Thursday, July 14, 2011

Santa Olivia

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
Rated R (or M for Mature?) for pervasive language and sexual awakening.
I was intrigued by the setting of this book.  The border town of Santa Olivia has become a forgotten town in the middle of a military buffer zone between Mexico and the United States of America.  It’s not part of either countries and the people of the town can’t leave.  The atmosphere is already harsh from plagues and survival instincts when the “Wolf-Man” passes through town, loving Carmen, Loup’s mom.
Since the main thread of story revolved around Loup, it was a little weird to experience the sexual draw between her parents and sad to leave Carmen to a debilitating cough to die shortly afterwards.  Loup was an interesting character, cold, distant and confused.  I didn’t ever feel attached to her due primarily to her complete absence of any sense of fear.  Since she didn’t care for self-preservation, neither did I. 
The vigilante escapades were well thought out from inception to fulfillment.  The focus on boxing was interesting, although I felt that a stand was going to be made regardless of how or what.  My knowledge of the second half of the book is a little sketchy because I skipped to the end.   I felt so completely detached.  And really, as Loup was drawn to be sexually aroused with a girl in her group of Santitos, I felt uncomfortable.  It was very physical.  What I mean is, seeing everything through Loup’s cold perspective, there was no building of friendship or reason beyond a physical draw between the two girls plus the assurance that “it” never worked despite trying with one of the boys, instead.  I was disappointed with the shallowness of T.Y. and Loup’s brother because these were interesting characters and could have been so much more. 
In fact, this felt almost like an answer to a general public demand for some sort of wolf girl who was gay.  I’m sorry if that’s harsh and I seriously apologize if the author put more soul into this book than I see.  As I said at the beginning, the basis of the story is intriguing and I like the cover art.  It is what it is.  Maybe it’ll be popular because of the gay wolf girl thing, but I won’t finish it or reread it or recommend it.

My rating:  Others May, I Cannot.