by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
This was my first Kelley Armstrong book and I really loved it. It has such a great mystery!
I have Visions and cannot wait to crack it open
That cover really got to me – I can see why (if it’s anything like the cover) you said the town is like a character in and of itself. I’ve only read one book by Kelley Armstrong, but I’ll have to check this one out too!
Yeah I like the cover too Berls I have book two Visions and cannot wait to start!
Tyler H. Jolley
Oh man, Kim, this blurb really strikes a nerve for me. My daughter is adopted. But the entire premise of the book is very intriguing. I really like the real life premise mixed with the paranormal elements.
Oh I imagine it would. Thanks for all the comments while i was on vacation!
Reading your review made me remember how much I loved this book, I really should read the next book soon as I still haven’t read it. And I love how you mention the Town almost feels like a character, that is a great way to describe it! The supernatural element was lighter then I expected, but I actually enjoyed it that way combined with the mystery. Great review!
I have book two and look forward to diving in!
Blessie (Mischievous Reads)
You had me at superstitions. Absolutely intriguing. You share amazing books that I’ve never heard of, until your great review! 😀
Yay! So glad I am sharing new to you books Blessie!
I’m constantly kicking myself for leaving books in my TBR pile for too long, so know the feeling! Kelley is one of my favorite authors, so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. She’s never disappointed me, and I love the direction this series is taking! Really looking forward to seeing what happens next!
I need to start book two..it is in my tbr pile!
I loved reading books about superstitious and omens, this does sound intriguing – wonderful review overall.
I do too Benish, hope you get to try it!
Nope. I never allow a book to just sit…and then kick myself when I finally get to it and love it. Never. bwahahahahaha Of course, I do that because I’m a fellow addict. 🙂 And I actually have Omens sitting on my shelf. Unread. :/ Of course, now I’m eager to jump into it. Especially if you preferred this to Armstrong’s other work because I LOVE her other work. Great review!
Yes we addicts share similar traits. I haven’t read her Otherworld books, but her YA..of course those are on my wishlist.
I also have this one lingering on my TBR list since forever, and I’m not really sure why I pass it by when I choose a book to read. I will now have to make time to read it and am sure to enjoy it.
It’s different Rita, and I liked the subtle paranormal vibe throughout.
Omens really left you wanting to grab the next one. I thought it had a really different flavor than the other paranormals I was reading. I’m not sure what to think about Gabriel. I want him to be a good guy, a romantic interest, but I feel like he’s hiding an awful lot.
Oh I agree about Gabriel, I have book two and hope to start it soon!
I haven’t read anything by her, so maybe I should start with this one. You have really peaked my interest!
Ooo good I am glad I made you curious!
This has happened to me before- and I always kick myself. Love this over! It sounds like an amazing book. I don’t remember ever hearing of it before. Thanks for sharing!
I like the cover too Jess. thank you 🙂
LOL! Yeah, I’ve done the kicking of myself quite often. I didn’t love this book as much as you but I liked the atmosphere of it.
It came at the perfect time for me, and I loved the vibe. Thanks Mary!
What an interesting premise! I gotta get this book!!
It is, and I love the quirkiness of it all. Thanks for commenting while I was on vacation, it truly meant a lot to me 🙂
I will read anything Kelley Armstrong writes. I just love all of her work. I like that she is expanding her material to include a wide variety of topics. It really keeps things interesting.
LOL, I still need to read her Otherworlds and thought I would try audio..or was there a problem with narrators? Thanks for commenting while I was away it meant a lot 🙂
The narration is hit or miss with the Otherworld series. It changes narrators a lot. I really liked some and didn’t care for others. I think “Bitten” had the worst narration of the bunch that I can remember.
Yep, I will be kicking myself for leaving this in my pile. I have heard great things. Now to find time….
So true Heidi..so true. Thanks for commenting while I was away..you all made me feel loved 🙂
“Do you ever let a book sit in your TBR pile and then kick yourself when you finally read it?” Oh yeah, more than a few times. 😀 I still prefer her WotO books but the Cainsville books are a close second. I am impatiently waiting for book three to release this summer.
I still need to read those Bea..I have only tired her young adult..so they are on my wish. After dipping heavily into UF and Paranormal this felt fresh to me. Thanks for stopping by while I was on vacation..I appreciate it 🙂
Oh intriguing!!! I’m definitely very curious about this one now. I might have to see if it’s available in audio.
This would be awesome with a good narrator Candace. Thanks for popping in while I was away..ya all are so nice 🙂
Oh yes, I’m guilty of one-clicking and leaving a good book sit. I like the idea of a paranormal and mystery blend in this one.
I like the blend too Sophia..I do this with preorders too! LOL Thanks for all the love you gave my blog while I was away..you made my week!
The blurb is really appealling and your review stood to attention, adding it to my list ! And it’s still early in the series – easy to catch up on, big bonus !
Yes…no worries on catching up. Thank you for all of the lovely comments while I was away..you simply rock my world 🙂
Well, as far as recommendations go, you nailed it with this one, dear friend 🙂 What an intriguing premise! I cannot wait to delve into this one 🙂 Another beautiful review – a pleasure to read.
Enjoy Ramona..I certainly did. I want to thank you for stopping by so often when I was on vacation, I really appreciate the support!
I rack up books like there’s no tomorrow. I know there are gems hidden in my TBR. What a find this is, Kim! Thanks for sharing.
LOL, that is why I host Take Control..in hopes of uncovering some of them Grace! Thank you for stopping by while I was away, it meant a lot 🙂
*snorts* tell me about it. Finally met Kate Daniels after her series sitting on my TBR for 3 years.
I love Armstrong’s writing. Speaking of, I cant wait for the next season of Bitten.
Right..I consumed those books on audio in November and December..love that series. I am liking how different this series is. Thanks for stopping in and commenting while I was away..it truly meant a lot to me 🙂
I can so relate to this! I am so happy this was a great read for you, yay for those overlooke reads that take us by surprise!
Hello #1 commentor..thank you so much for all of the comments while I was on vacation.
I haven’t read this author yet, but the cover and the blurb drew me in…and I like how you described events. I don’t read a lot of paranormal books, but when they are cloaked in family mysteries and dark secrets, I’m in. Thanks for sharing.
This is subtle so I think it is a good crossover book..nothing to crazy Laurel. Thanks so much for commenting while I was away..it meant a lot to me 🙂
I have been wanting to read this one, it sounds really good. I am really bad about buying things with one click and then forgetting about them! 🙂
Ha…me too but the worst is the books I pre-order and let sit! Thanks for all of your lovely comments while I was on vacation, it meant a lot to me 🙂
I got a signed copy before its release (at a signing), but I waited for the audio…LOL
I enjoyed too, but I think I’d enjoy it more now, back then I expected it be more like her previous work and I wanted more of that. Now I have a different appreciation for stories like this.
Great review 🙂
This would be awesome on audio with the right narrator. I really enjoyed it and have book two. Thanks for the love while I was on vacation Loupe!
Oh Kim I love your first line and it’s me exactly too! LOL
I want this one
hehe…book addicts we are more alike then we think! Thanks for commenting and sharing my posts while I was on vacation..you are a doll!
Oh yes, I know the feeling of wanting to kick yourself for not picking something up sooner well Kim! Happens to me all the time because I get so nervous to try books that have a lot of hype, or books like this that are new series starts by favorite authors. So glad this worked well for you, even if you did have more questions than answers in the end:)
I am anxious to begin book two Jenny. Thanks for commenting while I was away..you rock!
The daughter of serial killers? Talk about a shocking revelation! I haven’t read anything by Kelly Armstrong yet, but I’ve heard nothing but great things. This sounds pretty amazing and I think I’ll have to look more into it.
Wonderful review, Kim!
I think you would like this Nick from the characters to the town. Thanks for all of the awesome comments you left while I was away..I appreciate it 🙂
Kelly Armstrong is an author I’ve been wanting to read but I’ve never been quite sure which one to start with. I like that this isn’t quite as paranormal as some of her others. I’ll definitely have to look for this one!
This is different and the paranormal aspects are shuttle, think more like Hitchcock. Thanks for all of your lovely comments while I was away.
I got this at release too and waited to read it, and now it’s one of my favourite series by her! I loved it, and the second book was even better! I’m going to be pre-ordering the third soon. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! 😀
Ha..I am so glad it wasn’t just me Kelsey. Thanks for commenting while I was on vacation 🙂
I’ve just read a couple of Armstrong’s books, I didn’t know about this one but it sounds quite good. As for the ‘Do you ever let a book sit in your TBR pile and then kick yourself when you finally read it?‘, I think if we’re completely honest we have to admit that we all have that moment once in a while…
So true…spoken like a true book addict Silvia. Thanks for commenting while I was away!
I wonder if I would prefer this one or other ones, hm
Hmm, I hope you try it Linda. Thanks for all the love while I was on vacation!
Oh yes my friend gave it to me for Christmas and I confess that I was really surprised by the book because I really loved it and now I’m so impatient to read book 2 and 3! So intriguing! Great review!
I have two and look forward to devouring it. Thanks for all your comments while I was on vacation Melliane, it meant a lot to me 🙂