Book: Kelley Armstrong – Omens

Kelley Armstrong was the first author to come under the urban fantasy or paranormal romance (or paranormal something or another) label that I liked enough to actively seek out and buy all their books.

I wandered into the ‘Otherworlds’ series on about book 3 and really liked them – at least up until book 10 (‘Frostbitten’) which didn’t really work for me and things muddled along from there. I bought all the Otherworlds books anyway and am intending to reread them again soon just to see if books 10 to 13 grow on me at all.

 kelley armstrong

My local library started me on her Young Adult series (‘The Darkness Rising’ and ‘The Darkest Powers’) but didn’t encourage me to continue reading, there was nothing wrong with them, I just didn’t feel that challenged or engaged by the characters and their journey.

Detective-style books are something that I am prepared to read when there is nothing better to hand, despite this I did enjoy the first Nadia Stafford book (‘Exit Strategy’) a lot, the second book not so much (‘Made to be broken’).

As I wasn’t too fussed by the end of the Otherworld series and had found other actively-writing authors who I now prefer I didn’t pre-order ‘Omens’ the first book in the Cainville series.

 omens

But after reading a preview sample on Amazon about a month before the release date and seeing the hardback version at less than half the RRP I gave in.

The plot is fairly straightforward, Olivia is a 24 year old only child of a wealthy family, the family have money and she is engaged to a chap with political ambitions. Randomly it is revealed to the world that she is adopted, her real family as well-known serial killers Todd and Pamela Larsen.

Olivia’s old life is now in tatters and she is hounded by the press, so she ends up in a small town (Cainsville) and starts looking into the truth about her real parents.

 gargoyle

(Photo from blogspot)

Cainsville is an old community with hints of a curious past, the residents take an active interest in Olivia and there are hints that Olivia has powers. There are also hints of monsters lurking just out of sight and that there is a far larger story than Olivia knows.

Unfortunately this is also where the book is limited, because it is part of a larger series this book hint and nudges the reader that there is more, that Olivia didn’t end up in Cainsville by accident, that there is a plan or two that involve her in some way. But the book doesn’t commit to what is going on, instead it focuses on Olivia and a sexy lawyer (Gabriel Walsh) investigating the last murder that her parents were convicted of.

Which makes the book a mystery/detective/police work novel with hints of paranormal and tiny little tastes of things that go bump in the night.

hellboy 2 troll glasses

I did like the book, but it reminded me of Hellboy 2 and troll hunting – without the special magic glasses you only see what they want you to see, which is frustrating when you know there is more out there in the next book (that isn’t published yet!).

Fortunately Olivia is pretty likeable as a character and I am intrigued enough to want to know what is coming next, so I guess I will be buying the next book when that comes out in 2014, but I hope that it has more beasties in it!

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