cover image Santa Olivia

Santa Olivia

Jacqueline Carey. Grand Central, $13.99 (341pp) ISBN 978-0-446-19817-2

Departing from epic fantasy (Kushiel’s Dart , etc.), Carey sets this powerful near-future tale in Outpost 12, a small town trapped in a “buffer zone” shielding Texas from pandemic-stricken Mexico. Two half-siblings chafing under General Argyle’s military rule make very different plans to beat the status quo. Tom, the son of a soldier, lives at the gym, where he trains in boxing and hopes to win his freedom from the town by defeating the general’s boxing champion. Loup, who has inherited her escaped father’s oddly engineered genes, joins a group of church wards called the Santitos, a tight gang of vigilantes who masquerade as the local saint, Santa Olivia. Carey’s fans will enjoy meeting another strong, fearless heroine with special powers, while new readers will appreciate the tight focus that intensifies the depth of character and emotion. (June)