Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review - Omens: A Cainsville Novel, by Kelley Armstrong

Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

I was reaching to give the cat a reassuring pat when the girl screamed. The old woman gasped, and I turned as the raven swooped straight at me. My hands shot up. I saw two black blurs - the bird dropping and the cat leaping for it. The cat managed to claw the raven, but as it fell back to the ground, the bird swooped down and grabbed the cat in its talons. The cat's scream joined the child's. I ran and kicked the bird as hard as I could.

It dropped the cat, which started to run, but the bird flew after it. I went after the bird. It was huge, twice the size of the cat. When it dropped low enough, I kicked it again. The old woman shouted, and a rain of stone hit the bird.

It croaked and turned on me. I stood my ground. When it spread its black wings, I got ready to kick it yet again, but the old woman was at my side now. She pitched another handful of pebbles at the bird, shouting, "Go away!"

The bird stopped and eye us both. Then with a croak, it spread its wings. As it launched into flight, it listed to one side.

Omens is the 1st book in Kelley Armstrong's A Cainsville Novel Series. This is not your generic mystery or suspense series, but contains supernatural and paranormal elements. Armstrong brings up important topics in the novel including adoption and how people view adopted children vs. natural born children in relation to their parents, wealthy people and elite social circles,and stereotypes of lawyers. The lead character Olivia Taylor Jones is at the center of something much deeper, as the book reveals in each chapter.

Official Synopsis:
Omens book review, Kelley ArmstrongTwenty-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 fiancĂ©, 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 ...

This was my first time reading a novel by Kelley Armstrong and I was hooked by the second chapter. I read the entire book in an afternoon and only stopped to refill my cup and to feed my children. The best part is watching Olivia's character grow and see her step out of her shell and take control of her life. I don't want to give away any more that that because that is the joy in reading a book. The second book in this series (Visions) which comes out in August 2014, so now is a good time to read Omens.

4.5 out of 5 Stars.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Gwendolyn Mulholland is a stay-at-home mom who loves to read, but struggles to find enough hours in the day to do so. Although her Kindle gets a lot of use, she still prefers the touch and smell of a book in her hands. She writes for Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life and Vacation Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of this author but I am going online to my local library's website and see if I can check it out. I love mysteries, the supernatural, but what really convinced me to search out this book was the adoption premise and who Olivia's birth parents are. I love the criminal element. I usually read a lot of true crime books; "Omens" sounds too good to pass up.


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