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Omens: Cainsville #1 Review


I love Kelley Armstrong. I remember being daunted by the location of her novels in the bookstore (Horror). However, once I picked up her Otherworld series, I couldn’t put them down. Thirteen books later and the series is over. (I miss Clay so, so much.) I was very excited to see that she had a new book coming out, and incredibly excited when I was able to get my hands on an early copy. (Thanks, Random House!)

Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy 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 finds out that she”s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.

The news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, and Olivia thinks the best thing she can do for herself and for them is run away from it all. She ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her decision to uncover the truth about her birth parents. Olivia decides to focus on the Larsens” last crime, the one Pamela Larsen swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel Walsh, Pamela”s former lawyer, start investigating, 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. There are dark secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Olivia and Gabriel work together to try to discover the truth of the Lawson murders. As they unravel various leads, there is a bit of otherworldness in the story, but not enough. In particular, Oliva’s interesting gift to notice and perhaps read omens. I really liked finding out about new superstitions that I’d never heard of. I also enjoyed the aspect of the Cainsville town elders. I loved their interactions with Olivia, and it’ll be fun to see how the relationships develop as the series goes along.

The entire book had a bit of an eerie feel to it, I wasn’t ever truly relaxed while reading it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really like Olivia. I think I was looking for a bit of Savannah (previous series) in her character, but never found it. Gabriel is a bit more interesting, but I don’t exactly love him either. I don’t typically read straight mystery, and that’s what this book felt like. Will I continue reading this series? Probably. By time the next book is published, I’m sure I’ll be starved for a dose of Armstrong. However, I don’t think it’ll capture my heart quite like the Otherworld Series.

Published: Aug 20, 2013 by Random House Canada
ISBN: 9780307360526
Price: $29.95

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