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Saints Astray Paperback – November 22, 2011

60 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Santa Olivia Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacqueline Carey is the author of short stories, essays, novels Banewreaker and Godslayer, and the New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series. Carey lives in west Michigan.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Original edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446571423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446571425
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacqueline Carey is the author of the New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series of historical fantasy novels, The Sundering epic fantasy duology, postmodern fables "Santa Olivia" and "Saints Astray," and the Agent of Hel contemporary fantasy series. Carey lives in west Michigan. Although often asked by inquiring fans, she does not, in fact, have any tattoos.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. Obata on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love Jacqueline Carey as much as the next groupie that imaginary Loup Garron is shoving away. I fell in love with Kushiel's Legacy. I enjoyed Naamah's Legacy. I own every book set in Terre d'Ange.

I would argue that Santa Olivia is Carey's strongest work. It's not crappy paranormal romance, and it's not your typical science fiction novel. In fact, Santa Olivia's quality and content approach the kind of "classic" status I would confer on such authors as Ursula LeGuin, Kurt Vonnegut, or Margaret Atwood. I read the book while taking a class on Social Justice in Catholic Social Teaching, and found it addressed so many of the arguments we debated in class. Christian morals are hotly discussed -- with views on both sides of the spectrum -- among Los Santitos (I'm looking at you, Matthew 10:34), and I believe those discussions enriched the text substantially. Finally, the book addressed homosexuality, a hot controversy these days, in a way that was empathetic but not confrontational. It was an exceptional work.

Saints Astray ruins Santa Olivia. I wish it had never been published. This book _is_ crappy paranormal romance: the characters are canned; the plot is predictable; at least a third of the book is simply sweet talk between the characters. And yet, we barely see any sex scenes, and the ones we do see are unremarkable and repetitive. (Not that I read Saints Astray for the sex scenes, but if it's going to be paranormal romance, it might as well deliver.) What happened to the kind work Carey produced with Phedre -- or even Loup, in the first book?
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Giesin on June 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Santa Olivia, Pilar compares Loup to fine tequila, saying everyone else is "the cheap stuff". Sadly, Santa Olivia is the fine tequila that goes down so smoothly it makes the drivel that is Saints Astray even harder to choke down. In Santa Olivia, Loup was driven to avenge her brother and fight the injustice of the military running her hometown. The book had drama, romance, action, and characters you couldn't help but love even though they didn't all love each other.

Saints Astray reads like poorly written fan-fiction by comparison. Everywhere they go, everyone loves Pilar and Loup to the point where they begin wearing t-shirts with their images emblazoned on them. There is absolutely no conflict, no drama. Everyone is happy, including Loup and Pilar whose biggest crisis is when Pilar suddenly cuts Loup off from having sex while they go through basic training to become bodyguards for spoiled rich people. This is why she trained herself as a boxer for all of those years? So she can get rich protecting drunken, spoiled rock stars? In the first book, she was actually trying to help people. Plus, there are typos and grammatical errors that made me cringe. I'm so disappointed that this book has Carey's name on it. I only hope she gets enough tough feedback to recognize it was not her best work so she can avoid publishing anything this awful again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on December 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I find myself wanting to give Saints Astray two different ratings: one for how happy I am for its heroines, Loup Garron and Pilar Ecchevarria, and the other for how well Saints Astray works as a novel. I love the characters and am glad their lives have become easier since the events of Santa Olivia, but the result is a book that does not have enough tension or conflict.

Loup and Pilar have escaped Outpost and travel to Mexico, where they enjoy a brief idyll in the company of Loup's relatives on her late father's side, many of them genetically modified organisms (GMOs) like Loup. Then they take jobs with an elite bodyguard service and travel the world in the company of a string of wealthy clients: a fashion designer, a Mafia bride, a businessman, a rock band. Later they return to the States to rescue a friend, and become involved in a political battle for the rights of GMOs. All the while, they are adorably in love.

The problem is that there's not much grit or real adversity. Even when situations do look dire, they tend to be resolved much more smoothly and easily than expected. The bodyguarding adventures are fun, but they feel episodic rather than connected to the main plot arc -- and we're seldom really worried about our heroines. The novel becomes more moving when the girls return to the US, where Loup is considered "stolen military property" rather than a human being. That too, however, is a less insurmountable problem than it might appear. Favorite characters can start to feel like old friends, so it feels somehow wrong to wish more trouble on Loup and Pilar, but Saints Astray simply doesn't continue the level of tension established in Santa Olivia.

The best stuff here is character-related.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Spencer on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that Jacqueline Carey is one of my favorite authors. I have read everything she has written at least twice. Some thing many, many more times than that. And Santa Olivia was my favorite. But this... I am so disappointed.

Santa Olivia did not need a sequel. The book was great on its own. It left lots of questions unanswered, but in a satisfying way. But since Carey hasn't written a single thing I didn't like, I figured I would give it a chance.

Pilar and Loup escape the Outpost and find that the world wasn't actually post-apocalyptic after all. In fact, everywhere but the United States is paradise. Everyone loves them. They get to travel the world and make lots of money. They make friends with rock stars and fashion designers. Their love is perfect and unwavering. And once they decide to force the United States to demilitarize the Outposts and get civil rights for people like Loup, the government just does it because everyone loves her so much.

There's no conflict. Whenever they get into trouble it's because they're bored and they feel like it. Or because Loup is feeling noble that particular minute. There's no character development. Except that Pilar learns to shoot a gun, which came out of nowhere, didn't tie into her character at all, and was useful exactly once. None of it feels believable. Every time they make a decision, it's obvious it's just to advance the plot, not because they have a real and compelling reason to do so.

It's heartbreaking. I loved these characters. I can't stand to watch them stagnate like this.

Don't read this book. Reread Santa Olivia instead. It's better this way.
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