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4.2 out of 5 stars
Omens (Cainsville, Book 1)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pros: interesting premise, fast-paced mystery

Cons: protagonists show little emotion, paranormal elements are light

Twenty-four year old socialite Olivia Taylor-Jones's life is turned upside down when she discovers that not only is she adopted, her birth parents are notorious serial killers. Running to avoid the media and protect her mother and fiancee, Olivia ends up in Cainsville, a small town outside Chicago. While trying to get by on her own she starts investigating the murder case that put her parents behind bars. And her superstition about omens seems to be giving her good guidance lately.

There's a lot going on in this novel. There's Olivia's coming of age, as she's forced from her home and social expectations and allowed to find what she wants out of life. There's the murder mystery, long gone cold with few leads that haven't been followed by others. And there's the town, with it's unique mixture of people, many of whom have some connection to Britain's folkloric past - though Olivia's mostly unaware of this and the reader's only given hints. This book is primarily grounding for the new series. We're introduced to the main players, including the town itself, with its numerous gargoyles and mysterious happenings.

I loved the plot, that this girl discovers she's the kid of serial killers and how she deals with it. And she deals with it remarkably well. Despite the many things she learns, sees and does, she never breaks down. Which is surprising, because she sees and does some horrific things. It was strange not seeing her deal with the grief and shock that would have accompanied some of what she does/encounters. But it certainly set her up as a strong character - much like Ripley from the Alien franchise. Kick-ass and capable, but not always right. In many ways she's well complemented by Gabriel Walsh, the lawyer who offers his aid - for a fee - who also displays little emotion. I liked that the groundwork of a romance between them was set up, but that it's being allowed to develop naturally - assuming that's the direction the author is taking their relationship.

It's a quick, entertaining read and a good set up for what sounds like an interesting series.
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on September 16, 2013
Cainsville is like a missing link between Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld and Nadia Stafford series: There's a bit of supernatural stuff, but generally it's more about crime. Maybe it's because OMENS is the first in a trilogy, but at times it feels like it goes off on tangents. It also seems a bit long - did we really need all those job-seeking and house-hunting scenes? Perhaps they're included to slow the novel's pace, but they don't feel necessary.

There's a spoilery plot element that I absolutely love - and it's not supernatural. You'll know when you get to it. If we're on the same wavelength ;-) But I will say this: Anita Mosley is the most fascinating character. Her story interests me more than Olivia's, to be honest.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to look up the English translations of these Welsh words...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
I love Kelley Armstron's writing so when I saw that she was starting a new series, I grabbed it!
I can't wait for more to come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2013
I have read all of Kelly's books so I am a big fan. I really enjoyed this book and how it sets us up wanting more can't wait for the next book. Nancy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2013
This was fabulous. Loved the new characters, love the town, love the mystery, and the clues! I especially love that it left me hungering for the next book. I saw that another reviewer had called it a great "whodunit mystery". I agree but I also think it is even more than that. A great paranormal romance whodunit mystery! So well done, Kelley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 9, 2013
When the Otherworld series ended, I thought that no follow-up series by Ms. Armstrong could fill its shoes. I may be wrong. Still reserving judgment (as one book does not a series make) but this is an intriguing beginning to what could be a fabulous new series.

The premise: Olivia Taylor-Jones seems to have it all. Her place in the world is set as the heiress to her parents' fortune set to be married to her perfect fiance within the year. Then everything changes. The press gets word that Olivia is in fact adopted and her parents are none other than infamous serial killers "the Larsons".

In this story, the first of what could be a show-stopping new series by Kelley Armstrong, Olivia/Eden moves to Cainsville in order to hide from the press and make a new life for herself. She searches to find herself by finding a job and begins to look into her genetic roots to see what truth lies beneath. Are her parents truly serial killers? All around her are the omens she has been seeing as far back as she remembers. It seems that Olivia has a gift for interpreting Omens...

The magic in this series is more of a tease, very slow, subtle hints of what is to come later on in the series. Just as Olivia is finding herself, so is she learning to trust her instincts when it comes to the Omens she sees everywhere.

Verdict: Definitely worth a read. Great set-up to a new series by Kelley Armstrong. The plot was interesting, and quick paced, the characters definitely grew through the book, and the world is something I really can't wait to read more of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2013
Once again, Armstrong creates an intriguing world that hooks you immediately. Personally, I wish she hadn't mentioned using the net to look up strange terms, as she did in her preface. It would not have occurred to me, but I considered doing just that. Ultimately, I refrained.
I look forward to more from this excellent author.
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on April 7, 2014
It doesn't take long to get into this book and once you do you will find it hard to put down. Never a boring moment and full of the unexpected. Kelly Armstrong at her best, the only bad thing is that I have to wait till the end of the year to read the next in this series of three books.
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on November 19, 2013
I thought it was an adult book when i purchased it and to tell you the truth i was disappointed in it. Actually i've forgotton what it's about. I love Kelley and have ALL of her books. I'm proud she's from my neck of the woods and will keep checking out her books.
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on July 29, 2014
Fans of Ms.Armstrong's Otherworld series will not be disappointed with her new endeavour. Omens grabs you from page one and takes you on a helluva great ride. I loved it and can't wait to dive into Visions.
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