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Omens: Number 1 in series (Cainsville) Kindle Edition
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As a big fan of urban fantasy was I curious to see how this series would turn out. Luckily the first book is really good and it was great to get the backstory for the characters in Lost Souls.
Olivia has it all, that's until it's revealed that she was adopted as a child and that her real parents are serial killers. Now, her mother can't stand her, her fiance is (or mostly his mother) hesitant about marrying her and the press is after her. She needs a job and somewhere safe to go. And, through weird events does she learn of a town called Cainsville...
Omens is a great book. I love the mix of paranormal and crime and Olvia is a very likable character. Cainsville intrigues me, you can really feel that the town is hiding things. That it looks normal on the surface, but underneath ... well, there is definitely something weird with the town and the ones living there. Then, there is Gabriel. Olivia doesn't know what she will make of him, he used to be her real mother's lawyer, but now there is bad blood between them. Now he wants to help her, well for a price of course.
Omens is just the kind of book I love to read. I love weird little towns in the middle of nowhere and Cainsville is just the kind of town that I just know have a lot of secrets. The first book managed very well to introduce the characters. I'm curious to learn more about Olivia, her parents, Gabriel etc. If you like urban fantasy will you love this book!
Feeling abandoned and alone, Olivia decides to go away for a while - but it is harder than she imagines to get a job and provide for herself. However, strange occurrences lead Olivia to move to the small town of Cainsville, where she finds both an apartment and a job in a diner. Cainsville is a strange little place, full of superstitions and quirky characters. As Olivia is more than a little superstitious herself, she is sceptical, but also feels hidden and safer in this small - and welcoming - community. Olivia's birth parents were sentenced for the murder of four couples and she is unable to remember more than glimpses of her past. She is not in Cainsville long when she seems to see various omens and sense things that she cannot explain. She begins to investigate her parents and is soon approached by Gabriel Walsh, the attorney who represented her birth mother. The two team up and begin to investigate the crimes together in an uneasy alliance, to see whether Pamela Larsen's claim that she, and her husband, were framed for the crimes is the truth.
This novel has plus and minus points. I have never read anything by this author before and, to be fair, doubt I would have picked this up unless it had been chosen by my book club as our monthly choice. I found the crime story confused by the `all too cute' Stepford like town of Cainsville; where the elderly residents are treated with special respect, Gabriel's aunt is the resident psychic and hidden gargoyles abound. Olivia seemed too sensible to be counting ravens and indulging in endless superstitions, although obviously there were links between her feelings and her birth mother. Also, it seemed really unlikely that her adoptive mother, who had obviously gone to some lengths to adopt her, would have abandoned her so quickly. On the plus side, I generally liked Olivia and the character of Gabriel Walsh. The two embark on an investigation to see whether they can clear the names of the Larsen's and I thought Gabriel's desire for control and monetary gain brought more realism to the plot (although he had far more scruples than I would have liked!). It was an easy read and, possibly, the entire trilogy needs to be read before the storyline becomes clear.
Eden/Olivia and Gabriel are developing into well rounded if slightly flawed people who I like for the most part. Although I'm a little unsure of some of there less than ethical behaviour. One event in particular I didn't agree with. Yet at the same time these flaws mark them as human. The other characters are slowly developing also but I have yet to form opinions on them.
I can't yet work out much of what's happening in Cainsville but I have strong suspicions about other areas, particularly the medical records. Suspicions that I can't elaborate on without spoilers. I am fairly certain of what is happening and unfortunately not particularly pleased with the direction it appears to be heading. I hope I'm proved wrong though.
So far I've liked what I have read and can recommend this series. Although I much prefer the 'Women of the Otherworld' series though and would suggest that if you haven't read Kelley Armstrong before then you should start there.
I've read most of Kelley Armstrong's stuff but I was pleased to high heaven that this book escaped the UF/PNR labels that she usually goes for. I knew I would get a decent storyline and characters, but I thought they would be overwhelmed by the romance. Instead, I got a thriller with a foundation of paranormal and a hint of romance. For me, the perfect blend to while away the hours and just enjoy myself. It's easy to read, has tantalising hints of deeper mysteries, snappy interaction, interesting people, a cat, gargoyles, ravens, action, death, and an all American diner. Colour me happy.
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