Omens: The Cainsville Series

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Omens: The Cainsville Series

by Kelley Armstrong

Random House Of Canada | August 20, 2013 | Hardcover

Omens: The Cainsville Series is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 10.

Following the epic conclusion of her internationally bestselling Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong launches a brand-new series set in Cainsville, a small town as spookily fascinating as Stephen King''s Castle Rock or Dean Koontz''s Moonlight Bay.

Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy 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 finds out that she''s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.

The news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, and Olivia thinks the best thing she can do for herself and for them is run away from it all. She ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her decision to uncover the truth about her birth parents. Olivia decides to focus on the Larsens'' last crime, the one Pamela Larsen swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel Walsh, Pamela''s former lawyer, start investigating, 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. There are dark secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9.26 × 6.29 × 1.3 in

Published: August 20, 2013

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307360520

ISBN - 13: 9780307360526

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ooh, a Yummy new series! I do really love reading books, but what I love even more than reading is discovering a new author. I have to admit that I normally wouldn't have chosen this kind of book. My genre is mysteries and although there's a mystery involved Omens, it also has a decidedly paranormal slant. That's the thing that normally would have scared me away. No, I'm not a scaredy-cat, lol, it's just I usually find paranormal books a little weird. Much like some books in the fantasy genre, much of the time I'm put off by the overwhelmingly unbelievability of everything. That's one of the things I LOVED about this book. Much of the writing and happenings were believable, the author expertly wove a good, believable plot line into some paranormal events. She didn't name her characters something unpronounceable and make their behavior bizarre.   There is a saying about a good book, "You Can't Put It Down!". This book seriously fits that description. Even better, it's also an easy read, cool huh?? In fact, Omens was so good, when I finished it I rushed to the computer to find out when the next installment of the series was due. Oh, didn't I tell you? It's a SERIES TOO!! YAY! For me, the sign of a good book is when you just can't stop thinking about the character once you close the cover. You find yourself wondering what's gonna happen next with Olivia? You wonder how she's doing, as if her life continues when you're not reading about her. I have to say, for the past week, I've wondered nearly obsessively about the title character. Now that's a good author! Let me give you a small synopsis or outline of the story. No, no spoilers here, you don't have to avert your eyes if you intend to be smart and try this book. I don't believe in those types of reviews. I think my job as a reviewer is to give you my opinion as to weather the book is actually worth your time and why I believe it is or not. Ok, so, as I said, the main character is Olivia. She's in her mid twenties and she's been raised in a very privileged household. Olivia is intelligent, educated and wealthy, she's engaged to a handsome man and she seems to have it all, until the night she finds out that she is actually the daughter of notorious serial killers Pamela and Todd Larson. Her newly learned adopted status throws her life into chaos as the media descend on her Chicago home. The story is about just how Olivia handles the news about her heritage. Are her real parents actually guilty of brutally killing eight people? Did her adoptive parents know about who she was before they adopted her? Does this change who she is?  The author expertly weaves the paranormal into the story. Kelley Armstrong, the author of Omens, starts with subtle ideas that are easily accepted by the reader, then after she's gotten the reader hooked she introduces more intricacies. One of the other good things about Ms. Armstrong's writing is she doesn't break the contract she starts with the reader. I think of the outline of who the main character is as a contract between the writer and the reader. If the author then breaks the contract by having the character, like Olivia, do something not within her personal reality, then I consider the author is lying.The author of Omens doesn't make Olivia do anything foolishly out of character.  Have I convinced you yet to pick up this book? Yes? Glad to hear it!
Date published: 2014-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Great Ride Without giving anything away Omens by Kelley Armstrong takes you on the ride of your life. Fast paced and riveting Omens starts off in a nice "comfortable" place and then takes off 0-60 and doesn't stop. You won't be able to put this book down and when it's over - you'll want more!
Date published: 2013-10-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OMENS Imagine coming home from a party only to discover, via reporters parked out on your front lawn, that your whole life has been a lie. That’s exactly what happens to Olivia Taylor Jones. At 24 she discovers that not only was she adopted, but that her real parents are in prison for the ritual serial murders of 8 people. Her adoptive father, always her rock, is dead, her adoptive mother does what she does best, runs from the whole situation and her fiancée thinks they should “postpone” the wedding. Despite her privileged upbringing Olivia decides the only way to get her life back is to get to the bottom of everything by investigating both the murders and her “real” parents. Through a series of happenstance she ends up in Cainesville. On the surface a quaint little town but we soon learn that it is has it’s own mysterious secrets, beginning with the gargoyles scattered everywhere. Leaving Ms. Armstrong’s “Otherworld” series behind I was not sure what to expect of this first book of her new series. It was different. There are touches of her trademark paranormal, there are murders to be solved, enigmatic characters to get to know, a CIA conspiracy and a brewing love story. This book is filled with teasers of thing to come; clues from Welsh mythology, a con-artist psychic who may actually be more psychic than con-artist, and elderly couple who seem to know more than they let on, a black cat that comes and goes at will and the ravens that seem a bad portent for Olivia. If Ms. Armstrong follows through on these teasers, then I think this will be a good series. When I first read Bitten I immediately loved Elena (and Clay) … I mean what’s not to like about an accidental female werewolf (and the guy who made her one)? I can’t say I felt as strongly about Olivia and Gabriel Walsh. As the book progressed I started to admire her spunk and quick wit. I’m still not sure about Gabriel. Time will tell. Elena and Clay are tough act to follow. I recently attended a “meet the author” event for Ms. Armstrong. She said she enjoyed writing this series, which was meant to a trilogy but may finish with a fourth installment. She proclaimed to be having so much fun writing the third book that she hated being interrupted. If she enjoyed writing it that much then I am certainly looking forward to reading future installments in the “Cainesville” series.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Armstrong is a suspense/thriller powerhouse Kelley Armstrong’s brand new series jettisons her readers into a mystical town full of secrets and ominous dangers. The town of Cainsville, with its nebula of mystery and equally mysterious townsfolk will have the readers salivating for its seemingly dark history. If you’re a reader of her previous work (The Women of Otherworld), you will be hard-pressed to find anything substantially supernatural about Omens. As it is the first book of a trilogy, all it has so far are hints and innuendos. That doesn’t mean, however, that this book will reduce you to a yawning, bored reader. It’s just as menacing and gripping. The book stars a socialite heiress who suddenly found herself in a reversal of fortune of some sort. While she could survive having to live within her means, the fact that she’s just found out she’s the daughter of serial killers might be a little tough to swallow. On the run from the paparazzi who hounded her and abandoned by her family and her former fiancé, she immediately got a taste of what life is like without those she’s counted on for most of her life. But Olivia Taylor-Jones cannot be defeated that easily. With her biological parents’ portentous lawyer’s help, she goes and investigates the murders that her parents apparently committed. Armstrong has been a pioneer when it comes to creating strong female characters; and Olivia or Eden is pretty much ripped from the same cloth. The woman didn’t even blink or bat an eyelash when she realized she’d had to wait tables for a living while investigating the crimes. The town that she found herself settling in certainly has its charms but what appealed to me more was the different omens and what they represented. It was informative to say the least. I’ve only been a fan Armstrong’s YA novels so I can’t really say much about her adult paranormal series. What I can glean from them though was her penchant to write romances that are not dictated by trend or what her readers would like. There’s barely any romance here to speak of. What you will be treated to are a couple of headstrong, jousting characters. Sparks fly but not in the way you’d imagine. I’m looking forward to see more developments in this area for sure. Fans of Women of Otherworld may find this intro to be a sluggish read but new readers will find this a fantastic beginning to what is gearing up to be an exciting, bloody series. Kelley lives for build-up and this book is a testament to that.
Date published: 2013-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I resisted getting Omens, it didn't sound like my usual read, even though I love Kelley's other series. So glad I gave in and bought it. I couldn't put it down and I'm now hooked and can't wait for the next book to visit Cainsville again.
Date published: 2013-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Original! Defies categorization! To tell you the truth, I was kind off afraid to read OMENS, this first book of Kelley Armstrong’s new series. At first, when I got it on release day, I was going to jump right in but something made me hesitate. I don’t know. Maybe it was a sign that I should read the book leisurely instead of rushing into it? One thing’s for sure. As a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, I really wanted to love Omens. And you know what? I actually ended up really liking it. Fans of hers were probably as weary as I was of this series. After ending such an amazing series last year, I just didn’t want this new Armstrong book to fail. So what I did is read it with an open mind. I made sure not to compare OMENS to Armstrong’s other books, like so many people compared J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy with the Harry potter series. (I’m not trying to compare J.K. Rowling and Kelley Armstrong. I’m just using Rowling as an example.) What you have to understand, though, is even if OMENS doesn’t contain werewolves and witches, it does still contain a lot of supernatural elements. They might be more subtle but I think that’s what makes the book so interesting. You need to keep reading to find out what it’s really about (or you can cheat and use the Easter eggs Armstrong embedded in the text as a cheat code, if you’re too impatient). What’s more, unlike J.K. Rowling, the audience is the same and you’re not shifting from a MG/YA book to an adult book. I think what Armstrong did, is simply take a genre that she both loves and appreciates, changed the general themes, and expanded a little by adding suspense/thriller motifs. It’s a suspense/thriller under the guise of a paranormal book. Or vice versa. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the genre. If you’re not a fan of either genre however, obviously you won’t be compelled to read it, but if you’re remotely interested in either, you’re in for a treat. Personally, the mish-mash if genres works well for me because I’m a fan or both and to say the least, it makes quite an original novel that might just defy categorization. I think Armstrong is holding back and isn’t revealing much at this point, but as the series progresses, I believe more paranormal elements will surface. Cainsville is a mystery onto itself. As a small town, about an hour’s drive away from Chicago, it’s home to some peculiar characters. While most of the book is spent away from Cainsville, everything seems to gravitate back to it. There’s obviously still a lot to learn about the small town and I can’t wait to find out more in the sequel. I think it’s the air of mystery that surrounds the town that makes it so attractive. I wasn’t too crazy about the main character, Olivia, at first because her reaction when she learns that she’s adopted was little over the top. I’m not exactly sure how I would react if I learnt that my biological parents are actually serial killers, but I know I wouldn’t necessarily run away from my life, like Olivia did. In the end, I think moving to Cainsville is actually the best thing she ever did because it allowed to find herself and to stay clear of the Chicago press that might want to take advantage of her. Olivia’s true strengths are her intelligence and her ability to conform to different situations. She isn’t afraid of the new and that came in handy quite often during the book, especially as she was investigating the murders her parents allegedly committed 22 years before. My favorite character of the book is probably Gabriel. The no-nonsense lawyer that forces his way into Olivia’s investigation becomes an important asset in her quest to find the truth. As a native of Cainsville, he’s a mysterious character himself, but as the story progresses, we realize that even if he’s just looking out for his best interest, I think he really learns to care for Olivia. The two of them form a strange working relationship, but it works. And the scenes with them together are always more enjoyable. After the book, you’re left with many mysteries and Armstrong is probably holding back on purpose. I can’t wait to find out more about Cainsville and what’s next in Olivia’s quest to clear her biological parent’s names from the gruesome killings. I’m also anxious to see if Olivia will always be the main character of the books, or if the narration will switch from book to book like in her Women of the Otherworld series. Although I really enjoyed OMENS, I suspect it’s not a book for everyone.
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An intriguing and magical new series from Kelley Armstrong! Welcome to Cainsville, a quaint little town that may not be everything it seems. Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of a wealthy Chicago family who spends her days volunteering her time for the less fortunate and is engaged to a wealthy young man with political aspirations seems to have it all until her whole world starts to crumble when she learns that she is adopted and her parents are notorious serial-killers. Upon learning of her true lineage, Olivia, aka Eden Larsen, flees her home, her fiancé for the small town of Cainsville. As she tries to put the pieces of her life back together, Olivia realizes that this small town has a few secrets of its own. When she partners with her birth mother's attorney, Gabriel, to get to the bottom of her parent's crimes, Olivia opens a whole new world of strange. I absolutely loved this first book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series. Olivia has gumption and once she enters Cainsville an innate ability that she didn't know she possessed helps her on her way to discovering the truth about her parents. Gabriel is not your obvious swoon-worthy romantic interest, but still manages to have an effect on Olivia, whether she wants him to or not. Armstrong's community of Cainsville is mysterious, magical, and interesting and I can't wait to read the next in this intriguing new series. 5 Gargoyles!
Date published: 2013-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling and unusual! Just finished this book and found it to be well paced and intriguing. Interesting characters, good twists, and a town that will leave you wanting to know a lot more. The snark in the humour was right on point, fun and clever and I simply cannot wait until the next in the series comes out.
Date published: 2013-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and spooky fun new series by master storyteller Kelley Armstrong The Good Stuff Olivia is a fascinating character - very realistic and kick ass strong and doesn't take crap from anyone As usual Armstrong's world building is incredible Fast paced with lots of twists and turns -- cannot wait to learn more about what is going on Dark - reminded me at times of Koontz and King - not a lot but the mood of the story reminds me of them I've said it before but must reiterate - Kelley is a natural storyteller which to me is a fabulous gift - she never disappoints Dark humour is spot on and gets you when you need it most Loved the opening chapter - its the kind that hooks you in and you know you are not going to want to put the book down Gabriel is also a fascinating character and I look forward to knowing more about him & um he sounds kinda hot I feel the need to decorate my house with gargoyles now - trust me, so will you after reading Perfect book for a cold winters night under a blanket with a nice glass of wine or hot chocolate Character development is realistic The Not So Good Stuff I was a wee bit confused at times - but hey I got a 4 yr old - might just be me OMG - how long do I have to wait till the next book - never mind - I am just impatient and well I am reading it months before it is actually coming out O.K. now this one is extremely picky. A paragraph mentions that the child had spina bifida and it couldn't have been her since she would be in a wheelchair. Um, hello, my son has spina bifida and is not in a wheelchair. Yes I know picky, picky but it did make me slightly irritated Favorite Quotes/Passages "Also, the killing of small animals is the entrance ramp onto the serial killer superhighway'" I paused. "Damn. I bet the cat knows that. He picked me because I can't hurt him, or I'd be fulfilling my biological destiny. So I'm screwed. The cat stays. Unless you'll kill him ..." I glanced at him. "How does fifty bucks sound." "Wishful thinking, as if having my weather omen come true would somehow prove I was perfectly sane. Because "storm-prediction-by-cat" was sane." "Or was I hoping it wasn't as bad as I'd heard? Oh, they only killed six people, not eight like I thought. Well, that's not so bad." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Obviously if you like Kelley's other books - you will love this If you like spooky moody mysteries - pick this up you will not be disappointed I really think fans of Koontz and Stephen King will take a shine to this 4.5 Dewey's I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review
Date published: 2013-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great start to a new series Pros: interesting premise, fast-paced mystery / Cons: protagonists show little emotion, paranormal elements are light / Twenty-four year old socialite Olivia Taylor-Jones's life is turned upside down when she discovers that not only is she adopted, her birth parents are notorious serial killers. Running to avoid the media and protect her mother and fiancee, Olivia ends up in Cainsville, a small town outside Chicago. While trying to get by on her own she starts investigating the murder case that put her parents behind bars. And her superstition about omens seems to be giving her good guidance lately. / There's a lot going on in this novel. There's Olivia's coming of age, as she's forced from her home and social expectations and allowed to find what she wants out of life. There's the murder mystery, long gone cold with few leads that haven't been followed by others. And there's the town, with it's unique mixture of people, many of whom have some connection to Britain's folkloric past - though Olivia's mostly unaware of this and the reader's only given hints. This book is primarily grounding for the new series. We're introduced to the main players, including the town itself, with its numerous gargoyles and mysterious happenings. / I loved the plot, that this girl discovers she's the kid of serial killers and how she deals with it. And she deals with it remarkably well. Despite the many things she learns, sees and does, she never breaks down. Which is surprising, because she sees and does some horrific things. It was strange not seeing her deal with the grief and shock that would have accompanied some of what she does/encounters. But it certainly set her up as a strong character - much like Ripley from the Alien franchise. Kick-ass and capable, but not always right. In many ways she's well complemented by Gabriel Walsh, the lawyer who offers his aid - for a fee - who also displays little emotion. I liked that the groundwork of a romance between them was set up, but that it's being allowed to develop naturally - assuming that's the direction the author is taking their relationship. / It's a quick, entertaining read and a good set up for what sounds like an interesting series.
Date published: 2013-08-06

– More About This Product –

Omens: The Cainsville Series

by Kelley Armstrong

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9.26 × 6.29 × 1.3 in

Published: August 20, 2013

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307360520

ISBN - 13: 9780307360526

From the Publisher

Following the epic conclusion of her internationally bestselling Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong launches a brand-new series set in Cainsville, a small town as spookily fascinating as Stephen King''s Castle Rock or Dean Koontz''s Moonlight Bay.

Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy 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 finds out that she''s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.

The news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, and Olivia thinks the best thing she can do for herself and for them is run away from it all. She ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her decision to uncover the truth about her birth parents. Olivia decides to focus on the Larsens'' last crime, the one Pamela Larsen swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel Walsh, Pamela''s former lawyer, start investigating, 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. There are dark secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

About the Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG is the bestselling author of the Women of the Otherworld series, the Nadia Stafford crime series, and two bestselling YA trilogies, Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising. She lives in rural Ontario.

Editorial Reviews

"Armstrong is a talented and evocative writer who knows well how to balance the elements of good, suspenseful fiction, and her stories evoke poignancy, action, humour and suspense." —The Globe and Mail “Like the creepy, spooky town of Cainsville, Kelley Armstrong’s Omens lured me in. I was busy, way too busy for this book, which, through a series of surprises and sleights of hand, had me conspiring for ways to get back to the gripping story, the colorfully bizarre cast of characters, and the clever, strong, smart heroine at its center. Don’t pick this book up if you have anything else to do. It will grab you by the collar and won’t let you up for air until it’s good and ready. And once you’re done, you won’t soon forget it.” — Lisa Unger , New York Times bestselling author of In the Blood “Cainsville might be a nice place to visit, but I’m too creeped out to live there. Luckily, Armstrong isn’t, and her dispatches from this village filled with sinister secrets are going to be keeping her readers up well into the night.” —Linwood Barclay, internationally bestselling author of Trust Your Eyes “One of the best new series debuts this year! With its compelling characters and completely original set-up, Omens delivers a powerful combination of suspenseful thrills and supernatural chills. I can’t wait to read more!” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author o
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