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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

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.

Read and excerpt

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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. I really liked OMENS. I have to agree that Olivia took her being adopted a little over the top, but her adopted mother threw her to the wolves and expected money to make things better. She really didn't have anyone to help her process it all. Cainsville really did help her find herself. I loved Gabriel . I still think there is more to him. I can't wait to see how their relationship plays out. I like the mystery of the unknown and I think this town is creepy cool. I'm looking forward to learning more about it and the people that live there..

  2. I am looking forward to reading this. I have read many reviews of all of Armstrong's books, and wanted to try her, but I am more of a mysterious, suspenseful type of genre reading than UF, so I am hoping this book will be a good fit for me and it's first in the series, so that's a good sign. Thanks for an honest review.

  3. This sounds really interesting. Great review Stephanie. I still haven't read a Kelly Armstrong book so I won't be expecting much as far as her writing style. Hopefully I enjoy it as you did (:

  4. Kelley Armstrong books are always soooooo good! Still reading OMENS can't wait to get back to it! Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, J.R.Ward and more.........,love these authors (Stephen King) my fav!