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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Saints Astray Paperback – November 22, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 62 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. http://www.jacquelinecarey.com/
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition 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 (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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I took a long time with this one, because honestly, I was a little bit bored with it. I really enjoyed Santa Olivia, but with this one, there hardly seemed to be any conflict at all. Pilar and Loup got along wonderfully, absolutely, completely over the conflict they had in the previous book, completely madly in love. I couldn't have been more bored with the romance in this one, and Jacqueline Carey usually tells a fantastic love story. I think back to Phedre and Joscelin, Imriel and Sidonie, Moirin and Bao, and Moirin and Jehanne, and I just don't understand why she so utterly failed to give Pilar and Loup any challenges at all.

Anybody who disliked the main characters was wrong, disliking them for their own reasons that weren't remotely either of their fault, and they generally got over it. Anybody who had a right to be upset with them about anything was very gracious and forgiving. I felt like in Santa Olivia that the characters were very human and flawed, but not so much in this book. We know they HAVE flaws, but none of those flaws matter. Loup not being able to feel fear should be a pretty big flaw that could get her into a lot of trouble. And that would have been interesting! For instance, I would have LOVED to read a book from Pilar's perspective, in which Loup got herself into more trouble than she could handle, and it's up to Pilar to save Loup, without having any super powers at all. But that is not this book. They did everything right. They got along perfectly. Problems arose, and they were all dealt with effortlessly. The one and only real danger to Loup was one that was entirely out of her hands, where she had to sit around and wait for other people to deal with it.

I'm not sure I'm going to bother if there is another book in this series.
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