Sunday, September 5, 2010

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Not all urban fantasy is set in a city. The small town of Santa Olivia was once part of Texas, but is now in a military buffer zone between the U.S. and Mexico. (The setting reminded me of that in Nancy Farmer's House of the Scorpion.) A large army base was built nearby and the civilian residents of Santa Olivia are forbidden to leave, even decades after the buffer zone was created. Life is very tough for them, strictly controlled beneath the military's boot. What the people of Santa Olivia need most is hope, and this is what they get when a young woman takes on the role of an avenging angel-saint.

Loup Garron's father was a wolf-man; genetically modified to be faster and stronger than normal human beings. He was on the run from either government scientists or the army or both when he came through Santa Olivia. Loup has inherited her father's gifts, but she must hide them or risk being taken away by whoever was after her father.

Loup is such a great character, with amazing physical abilities, a total lack of fear and a strong sense of justice. She also has a passionate love affair with another young woman. Highly recommended.

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