by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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.
Do you ever let a book sit in your TBR pile and then kick yourself when you finally read it? If you are a book buying, one-click addict like me, I am sure you can relate. Omens by Kelley Armstrong was one such book. I bought it around release and finally picked it up for Take Control. I am so glad that I did. I enjoy Armstrong’s books and Omens the first in her Cainsville series combines mystery and subtle paranormal elements. I was completely hooked from the superstitions to the town of Cainsville.
The tale begins in Chicago where we meet Olivia Taylor Jones; daughter of a wealthy Chicago family, educated and engaged to an up and coming CEO with political ambitions. From her volunteer work to plans to further her Ivy League education, Olivia appears to have it all. That is until all hell breaks loose and in one night she discovers she is adopted and the daughter of notorious serial killers.
The events that follow had me completely enthralled as fate draws Olivia to the town of Cainsville with its Gargoyles and strange townsfolk. Olivia is hiding out from the media, and coming to terms with her past. Aided by Gabriel Walsh, her biological mother’s former attorney she begins to investigate their case. All the while strange occurrences and the town’s unique interest in Olivia hold me spellbound. Ravens,fairy circles, black cats…the town itself becomes a character.
Danger, strange omens and unique characters bring this tale to life. I love old superstitions and Armstrong weaved them in from the popular to the obscure. The more Olivia uncovers, the more she finds she has this uncanny sixth sense and I devoured these elements. The characters are unique and likeable even as I found myself unsure if they are friend or foe. While I closed this book with more questions than answers, I know beyond any doubt I will continue. Olivia is strong, confident and surprising levelheaded despite all that is happening.
While this series is quite different from Armstrong’s previous works, I actually preferred it. The mystery element is at the heart of Omens weaving in murder, the supernatural and secrets. The town of Cainsville is absolutely creeptastic. There is a wrongness about it but I cannot quite place my finger on it.
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