Review: Santa Olivia

Santa Olivia
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the first time reading any of [a:Jacqueline Carey|9237|Jacqueline Carey|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1205262579p2/9237.jpg]’s work. The description was intriguing on one hand but I was skeptical because based on those same few lines, this could have been just average or downright lame. Instead this turned out to be an enthralling read.

The backdrop for the story is complex and rich; filling you with questions and possibilities but never detracting from the characters and the story. Even though the main character is the product of some genetic DNA manipulation, she’s never portrayed as a creature or a marvel even though she certainly exhibits extraordinary gifts. Carey grounds her in family, friends and the ordinary. In fact, our heroine progresses from being a somewhat odd little girl to a relatable young woman.

Carey writes with economy; allowing the characters to drive the story. None of the characters are throwaway; each of them given just enough to ring true. Loup’s abilities and quirks are never outlandish or distracting and the characters responses to her echo that, making her seem more real.

Santa Oliva reminds me of a book a read in elementary school about an ordinary kid who goes around fighting injustice. If you’re looking for a story about werewolves or superheros this book probably won’t have the punch you’re looking for but if you love a good story it’s worth. Think Batman without all the gizmos and larger than life villains.

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