Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saints Astray

Title: Saints Astray
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Series: Santa Olivia, book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2011

Recommendation: For those who enjoyed Santa Olivia.
Rating: 7/10

Summary: Having gotten out of the Outpost, Loup and Pilar give statements to politicians in Mexico and reunite with Loup's cousins. Loup is offered a job as a bodyguard and starts a training program together with Pilar. However, their adventures are just beginning.

Reactions: I reviewed Santa Olivia in 2010 and remember enjoying the first book quite a bit. Looking at my first review, I see that the title for the sequel has changed since (from Santitos at Large), though the old title describes the current book pretty well too.

The book picks up where the previous book left off and continues to follow the adventures of Loup and Pilar after they escape from the Outpost. However, unlike the previous book, I didn't find the current one nearly as engaging. In my mind there were two major annoyances. The first one is the sugary sweet romance between Loup and Pilar. They sex each other non-stop and we get to see it in detail way way way too often. For a relationship that's not changed throughout the book, there was really no reason to tell readers about their sex lives every 5 pages. They love each other, we get it, move on already.

My second annoyance with the book is the relationship Loup and Pilar have with their employers. The president of the company who keeps flying out to meet them and the trainers just didn't strike true with me. They didn't feel like realistic characters and that threw me off at various points in the book. I thought the motivation for hiring Loup is pretty realistic -- who wouldn't want a super-strong, super-fast deceptively small girl as a bodyguard? But their amazing treatment by the company seemed a bit over the top.

Ignoring those two gripes, the book itself was quite entertaining. Loup and Pilar get in a bunch of scrapes. I liked their relationships with the band they are guarding and their missions before the band. There are plenty of funny, touching, and poignant moments and we get to see some of the old crew from Santa Olivia. However, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book and I am not sure if I would pick up the next book in this series (if such were to be written).

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