Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reading With No-One: Santa Olivia

They say don't judge a book by the cover, but I really like this cover. Before I get to my mini-review, I will give you the blurb from the back of the book:

'There is no pity in Santa Olivia. And no escape. In this isolated military buffer zone between Mexico and the U.S., the citizens of Santa Olivia are virtually powerless. Then an unlikely herione is born. She is the daughter of a man genetically manipulated by the government to be a weapon. A "Wolf-Man," he was engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, stamina and senses, as well as a total lack of fear. Named for her vanished father, Loup Garron has inherited his gifts.

Frustrated by the injustices visited upon her friends and neighbours by the military occupiers, Loup is determined to avenge her community. Aided by a handful of her fellow orphans, Loup takes on the guise of their patron saint, Santa Olivia, and sets out to deliver vigilante justice - aware that if she is caught, she could lose her freedom...and her possibly her life.'

*******For anyone not familiar with the word, Loup is pronounced Lou. 'Le Loup-Garou' is french for 'The Wolf-Man'*********

Santa Olivia was recommended to me by a friend. I haven't quite finished it yet, I've got probably around another 45 minutes of reading time to go, but I thought if I did the review before I finished, I'd be less likely to over-explain and ruin the book for people who hate being spoiled as to endings and important plot points. (I'm not one of those people, so I sometimes accidently give to much away, when around people who are.)

I'm really enjoying Santa Olivia. It's engaging, interesting, and has a lead character who seems worth knowing. And I love a kick-ass female, who can take care of herself while protecting the people around her.

The story takes place in a world, set sometime in the future where plagues of illness have killed scores of people across the United States and Mexico (and presumably the rest of the world). Santa Olivia is a small town on the US-Mexican border, and has been walled off on both sides. It is technically no longer a part of either country, and as far as the world outside knows, the only people in the town are the soldiers who live there to protect the border. The civilians no longer exist in any official way.

The US army has told the town residents they are being kept safe from El Segundo a rebel Mexican general, who would use Santa Olivia as a gateway to attack the US, but they have reason to believe they are being lied to. That there is no El Segundo and the area is being kept walled off for other reasons.

The leading Army General holds out hope to locals in the form of boxing matches, promising if anyone can beat one of his men in a fight, they will get free passage out of Santa Olivia, for themselves and one other person. The locals cling to this promise, but the one time it seems like one of them may win, the fight is fixed. So we see that nobody is ever leaving.

Up until the boxing match, Loup, who at this point is still a teenager,  had been doing a few small acts as the saint, Santa Olivia. The outcome is what makes her decide to really fight against the army, and for freedom.

I'm sure I'll enjoy the rest of this book as much as I've liked what I've already read.

And I have, waiting, the sequel, Saints Astray, which I will start later this evening.


River said...

Another two books to add to my ever-growing list.

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon i've had a fifty fifty success rate judging a book by its cover :-).