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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Omens ~ Kelley Armstrong

I do not know where to start with this blog!!!
Why is that you ask?
Well, it just so happens that I am writing about an author who's work I am a HUGE fan of!
(The proof is on my bookshelf, never mind my e-reader)

Kelley Armstrong ranks extremely high as one of my favorite authors!
That statement led me to wonder how I could actually choose 'who' could win the title of my 'All Time Favorite Author'. After giving it much thought.....and ditching the idea of them fighting to the death (we don't want that) I'm convinced there is only one way I could be forced to name a winner:
Picture it, I hold a meeting with them where I give them all a challenge....Throw out character names (Lead character will obviously a charming blonde named Irene....) a plot outline, tell them to than pick their own genre and than GO!! Whoever writes the best novel wins my top spot.....(Reasonable

Not only is Kelley Armstrong a Canadian (Eh!) but she writes one of the most incredible paranormal series of all time.....Women of the Otherworld. (If you have not read or heard of this series, please remove yourself from thy rock, oh sheltered one.....)
It is no secret to anyone who knows me well, that I am completely in awe of that series. I LOVE IT.
I love it so much that I don't like lending her books to people. I would rather spend the money to buy you a copy to keep, than lose one of mine. I love the writing style, the characters, the plot lines, the Canadian content, the twists, turns.... the way she turns monsters like vampires and werewolves into believable, every day creatures.
This is an author to read and recommend and I am not the only one who thinks so! It's safe to say that in my social circles author Kelley Armstrong is a popular choice!

I was lucky enough that she came into my neighborhood for a book signing a couple of years ago, and I did attend! I'm not gonna lie....I totally geeked out. I mean, I stammered, smiled, could barely talk to her because to me, meeting my favorite author is a total rock star moment. I actually forgot to ask if I could get a proper picture with her. (Dumbass that I am) It was awfully embarrassing and completely out of character for me. (Ask my friends or family how often I am ever speechless or shy.....)
HOWEVER, having her sign a book for me was amaze-balls. (Can people over 30 use the term amaze-balls??) that I have totally geeked out again via my blog, I shall continue......

Omens has been on my reading list since I first heard whispers about it. Since I have been trying to read a lot of books on my TBR list, I decided to hold off on this novel. Holy Moley this book did not disappoint, and if you want the truth I'm a bit upset with myself that I waited so long to get a copy.

The synopsis from

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.

My Take:

You could not pry this book (or my e-reader) out of my hands if you tried.

I love how the novel began. It has a heart pounding-creepy-tricky vibe to it that really helps set the story up....I thought it was a cleverly executed way to set the mood!
It's hard to really describe Olivia's character before she discovers her true identity as Eden Larsen. We really don't get to know too much about her 'before' she discovers the truth of her parentage, but we know she is intelligent, beautiful women and has the world laid out at her feet. She has a plan! Marriage, career, maybe kids one day....As the story continues you can see how losing her identity actually helps her grow as an individual. We discover that she is brave, willful and even stronger than anticipated. I have to say, I was a bit surprised at times when Olivia would have a thought or made a decision that seemed 'outside the box' for her personality. An example would be how she comes to treat both of her mothers, especially the one that raised her. (Those who have read the story will know what I am talking about) That plot line alone makes me wonder, Does Olivia's sixth sense have something to do with her behavior toward her adoptive mother~ making it 'more' than just the typical shock and anger one might have? Is there more to that particular storyline that meets the eye?? (undoubtedly, there is......)

The whole novel leaves you wanting more and questioning everything!

All that said, you don't need to read too far into the novel before you see how Olivia's life comes crashing down on her and it is like a run away roller-coaster ride. There are omens everywhere throughout the book and the more they show up, the more she realizes there is more to this than just weird rhymes popping into her head out the blue. She ends up in Cainsville, a mysterious town that even by the end of the first novel leaves you guessing and coming up with theories. There are so many eerie and strange layers to that creepy, sleepy town.... the people, the gargoyles, the ravens, even the cat.....Cainsville is a big ol' bag of worms that I am dying to know more about, never mind the actual mystery about the serial killings and who is really behind them.

One character to watch is Gabriel Walsh.....He's a smarmy lawyer who represented her birth mother once upon a trial, and at first I just did not know what to make of this guy. Even though he is rather unlikable, he really grows on you as the novel develops, but even toward the end of book one, he's remains a very strange mystery.....I look forward to seeing how his character is to develop along the way and I am hoping a romance develops between the two.....

This novel combines styles we have seen from Kelley Armstrong in the past. The incredible imagination and paranormal-fantasy of the Otherworld series mixed with the more mainstream, mystery-thriller seen in her Nadia Stafford series....She writes with a great wit and captures the sense of foreboding in a way that makes me want to draw comparisons to the likes of Stephen King, Anne Rice,VC Andrews.....
When describing her novels when recommending them to my friends, I typically give the same speech "She takes the unbelievable and makes it believable...You're going to want more of it!"
You can tell the author puts a lot of thought into how she creates her characters and plots. No stone is left unturned and we are left with incredible tales. Kelley Armstrong novels are ones you can read over and over again!
She gets more than 5 Stars from me!

A fun fact about Omens: At the start of the novel there is an authors note regarding little 'Easter Eggs' she has dropped throughout the novel. If you are wanting to get ahead of yourself with the mystery than you can follow these Easter Eggs and do your own search ahead of Olivia and the story.
I personally decided to pass at this game, I want to go a long for the ride as the novels unfold....but for any of you who like a good mystery.....well there is your bonus incentive on why you should add this book to your reading list! 

As you can imagine, I am on pins and needles waiting for the next installment in the Cainsville Series to release. Look for Visions (Book #2) to release in August 2014. I am so excited about the next novel that I actually created a reminder on my phone. 

**Bonus News** Tonight on Space in Canada (Or on January 13th on Syfy in the US) is the release of "Bitten" (Women of the Otherworld!) and we get to watch Elena and Clay in action!!! I can not wait!! Check your local listings!!!!

Visit the authors website for more information:

To sum up this review:

If you love Kelley Armstrong novels. Read Omens.
If you have never read her novels. Read Omens.
If you need a great thriller. Read Omens.
If you need a great paranormal. Read Omens.
If you don't like the way your hair looks today. Read Omens.
If your husband or wife asks you to complete a chore today. Read Omens.

Get it? Got it? GOOD!!

Happy Reading!!

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