Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Rituals by Kelley Armstrong

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: The Cainsville Series
Publication: Random House Canada (August 15, 2017)

Description: When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn't resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents' crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series' fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel's drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.

My Thoughts: This is the final volume of the Cainsville books and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. Gabriel's mother makes a surprising reappearance. After years of abusing him, she abandoned him when he was fifteen leaving him to survive on the street. Gabriel is a success but it has come at great cost. It is only recently the Liv discovered photos showing that Gabriel's mother died of an overdose soon after she abandoned him. Turns out that Seanna faked her own death and ran from trouble.

Liv has some mother-issues too. Her parents are convicted serial killers. She was adopted and her new family had a loving father and a distant mother. Now that her adoptive father is dead, she doesn't have much of a relationship with her adoptive mother. Gabriel was her parents' lawyer which is how they met. After growing up as a trust fund baby, Liv now works for him as an investigator. They are investigating the murders her parents supposedly committed. Liv would love to get her father out of prison because she is convinced that it was her mother who was the murderer. But her father remains loyal to her mother and isn't quite as innocent as Liv believes.

Learning more about the crimes is where the magic comes into this story. Liv, Gabriel and Liv's ex-boyfriend Ricky are the latest iterations of an ancient trio who control the fates of the fae. Gabriel and Ricky represent the two main kinds of fae with Liv supposed to choose which of them to love. And by choosing, strengthening that sort of fae. Throughout these stories Liv has been told that she has to choose and both groups are courting her.

It is in this story that Liv, Gabriel and Ricky learn that there is a third sort of fae who has been manipulating them all from before they were born. The sluagh manipulated events that caused Gabriel's birth and Liv's parents' crime spree. Unlike the other two groups of fae, they are threatening Liv rather than trying to court her. This manipulation makes Liv, who is already stubborn, even more determined to chart her own path. All three agree that they need to stand together to set their own future instead of repeating the errors of the past.

The story was filled with action and adventure. I liked the romance between Gabriel and Liv. I also like the touches of humor supplied by the dryads and also liked how they became heroes too. This was a very enjoyable series with a fascinating story and engaging characters.

Favorite Quote:
He turned a baleful stare on me, as if he understood. I'm convinced TC isn't just a cat, no more than Lloergan is just a dog. Maybe someday, when I'm moments from perishing at the hands of an intruder, TC will save me in a sudden and awe-inspiring display of supernatural power. Or maybe he'll decide I haven't given him enough tuna that week and leave me to my fate. He's a cat, so I figure my chances are about fifty-fifty.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I just read this last week and actually titled my review "A Satisfying Conclusion." I really loved Gabriel and like you, thought the dryads were an awesome addition. I also fell in love with Lloergan.


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