Omens by Kelley Armstrong
486 pages – Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy
August 20, 2013- Dutton Adult
Source: Louisville Free Public Library
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home.
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.
My Thoughts: I was first introduced to Kelley Armstrong through her Otherworld series, and it was love at first word. I was hooked and I couldn’t wait for the next one. But then I had to wait for books to become published-so my craving had to be satisfied elsewhere. But I returned through her Nadia Stafford series. And then had to wait again. Okay, so I am not a patient person and I get easily distracted –especially around books. Yes, there are a couple more books I need to read in her Otherworld series, and I need to read the last Stafford book. But I don’t want to say goodbye, I love both of those series and I have them right on my shelf so I see them every day. Yes, she has a young adult (actually three) series that I still need to read. But, they are YA and I have not found too many adult series that keeps me coming back like the Otherworld series. Until now.
I wasn’t quite sure what I would think of this new novel. It was something different about it, and Armstrong even acknowledges it in the brief paragraph before you even start the book. Plus, I accidently clicked on a review in my Goodreads mobile app, that warns to not be disappointed but it’s nothing like the Otherworld series. I did a hiccup then, because I love that series. It didn’t matter though, I was soon hooked into the story and not so worried about it being different. Is the same Armstrong style that was in the Otherworld? Nope, not in the sense of paranormal creatures and whatnot. Definitely, in the sense of skill, engagement and storytelling.
Olivia/Eden was not the character that I was expecting. That may because she is much stronger and more rational than I would expect a rich debutante to be. She surprised me in how resilient she was leaving all of her lavish belongings behind. And Gabriel. Oh my my. Read the book and you’ll know what I mean. In the beginning it sounds as if he is a dark character who is using and manipulating Olivia. He is manipulating her, but the reasons show a depth of character and a side of Gabriel that we only get glimpses of.
Cainesville is a very quirky little town. We don’t know everything about it, but it grew on me. I still want to know what the people are and the town’s secret, but I figure that more will be revealed in the second book. This small town is a place where I would love to visit, but it may not be the place I could live forever.
Omens is not your typical Armstrong book, but I only say that to give you a head’s up so you’re not disappointed. If you are prepared for something different, you will definitely enjoy it. The talent, skill and characters that you’ll grow to love are all still there. Armstrong has always been an author that I have highly recommended and this book confirms that she remains a highly recommended author for me.
5 stars *****