Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Saints Astray (Santa Olivia, #2) by Jacqueline Carey
Published by Grand Central Publishing on November 22, 2011
Genres: New Adult Fiction, Dystopia
Format: Paperback (368 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
Post-apocalyptic scifi meets urban fantasy in Jacqueline Carey's sequel to Santa Olivia as two girls fight to stay together and change the world.
After their escape from military custody, Loup Garron and her girlfriend Pilar have a chance to reinvent their lives thousands of miles away from the forgotten and disenfranchised Texas border town and military zone of Santa Olivia.
Thanks to Loup's genetically engineered gifts of strength, speed, and an innate fearlessness, as well as Pilar's unexpected skill with a pistol, they find new careers as high-priced bodyguards for a world famous British rock band. Back in the States, an investigation into the existence of Santa Olivia, also known as Outpost 12, begins in Washington, D.C. When the key witness with evidence to expose the military cover-up, their old comrade Miguel, vanishes, the case seems lost.
The abandoned citizens of Santa Olivia need a champion, a voice raised on their behalf, which pushes Loup and Pilar into a hard choice. If Loup returns to U.S. soil, she'll be an outlaw. If she's caught, she'll be taken into custody again; and this time, there may be no escape. But if she and Pilar don't fight for the freedom of those they left behind, no one will.
Proceed With Caution
This book contains violence, attempted murder, and mentions of rape.
Just like the first book, Saints Astray is narrated in third person by Loup Garron, a teenage girl who inherited her genetically-modified father’s superhuman abilities.
It takes place from Mexico to Scotland to London to Sicily to Vegas, basically all over the world as Loup and her girlfriend Pilar depart on the next adventure of their young lives. You will need to have read Santa Olivia before picking up this one.
Saints Astray picks up exactly where Santa Olivia ended. Loup and Pilar are being smuggled into Mexico by one of Loup’s cousins. At this point, they’re relatively safe from anyone who is looking for Loup, but their peaceful life is soon interrupted when Loup is recruited as the first GMO bodyguard. Of course, she refuses to leave Pilar behind, and thus the two being their globetrotting adventure.
I was quite disappointed with Saints Astray in the beginning. It’s not bad at all, but the tone is the complete opposite of the previous book. It felt like a completely different series! When Loup and Pilar are going through training, I was getting some major Cadet Kelly vibes. It was the cliche montage of someone who is not at all physical going through military-grade training, failing spectacularly, but then putting their own unique spin on it and coming out on top. Except it wasn’t a montage. It was more like half the book. It was cheesy to say the least.
After that, Saints Astray read more like a holiday special complete with British boyband hijinks. I wish I was kidding, but that’s what happened. I thought these books were suppose to be about revolution and social justice! Overcoming odds! Championing for the little guy! Instead I got nearly 300 pages of Loup and Pilar making googly eyes at each other and touring with popstars.
However, once it got on track, it was really good. I actually came to appreciate how the author showed that you don’t need to be directly in the action or starting war to make change. Loup got her face and her message out into the world through marketing ploys. It was actually quite genius. And I do love a happy ending.
“No, I don’t think any of them were prettier than you.” Loup poured the last of the nuts into her mouth, chewed, and swallowed. “And no, I don’t think any of them were Christophe’s one in a hundred. And no, even if they were, I wouldn’t care, because your the sexiest sidekick in the universe, and you worry about whether or not I have enough to ear, and I really, really love you. Does that cover it?” (page 122)
“All she has to do is smile at me in the one way, and it feels like my heart’s running over in my chest. It was that way in the beginning, and it’s that way now.” (page 247)
“I’m in the middle of nowhere at the mercy of a pair of teenage lunatics who seem to think they’re leaving in a spy novel and I don’t even have a fucking toothbrush, but I’m okay.” (page 275)