’t help it.