Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review: Omens By Kelley Armstrong

I do really love reading books, but what I love even more than reading is discovering a new author. I have to admit that I normally wouldn't have chosen this kind of book. My genre is mysteries and although there's a mystery involved Omens, it also has a decidedly paranormal slant. That's the thing that normally would have scared me away. No, I'm not a scaredy-cat, lol, it's just I usually find paranormal books a little weird. Much like the fantasy genre, most of the time I'm put off by the overwhelmingly unbelievability of everything. That's one of the things I LOVED about this book. Much of the writing and happenings were believable, the author expertly wove a good, believable plot line into some paranormal events. She didn't name her characters something unpronounceable and make their behavior bizarre. 

There is a saying about a good book, "You Can't Put It Down!". This book seriously fits that description. Even better, it's also an easy read, cool huh?? In fact, Omens was so good, when I finished it I rushed to the computer to find out when the next installment of the series was due. Oh, didn't I tell you? It's a SERIES TOO!! YAY! For me, the sign of a good book is when you just can't stop thinking about the character once you close the cover. You find yourself wondering what's gonna happen next with Olivia? You wonder how she's doing, as if her life continues when you're not reading about her. I have to say, for the past week, I've wondered nearly obsessively about the title character. Now that's a good author!

Let me give you a small synopsis or outline of the story. No, no spoilers here, you don't have to avert your eyes if you intend to be smart and try this book. I don't believe in those types of reviews. I think my job as a reviewer is to give you my opinion as to weather the book is actually worth your time and why I believe it is or not. Ok, so, as I said, the main character is Olivia. She's in her mid twenties and she's been raised in a very privileged household. Olivia is intelligent, educated and wealthy, she's engaged to a handsome man and she seems to have it all, until the night she finds out that she is actually the daughter of notorious serial killers Pamela and Todd Larson. Her newly learned adopted status throws her life into chaos as the media descend on her Chicago home. The story is about just how Olivia handles the news about her heritage. Are her real parents actually guilty of brutally killing eight people? Did her adoptive parents know about who she was before they adopted her? Does this change who she is? 

The author expertly weaves the paranormal into the story. Kelley Armstrong, the author of Omens, starts with subtle ideas that are easily accepted by the reader, then after she's gotten the reader hooked she introduces more intricacies. One of the other good things about Ms. Armstrong's writing is she doesn't break the contract she starts with the reader. I think of the outline of who the main character is as a contract between the writer and the reader. If the author then breaks the contract by having the character, like Olivia, do something not within her personal reality, then I consider the author is lying.The author of Omens doesn't make Olivia do anything foolishly out of character. 

Have I convinced you yet to pick up this book? Well, if not here's a great quote I came across about Omens from the New York Times bestselling author of In The Blood, Lisa Unger, "

“Like the creepy, spooky town of Cainsville, Kelley Armstrong's OMENS lured me in. I was busy, way too busy for this book, which, through a series of surprises and sleights of hand, had me conspiring for ways to get back to the gripping story, the colorfully bizarre cast of characters, and the clever, strong, smart heroine at its center. Don't pick this book up if you have anything else to do. It will grab you by the collar and won't let you up for air until it's good and ready. And once you’re done, you won't soon forget it.”

The next installment of Kelley Armstrong's new series (called The Cainsville Series) comes out August 19, 2014 and is named Visions. If after reading Omens you find yourself addicted to the author's style then you'll be happy to know she's written a bunch of other books, I'm going now to look up the next one I'm gonna try. Did I say, I LOVE finding a new author!

Oh, I wanted to mention that I was given the opportunity to review Omens and was generously sent a hardcopy of the book. Although my opinions are wholly my own, I did want to thank Megan Beatie of Goldberg McDuffie Communications, Dutton Books, the publisher of Kelley Armstrong's terrific new book Omens and the author herself for writing such intriguing books.


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