Omens (Cainsville #1)
by Kelley Armstrong
published by Dutton
genre: Adult, Supernatural, Paranormal, Mystery
Summary: 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: This was a nice change of pace from what I've been reading lately and really enjoyable.
It kind of reminded me of why I enjoy JD Robb's In Death series. Where that is murder mystery mixed with futuristic sci fi, this is more mystery mixed with the supernatural.
That being said, my favorite character was the town of Cainsville itself. While both Olivia and Gabriel had a lot of promise as lead characters in the series they didn't fully grab my interest. I was more taken in by the setting and the story. From the Elders to the gargoyles, the cat and the return of the ravens I just wanted more of the town. We don't really get specifics on the Elders they are just mentioned a few times., but at the end of the book they are the ones I want to keep reading about. I also enjoyed the different omens that Olivia can see, when others can't, that provide clues or guidance for what's about to come.
Trying to force a romance into this story was what knocked this book down for me. Just for one book I would have liked to see the author just let them be friends. It felt forced and I didn't really care for them together (nothing actually happens, it's just strongly hinted and can see more coming in future books). Olivia supposedly was just about to get married and yet by the end of the book (which doesn't cover a long time period) she's already having feeling for Gabriel. All the while protesting that she is not going to be the one to try to change him from the one night stand guy he is. It just didn't work for me, others won't have a problem with it.
Overall, this was very much story driven for me and the ending with The Hunt on the way and killer from this story screaming that he works for the Huntsman had me ready for the second book. I'm also interested in Olivia's dad and finding out who committed all the other murders not just the one solved in this book.