Saints Astray (Jacqueline Carey)

Saints Astray is the second (and last) novel in the Santa Olivia series by Jacqueline Carey.
Finished on: 24.4.2021
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Content Note: rape culture, misogyny

Plot:
Loup and Pilar made it out of Outpost 12, aka Santa Olivia – but what are a genetically modified girl and her girlfriend supposed to do when they legally don’t exist at all? Well, in Loup’s case, she quickly has a job offer: to work for an international security firm as the world’s first GMO bodyguard. She agrees, but only if Pilar gets to come, too. Meanwhile, Loup’s old friend Miguel Garza also made it out of Outpost 12 and has promised to testify in front of the senate to shed light on the outposts as well as the GMOs. But nothing is ever as easy as that, is it?

I was so excited about Santa Olivia – I didn’t know what to expect and was wonderfully surprised by what the book delivered. With Saints Astray, unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. I was expecting so much more, but this is very much a disappointment.

The book cover showing two shadowed women against a red background. One is holding a gun.
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Santa Olivia (Jacqueline Carey)

Santa Olivia is the first novel in the Santa Olivia series by Jacqueline Carey.
Finished on: 5.12.2020

Plot:
Santa Olivia is a small town caught in the no man’s land between the USAmerican and the Mexican border wall. Officially, neither the town, nor its people exist – there is just the USAmerican military base next to it. And yet, here they are. Among the people in Santa Olivia is Loup, daughter of an escaped enhanced human out of a military project and one of the poor women of Santa Olivia who fell in love with the fugitive. But her father had to move on and her mother died, so Loup only has her bigger half-brother Tom to take care of her. Growing up in an orphanage, careful not to show the superstrength and -speed that she inherited from her father, Loup soon finds that the town may be in need of a hero. Only, what can a single hero really do?

I remember grabbing Santa Olivia a few years ago from a bargain bin somewhere and having finally read it, I am very glad I did. It is an interesting take on superheros, set in a highly political world and has a queer protagonist. It’s basically everything I could have hoped for.

The book cover showing a woman in a long blue blowing coat, her face in shadows.
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Catwoman: Soulstealer (Sarah J. Maas)

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas is the third of the DC Icons novels.
Finished on: 4.10.2019
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the loose series.]

Plot:
Selina Kyle does her best to take care of her sister Maggie who has cystic fibrosis. To cover her medical expenses, Selina fights for mob boss Carmine Falcone. Despite her best efforts, though, Maggie is taken by Child Protection Services and Selina finds herself with Talia of the League of Assassins who offers her a chance to expunge her criminal record – if she works for them. When Selina accepts, it puts her right in the middle of the city’s rich people – and into the sights of Batwing.

Catwoman: Soulstealer is my favorite of the DC Icons novels so far. It’s cute and fun, and even though the ending didn’t quite work for me, I was overall happy with it.

The book cover showing a young woman wearing cat ears behind a safe door with a cat logo on it.
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Batman: Nightwalker (Marie Lu)

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu is the second of the DC Icons novels.
Finished on: 2.5.2019
[Here’s my review of the first novel in the loose series.]

Plot:
The Nightwalkers are hunting the rich people of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is about to be one of them – as soon as he turns 18, he will inherit his family’s fortune. But first, he has to do some community service in Arkham Asylum prison. As he scrubs the floors there, he meets Madeleine, one of the Nightwalkers who will talk to nobody but Bruce. But what really is the reason for Madeleine’s apparent confidence in Bruce? Bruce will have to figure out what to do with her and her interest in him – and that’s not all he has to figure out.

Batman: Nightwalker didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t completely bad, but it didn’t dig into Batman as a character as I would have liked. It’s okay to read, but it doesn’t really have staying power.

The book cover showing a young man with dark hair in a narrow street, in front of him the Batman symbol.
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