Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Book and Audio Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong


Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Carine Montbertrand, Mozhan Marno
Series: Cainsville (Book 1)
Publication: Penguin Audio (August 20, 2013); Dutton; 1st edition (August 20, 2013)
Length: 14 hours and 36 minutes; 497 p.

Description: Number-one New York Times best-selling 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 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.

My Thoughts: Kelley Armstrong has created a fascinating new world and peopled it with intriguing characters. Olivia Taylor Jones seems to have the perfect life. She's wealthy, socially prominent, a Yale graduate and engaged to a handsome CEO of a tech firm who has political ambitions. But everything comes crashing down around her when she learns that she is adopted and that her birth parents are convicted serial killers serving consecutive life sentences. When her adoptive mother and fiance abandon her, Olivia is determined to make it on her own and find out the truth about her birth parents - the Larsens.

Searching for the truth (and running from the paparazzi) takes her to Cainsville, Illinois which is a town filled with more intriguing characters and with more than hints of a paranormal presence. Liv herself has always seen omens but now she is starting to trust what she sees. 

She is aided in her search by lawyer Gabriel Walsh who was Pamela Larsen's lawyer for her latest appeal and who has ties to Cainsville too. Gabriel is a fascinating but closed up character. I loved the relationship he and Olivia have. It isn't at all a romance but is a building partnership that goes through all sorts of ups and down through the course of the book. 

I couldn't put this one down as I investigated with Olivia and Gabriel. I loved watching Olivia recover memories of her past and build a new relationship with her birth mother. I loved watching her grow into herself and survive without the trust fund and social insulation. 

Fans of Kelley Armstrong won't be disappointed with this new venture. Like me, they will be very eager for more books exploring these characters and this world. The narrators did a great job with the characters and also with building suspense.

Favorite Quote:
"First you buy me a mocha. Then you let me help you hide a body. Now you take me to a biker clubhouse. Best. Day. Ever."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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