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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting set-up for a new series
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...
Published 11 months ago by Jessica Strider

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars but fun.
Light, but fun.
Published 23 days ago by spider queen


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting set-up for a new series, Aug. 22 2013
By 
Jessica Strider (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Omens (Cainsville, Book 1) (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new series!, Oct. 13 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it., Oct. 9 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!!!!!, Sept. 20 2013
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginning to a New Series, Sept. 9 2013
By 
A. Soares - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Different and intriguing, Aug. 27 2013
By 
K. Young "BA" (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced investigation with a mild fantastic flavour, July 10 2014
Omens and I had a bad start: I was rolling my eyes right from the second chapter when we meet Olivia, her wealthy family, her imminent wedding with an handsome gentleman, and her being bored at doing charity work instead of pursuing a career. However, she soon tumbles down the social ladder after discovering that she was adopted and that her biological parents are horrendous serial killers. Her (foster) mother flees to Europe after throwing some cash at her face and her fiancé “postpones” their wedding. She loses everything, runs away from an army of journalists and finally rents a dirty apartment in a remote cloistered village full of gargoyles called Cainville, working as a waitress to make both ends meet. Much, much better. Omens seems to be about Olivia trying to discover who everybody is for real. Herself, for a start? How much did she get from her biological parents? Are her genes the reason why she didn’t quite fit in her previous life? Whose daughter is she? Could she be a psychopath herself?

“I needed to make choices for me, whoever I was. I’d say I needed to find myself, if it didn’t sound like I was heading into the Himalayas, taking only a backpack stuffed with angst and clean underwear.”

What about her parents, the Larsens, who were convicted for eight ritual murders although they have always claimed to be innocent. Could they be? And Gabriel, Mrs Larsen’s last lawyer: at first sight, he’s just a brute sniffing money. Working with him, Olivia suspects he is hiding something. And finally, what’s up with Cainsville inhabitants? These old people look a tad over-superstitious really! I really love Omens for showing repeatedly that there’s always more than meets the eye. There is also a nice theme about who controls your life. Olivia is trying hard to become herself, whoever that is, but it feels like multiple forces are trying to control her: her genes, her long forgotten education with her biological parents, then with her foster parents, social and media pressure. She doesn’t know what genuinely defines her, what made her who she is, and how much other people shaped her.

“It wasn’t just what I’d done that bothered me. It was how easily I’d done it. There’d been no hesitation. I’d reacted on instinct. And where did that instinct come from? That was the real question, wasn’t it?”

In the end, Omens turns out to be mostly a crime-story with Olivia investigating the last couple of murders attributed to the Larsens. That’s where Omens disappointed me a bit. Random House puts it into the Fantasy genre, as well as GoodReads, but I found the fantasy elements very weak, if not completely anecdotal. There is definitely something spooky about Cainsville and the book does talk about neo-paganism, neo-druidry and witchcraft. Olivia might have some supernatural skill too, it’s not too clear (she might also be a nutcase). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next book in the Cainsville series is much more into the fantastic because Omens really paved the road to a full-blown fantasy sequel. Overall, I loved Omens. It’s a fast-paced thriller with really likeable characters and a catching plot. It’s a bit weak on the fantasy side but the crime story and Cainsville’s universe are really worth it. It’s a perfect read to relax during the summer!
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3.0 out of 5 stars but fun., July 1 2014
By 
spider queen "spider queen" (Northern Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Light, but fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, June 16 2014
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Beverly Post-schmeler "Writerscramp" (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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A real page turner I found it difficult to put down until I finished. I have pre-ordered Visions, the next in the series.
Must have for all Kelley Armstrong fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Once you Start you will Never be able to Put this Book Down., April 7 2014
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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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Omens (Cainsville, Book 1)
Omens (Cainsville, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong (Hardcover - Aug. 20 2013)
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