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About the Book
Cainsville Book One
by Kelley Armstrong
Published 1 January 2013
by Vintage Canada
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 472
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
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.
My Rating: 4 Star Book Review
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My sister sent me a copy of this book for Christmas, and I only just got to it this month (July.) Now I’m scolding myself for waiting so long! Upon finishing I immediately texted my sister (before going to Goodreads and checking for myself) “Please tell me Omens has a sequel!” She promptly called me back to say yes, it’s a whole series! So, yeah, book 2 is reserved on Libby now…
This book is an excellent setup for a longer series. The beginning was a bit slow and confusing for me, but it hit its stride before too long, and I’ve definitely come to like Olivia and Gabriel. This book was suggested to me because I love dark and urban fantasy, but a year of book blog tours has introduced me to paranormal cozy mysteries, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this book is very much a paranormal mystery/thriller. It’s a bit lighter on the outright paranormal than the cozies I’ve been reading, but the paranormal element is definitely there, and I love it.
I also love Olivia’s utter denial that she’s actually experiencing anything paranormal, despite mounting evidence that it’s all really happening, throughout the book. Sometimes when that sort of plot point/character trait is baked into a book the character in denial comes across as dense or willfully ignorant, but in this case, it feels honest. Olivia’s just not quite ready to face everything at first and she uses her denial as a coping mechanism.
I love the rocky mutual distrust partnership being built between Olivia and Gabriel, and I can see this turning into a tropey romantic subplot. If that ends up being as well done as Olivia’s denial about the omens in this book then it’ll be a lot of fun to read as well.
Thank you to my sister for turning me onto this series and author. If you like a little paranormal mystery in your urban fantasy, this series absolutely must be checked out!
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