A fantasy novel set in the near future and featuring a young woman with special genetically engineered wolf-like powers.
Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon, engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.
After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town.
Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.
Jacqueline Carey has created a postmodern fable of enormous scope and force. Santa Olivia is a cautionary tale of people caught in a web of lies and creeping terror and a love song to the beauty and power of being different. At the novel's heart the the kind of grace Carey is known for: an illumination of the strength that lies hidden inside all of us - - Eric Van Lustbader 'Santa Olivia is a terrific book that is both a romantic romp - and a deep piece of literature that left me breathless and cheeri