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 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.
©2013 Kelley Armstrong (P)2013 Penguin Audio
So many books to read, so short times... what a great thing, I can do both, do my chores and listen to my books :)
I listen to a lot of audio books since I cannot read as much any more as I used to and I love reading and am stuck at home a lot. After a while its getting frustrating to find a book that is not only acceptable in its language for me but also in its rating.
I did not have any issues here with "Omens". Its wonderful narrated by Carine and Mozhan and with the changes in the narration very easy to follow and interesting enough, to not get to monotone.
The story itself had me in its grip right after the start - as much so, that I found myself just listening and not being able to do anything else, since it would distract me :).
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
Carine Montbertrand narrated the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. She was better here than in that work, but even in Uglies her skill as a narrator made up for the kind of weak, gravelly voices she does, and her own odd voice. I think she did well here. I also like having a separate narrator to read all the perspectives of the peripheral characters. That makes the change in perspective more defined.
This book could have been really good. It reminded me of American Elsewhere, at first, though much less skillfully written. Then i realized that it's one of those that keeps you listening by repeatedly introducing many weird details that make you want to know what is going on, (like LOST), without ever really explaining any of it. The book then continues only hinting at what's going on with the main plot while leading you through a story full of implausible, cliche, unrelated and incomplete ideas that come out of left field. Thing is, I actually liked LOST.
Omens begins as a mystery revolving around a very strange town and a central family mystery which both beg to be discovered, then in the last two hours of the nine hour story, it completely derails and turns into a mystery based only on a far fetched government conspiracy which has almost nothing to do with the original direction of things.
In the end you're left none the wiser about the town and characters, with a totally undeveloped but obviously budding romance between the female protagonist and a beautiful but disrespectful a***ole who's really only like that because he's wounded and needs to be loved (as usual), and what else? A climax based on a distant and random subplot that was only developed for less than a fourth of the book, and right at the very end? Is it going to be like this through the whole series? It's a good thing to have subplots, I get that, but this book is like... Have you even decided on your plot yet, author?
So frustrating. If this constant, heavy-handed hinting with no payoff is how you get people to buy the next book in your series, then I'm out. That's just stingy and hack.
This review is being written after reading book 1 and 2 of this series
Let me start by saying at this point in my life I love fantasy. I have read Rachel Morgan, Mercy Thompson, Jane Yellowrock, Kate Daniels, and so many more. In my twenties I was an avid murder mystery psycho killer book lover. This series takes the murder mystery psycho books I loved and sprinkles in the fantasy. I think in some ways it would be good for someone just entering fantasy because the "magic" (so I do not give the plot away) elements are more for the series arc and the murder mystery is for the book arc. So the main story is about the murder mystery side with the super natural giving a helping hand. In book 2 the "magic" is added in even more and you really start to learn about Cainsville. I liked the "magic" it is older and not the same vampire/werewolf that has become very popular.
I like Olivia. Through both books she has been strong, opinionated, caring, and enjoyable to be on this ride with. She is not the typical butt kicker that can kill you five ways with a tooth pick, but is capable of taking care of herself. She has her own moral compass, and for the most part made her own decisions about right and wrong. Gabriel is interesting to see come alive and adapt in these two books. Somewhere in the books Rose calls him a stray cat and I think that is a spot on description of him.
The narrator does a really good job with the voices and making the book come alive. You are probably wondering what the 3 stars are for then. (I think someone else noted this in their review too) At the beginning of every chapter she does this weird voice and it can be jarring. I hope you will deal with this oddity and listen any ways because it is a really good series so far.
Last note I listen at work a lot so I always like to be prepared for how much sex is going to be in a book. Book 1 there was one scene not to graphic. Book 2 had more. For the most part those scenes were a lead in to the act and then the after. Was not too embarrassing to hear at work
I think the most enjoyable aspect of this story was how unpredictable it was. There were so many twists and turns, and Olivia, the heroine surprised me often. She didn't do the obvious and she was smart about a lot of things. This was nothing like the author's other books, and it really shows just how capable Ms. Armstrong is of weaving a story that feels so completely real and un-formulaic.
Definitely! I work nights and I was actually scared of walking from my car to my back-door in the middle of the night. There was this mood to the story--a feeling of dread--especially with the possibility of Olivia's parents being serial killers. It doesn't help that crows were constantly watching the heroine and I have a whole slew of them that like to hang out in my backyard.
My favorite scene is when Olivia meets Gabriel and he steals the scone and gives it to her landlady. It showed his character perfectly--how he's willing to do what it takes to get the upper hand.
Yes. I pretty much did just that.
Omens is not a typical urban fantasy. It only hints at the supernatural and has more of a thriller/suspense feel to it. It also only hints at a possible romance, making the anticipation just as fun, if not more so. This book's pace worked for me and I liked how the story was subtle in some areas, and in your face with others. A very interesting idea to use superstitions and the reading of omens as a magical gift.
Omens totally hit the spot for me.
The first narrator was great, but the second narrator was unbearable. I had to stop listening and return the book.
The supernatural aspects of this book aren't heavily emphasized, but they are present. The story is strong enough to stand on its own, which is a nice change. So many authors rely on paranormal elements as a crutch to less than exacting story or character development, but Armstrong delivers a solid story with likeable main characters here.
There isn't a ton of romance in this book, but the door is wide open for a really satisfying story here. Anticipation is the best part!
A lover of the printed and spoken word.
Hmmm...not in the top 10 (I have a VERY robust collection on Audible). Not that NOT being in my top 10 is bad, I am just quite familiar with the author and I am aware that this is a set up book. While this book is well written, has wonderful character development and keeps moving there were things you could have kind of taken a guess and figured out.
Hmmm...honestly this is the first time I've tried this type of book. I've read all of Kelley Armstrong's other books and has bits and bobs of many of her other characters and at times I was thinking is this YA book?
The narrators were ok. I'm honestly not use to 2 different narrators and it does take a bit of getting use to. At times the "flow" of conversations were not fluid and that caught me off guard when I was lost in imaging what was taking place.
I have the hardback and if I didn't have a 14 month old I probably would have read it in one sitting. The narration (and cranky baby) kept me from being able to do so.
I played "Cainesville Files" before the book came out and I'll be honest and say that if I didn't have the knowledge gained from playing going into the book I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the story as much. This is not a plug for the game, it is just that I would possibly not have become as invested in the main character if I didn't play.
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
Of course. Omens was fast paced, moved smoothly and kept me interested. I enjoyed the characters, and the story line. I will definitely listen to the next.
Wait for the 2nd book.
Attention grabbing, a lot of action, mystery, questions.
Yes, because it grabbed your attention and drags you into the characters. It is a situation inside of a mystery that leads into a bigger story. The story ends perfectly with just enough questions to make you look forward to the next book in the series, the Cainville Series or Chronicles would be a good name. A mystery that makes you question motives, intentions with revelations that ask more questions, but not in an irritating way, in a "I can't wait to hear this story" kind of way. Highly recommend anyone who likes book series and dealing with old unknown and forgotten forces that humankind has either forgot or demonized.
No, this is the first time I have heard the two together.
Neither, I felt very drawn in almost immediately.
I have read and listened to Kelley Armstrong's books before, and I am not so much interested in book series. However, she is an excellent writer and does know how to peek your interest in her novels without confusing the reader. I loved the way this one came together and I love how the story involves several areas, but is grounded in a small town that is welcoming and a little mysterious in a good way. I cannot wait for the next one.
I am an great fan of Kelley Armstrong, but this book was like hanging out with a person who has ADHD. One minute it is a Sci/Fi, the next a mystery thriller, the next a romance, with not much melding of the three, kind of choppy.
I finished the book last night, and I am still trying to figure it out. I could sense maybe three or four different books all crunched together into one. I really enjoy Ms. Armstrong's work, she is such a great writer but this book was just odd. Different editor perhaps?
Annoying, Annoying, Annoying. Neither one of these narrators impressed me. The narrator for the main character had a really annoying voice. In my opinion, if the director didn't want to have just one narrator then he/she should have chosen male and female voices.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a series, and Ms. Armstrong will sort out the plot mismatches in subsequent books.
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