Aug 20, 2013

Review--Omens by Kelley Armstrong

#1 New York Times bestselling 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.

I received this book for review by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

I practically jumped for joy when I was asked if I'd like a review copy of Kelley Armstrong's Omens! I mean, really, it's Kelley Armstrong! No asking needed! I was thrilled to see what her new series would be like outside the Otherworld. I wasn't so much scared that I wouldn't like it, but just an eager anticipation to see what else Kelley had cooked up! And I must say I was definitely pleased!!

Omens is a far cry more different than the Otherworld series, but I won't keep talking about that difference so much. I will say that the paranormal isn't as obvious here as it was there. It's subtle and very, very mysterious. I would describe Omens as being a mish-mash of TV shows Lost and The Following with some added subtle paranormal. There are lots of questions and lots of mysteries here in Cainsville and as this is book 1, not all those questions are answered--as you might have heard from my Tweets!

Olivia had the perfect life, until one day she is told she's adopted and that her birth parents are none other than Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers convicted of killing 8 people (4 couples) in what appeared to be ritualistic ways. Olivia goes through a bit of a shock phase, she's the daughter of killers and her life has been forever changed. Her mother practically abandons her, her fiance thinks it's best that she goes away fro awhile and they put their wedding on hold for awhile. 

Soon Olivia finds herself in Cainsville, a small town outside Chicago that no one really knows about because it's so small, but this's pretty weird. And Olivia doesn't even know it yet, at least not fully. She starts to remember some of her childhood, the two years she was with her birth parents before they were arrested. Then she starts to see signs, omens all around her that her mother taught her as a child. And they are proving to be true. 

Olivia winds up teaming with Gabriel Walsh, her parent's former lawyer as he's her best connection to her parents. She meets her mother in jail who asks her to pass her case on to charity organizations to support them and their cause. It ends up turning into a mystery as Olivia and Gabriel look into the last murder of a young couple. That case itself is filled with dark and sinister secrets, and possibly clues to prove her parents' innocence...of this particular case.

Omens is definitely a thrilling read! It was intriguing and deep and all the mysteries and secrets drove me bonkers but in a good way! The people of Cainsville--as there are "interlude" chapters where we get to be in their minds, instead of Olivia's first person point of view--are so strange! They know a lot about what's going on. They hint to other secrets and mysteries that it soon becomes just a tangled web of what the heck?! But again, I stress, in a good way! I wasn't at all confused with what was going on. The story focused on Olivia and Gabriel trying to solve the mystery of the last murder. Which possibly will lead to them looking into the other 3 murder cases as well in the next few books.

But seriously, it kind of drove me bonkers about how much these other people knew about Olivia, it was creepy! That's what made me think of The Following, although not in the sense of other crazies all wanting to follow the crazy murderer around, but just that cult sense!

There's a bit of romantic tension throughout the story. There's no clear answer if romance will be in store for Olivia, having just gotten out of her engagement, but still harboring some feelings for her fiance. There's the obvious choice of Gabriel. And who knows, maybe there will be something between them, but for the moment they have enough troubles trying to work with one another. Both are pretty strong headed and are used to doing things their own way. There was also the possibility of Olivia ending up with a biker gang leader's son, Ricky! Long story there, but Ricky was the hot biker boy who's going for his MBA part time. There were some sparks between them, but he had a pretty minor role in this one, hoping to see more of him though, because I liked him for some reason. He seemed like a fun guy, yet my money is still on Gabriel!

It's impossible to keep this review short-ish, so I'll try wrapping it up now! Omens was a fantabulously amazing read!! I highly recommend it! There are still a lot of unanswered questions in this one, lots of mysteries about Cainsville and its residents, but there's still a nice resolution at the end of the book, but definitely leaves enough unsaid to leave you hanging. The cliffhanger wasn't too terrible, as I have seen worse where I am left screaming why? for the next year. Luckily, this one just leaves you wanting to know more, but still satisfied with the ending.

If you're a fan of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, I recommend giving this one a shot! It's got enough mystery and intrigue going on. The paranormal element may not be strong, but it's still there between the pages! As always, I'll be looking forward to the next Kelley Armstrong book her series!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. Oooh, i've got this book up next on my to-read pile so I'm really pleased to hear that you loved it! Great review :)

  2. I've got my copy just sitting there staring accusingly at me. Why haven't I read it yet? I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations so I've been procrastinating. The more positive reviews I read, the more I want to crack it open.

  3. I like the sound of this one....thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm now going to check this one out!

  4. I've yet to read one of Kelly Armstrong's books and this book looks like a good one start off. Love the sound of it and the cover is amazing too.

  5. I have been thinking of reading this one but haven't had the time.. Great review. It made me want to read it SOON! ;)


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