Omens

By Kelley Armstrong
Published on August 20th 2013
Published by Dutton Adult
Source: Borrowed
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.
In which Chantaal is all over the place because Omens was so all over the place...

Apparently there are tons of people disappointed in how little paranormal action there was in this novel, and I feel bit sorry for anyone who had high hopes for more of the same Kelley Armstrong fare. I’ve read maybe one other book of hers, so I went into Omens with no expectations, and found to be just alright.

The novel opens with Olivia Taylor-Jones learning that she is adopted, and her parents were serial killers. The idea of it intrigued me from the start, but as we start to follow Olivia in the days after she learns this news, she began to annoy me. So much. Look Olivia, I know it’s got to rock your world to get news like that, and sure, having basically no support from your mother has got to suck, but turning around and running away from everyone and everything you know just because you’ve got to “figure things out” on your own? It smacks of irrationality and immaturity, and I nearly didn’t finish the book because I was so irritated.

So much of Olivia’s reactions from the start felt like they had to happen in a certain way (personality and logic be damned!) just to get Olivia to the small town of Cainsville, and it didn’t leave me with much hope for the rest of the novel.

I’m glad I left some of that hope by the wayside, because the rest of it wasn’t too much better. Olivia reluctantly teams up with Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer she meets in Cainsville. (There are some interesting moments between the two, and I have to say I’m glad there wasn’t a huge rush into romance in this first novel.) Team Olivia and Gabriel are working on her birth mother’s request, trying to prove that they couldn’t have possibly killed that one couple (and then maybe the rest of the murders will fall by the wayside?). Their investigation is interesting and moves at a rapid pace, but then veers off in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION and I wondered if Armstrong just couldn’t decide on a single idea or genre and wanted to give up again. But I’d already read too much, and finished it up.

What little paranormal nods the novel had were interesting, but not nearly enough to get me committed to reading the second novel. Maybe I’ll just go back and read some more of the Women of the Otherworld novels and see what the fuss is all about.



Chantaal's a Philosophy undergrad in the wilds of SoCal who works in social media for a living, and reads way more for fun than for school. Comics are her other love, and she spends the rest of her time reading and writing about comics (http://girlsreadcomics.com/). The rest of her time is spent listening to music and running around campus for the roughly three billion organizations she's a member of. While she reads lots of YA, she will give anything a chance, especially high fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopia, and cozy mysteries.

3 comments:

  1. oh i love kelley armstrong! i've been so busy with reading indie lately alot of my mainstream has been brushed to the side. your review however made enthusiasm lessen. i think she would be excellent at writing non paranormal stories but with you saying shes veers and there is genre confusion this is deff a read that will not be at the top of my list. one day omens. one day.

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  2. I have not read this one, and I am wavering a little. It sounds so good, but I have heard such mixed reactions to it. And if I go into a book expecting paranormal, I WANT paranormal. Not just paranormal in passing. I just don't know. But thanks for your review!

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  3. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like this book. I have read all of the Women of the Otherworld, plus her YA series (and loved both). I have actually read this book, and I didn't mind the lack of paranormal (I follow Kelley on facebook, and I thought she made it pretty clear this wouldn't be that kind of book). I actually liked Omens. I thought that it introduced a lot and didn't solve it all, but it wasn't a bad start for me, knowing it would be a series.
    Jennelle J

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