Title: Omens: A Cainsville Novel
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Genre: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Olivia Taylor-Jones thinks she has the perfect life. She’s the only daughter of wealthy parents and she’s engaged to the scion of another old-money family. Everything is going perfectly for her…until Olivia finds out who she really is. Once upon a time, Olivia was Eden Larsen, the daughter of notorious serial killer couple Todd and Pamela Larsen. This news shatters Olivia’s world, and she finds herself in the small town of Cainsville, trying to start life anew. But something isn’t quite right in Cainsville, and when Olivia meets her birth mother, she begins to wonder whether her birth parents are actually guilty of what they’ve been accused.
Omens is an intriguing beginning to a new series. Armstrong does a great job provoking questions and providing some answers, but also ensuring that readers will be left wanting more.
Omens is an interesting mystery novel with a great main character. Olivia is young when the novel begins, only 24 years old, but she’s smart and capable. People constantly underestimate her because she’s rich, and she’s sheltered in many ways. But she adjusts to her new life quickly and is determined to establish herself on her own terms. It’s nice to see a main character with so much resolve; readers don’t doubt that Olivia will find what it is she’s looking for simply because she’s so dedicated.
It’s clear that all is not quite normal with Cainsville. The series shaping up to be an urban fantasy, but it’s hard to say that about Omens specifically. Armstrong litters clues and hints about what is to come, about the greater mythology behind Cainsville, throughout the book. Dedicated readers will enjoy figuring out these puzzles and learning more about this strange town. It will be very interesting to see what Armstrong does next with this greater story arc, but for now, she leaves enough hints to keep readers entertained.
The mystery storyline of Omens is really interesting. Did Todd and Pamela Larsen commit those murders? The reader’s inclination is “no,” though there isn’t really a reason why. It’s up to Olivia to puzzle out what might have actually been going on. It’s well written and stands firmly on its own, apart from (yet inextricably intertwined with) the larger mysteries of the book. The secondary characters help flesh out these storylines; Armstrong paid attention to all the people she wrote in the novel, and it shows in their development.
If you’re looking to get in on the ground floor of a new series, give the first book in the Cainsville series, Omens, a try. It’s on the longer side, but rest assured that the pages will absolutely fly by. Readers will enjoy getting to know Olivia and immersing themselves in her dark, strange world.