Hello beautiful people! No matter how great a book is lately, I just can’t seem to get the drive to read! The reading slump is BAD, my friends. The solution? Re-read a favourite! I ADORE Kelley Armstrong … she’s on my top 10 of people I’d love to meet. The Cainsville series is the PERFECT pick for the fall season, full of mysteries and the supernatural. The writing’s so detailed and enticing, I find myself grasping at the pages in the desperate need to know more … and this is my SECOND TIME READING THIS! Hopefully, this fits your cup of tea too.
Series: Cainsville, Book One
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published on August 20th 2013 by Random House Canada
Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Synopsis: 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 fiancé, 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.
ONE. The NUMBER ONE thing I love about this book is Armstrong’s authenticity to folklore. Though we aren’t exposed to TOO much supernatural beings in book one, there are certain hints that unveil what’s to come and there are references to myths and fables. When searching those, readers discover how much research Armstrong has done to provide accurate details on these concepts and beings.
TWO . That leads me to another amazing thing about Omens … there are Easter Eggs! That’s right! At the beginning of the novel, Armstrong tells readers how they can try to unlock the mysteries of the Cainsville citizens and the plot. How? Armstrong places words from Celtic folklore origins in the story…but in the original tongue, not translated. So not only is this a mystery novel for Olivia, but readers can try their hand at solving what lies in Cainsville and what’s to come in Olivia’s future.
THREE. The characters in Omens are absolutely fantastic, full of unique traits and oddities about them — they’re honestly the best part of the novel. Olivia and Gabriel, the two main characters, have such drastic differences about them — one more dark and moody while the other more curious and headstrong — but the duo work so well together. But the characters that REALLY interest me are the citizens of Cainsville. They’re so quirky and odd, full of secrets that we are eagerly waiting to discover!
Something that I really love about Armstrong is her descriptions of characters, especially potential love interests. Armstrong uses characters’ personalities to describe them, making them more memorable. Of course she details some physical traits, but that’s more the after thought and not as nauseating. I really love how she depicts men in the book … rather than just talking about how SEXY they are, she builds upon their personality to unveil who they are.
FOUR. The mystery with a GLIMPSE into the supernatural really sold this for me! To be frank, the supernatural elements are very subtle in this book, leading the reader to believe more will come in the upcoming books. But I preferred it this way, allowing Olivia to slowly become awakened to the concept of the supernatural and learning that her parents may not be as guilty as they seem. The mystery also worked so well … I felt as though I learned new information about the case EXACTLY when I was supposed to.
Armstrong’s Omens is a beautiful blend of mystery, thriller, romance and supernatural; other than the mystery portion, the other themes don’t tend to overpower the other. Even though mystery seems to be at the forefront, it makes sense for Olivia’s story. The small town full of mysteries vibe excites me, making me eager to uncover all of the secrets hidden among the inhabitants of the town. And the pacing just felt right … I rarely felt as though Armstrong was overly detailed or not detailed enough throughout the novel.
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: suspenseful moments; mysterious small towns; supernatural elements; strong female protagonist; well rounded characters.
If you love mysteries and urban fantasy, I HIGHLY recommend Armstrong’s Cainsville series … or may of her other released series available! Have you read Armstrong’s Omens? Have you read this series or any of her other books? What are your thoughts?