Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Release Day Review: Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Release Date: August 20, 2013
Published by: Dutton Adult
Source: Provided by publisher
Author Links: Site | Twitter | Facebook

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

A solid introduction to a new series by the talented Kelley Armstrong.

Unlike this author's previous stories, Omens is surprisingly subtle in the paranormal department. It focuses more on the mystery of solving a crime of ritualistic murders and takes place in a small town where there are hints at a supernatural element, but they're not explored in depth. Also, the protagonist, Olivia, has the ability to read omens but they appear at infrequent times. It's scattered throughout the story and there are still plenty of questions regarding these abilities. But the small hints at something "other" were a part of what I enjoyed about this novel. It's a refreshing break from all of the stories I read that are heavy on the paranormal side.

I really enjoyed Olivia's character with her strong personality and interesting background. She has always lived a life of privilege with two successful, wealthy parents. But once it's discovered that she's really the daughter of notorious serial killers, she runs from her comfortable life of luxury and finds herself investigating the gruesome crimes committed by her biological parents.

She has difficulty running from the media frenzy that occurs as a result and it damages her relationship with her fiancee. She slowly begins to make a new life for herself in the small town of Cainsville. This is where she meets Gabriel. He's a cold, calculating lawyer who has had previous dealings with her birth mother. He was a character who had to grow on me, but that became part of his appeal. Even after 400+ pages, he was still difficult to figure out and I hope that we learn a lot more about him in the sequel.

I really admire Armstrong for taking a chance and venturing into new territory. I trust that the world, the characters, and the mystery will only get more exciting from here. To my fellow UF junkies who are looking for a break from vampires, werewolves, and witches, I would suggest giving Omens a try.


books4me said...

This does sound so different from Kelley's other writings but it sounds really, really good! Thanks for the heads up on this new series!


Stephanie Fredrick said...

I'm really curious about this series. I loved the Otherworld novels and her writing. After your review ill definitely have to add to my TBR pile. Interesting concept with the Omens.

Rhonda D said...

Kelley Armstrong is amazing and this book sounds like another hit! I can't wait to read it. Seems like I will be on the edge of my seat.

Talk Supe said...

I saw this at Awesomesauce the other day and I am most intrigued by this novel. I like a good mystery even with light para elements. I hope our library gets a copy of this.


BookLady said...

The Omen sounds like an exciting new beginning to another great series by Kelley Armstrong. Have added it to my wishlist.

Clever Girl said...

Sounds very interesting, I love a good mystery.

Glam009 said...

sound good on my TBR list thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...


Mary Preston said...

I'd be as shocked as Olivia - what news!! Kelley Armstrong never disappoints.

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