Review: Omens

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Date of Publication: Aug 20/2013
Pages: 486
Source: Library

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.
Omens is what I would call a beautiful mishmash of paranormal/thriller/mystery and suspense. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and for at least the first 30% of the book, I was wondering if it was supposed to paranormal or not. I think the vagueness of genre actually helped build the aspect of suspense and mystery which set up for quite an awesome read. 

Omens introduces us to the socialite main character, Olivia Taylor-Jones, Masters in Victorian Lit and fiance of Mr. Right. However, it’s not long before her perfect little world is disturbed with the news of her adoption and the identity of her biological parents, Pamela and Todd Larsen, a couple of serial killers, becoming public.

This book was fascinating to read in so many aspects. First there was Olivia coming to term with her new situation. Then it progressed to her actually getting actively involved in the situation and then came all the creepy and crazy stuff.. Who am I kidding, that stuff started quite early, it’s why the book was so fun. I say fun but I was scared mindless half the time… Note: this book probably wasn’t meant to be that scary.

The little town of Cainsville was very picturesque in my mind; I mean gargoyles! I also appreciated the slight history provided about the settlers, its development along with its inhabitants and their abilities. As per the title, our heroine could interpret omens. A poppy is a death omen and a black cat is good luck. These omens ranged from intriguing to down right sending chills up my spine, depending on the context. But all in all, a very interesting addition.

Olivia or Eden Larsen, was an enjoyable narrator. I appreciated being in her head as she was very intelligent and courageous. She can't stand to sit around and be “protected” and I respected that. She is one of those women who likes to take her life in her own hands and I’m glad to say hers were capable hands as our brooding main man finds out.

Gabriel Bowen is a successful young defence lawyer that strolls around in a Jaguar and has a special relationship with money and biker gangs. Gabriel was the misunderstood bad boy. He was big and tall and successful because he wasn't afraid of getting his hands dirty. I loved how he made mistakes in dealing with Olivia. His only interests are money and success but his partnership with her teaches him a bit about friendship and trust. I would like more than friendship and I can see the possibility in the horizon which makes me very excited as the slow and sensual ones are always the best.

The plot itself was engaging and suspenseful but I did have a little bit of an issue with the twist. To me, it popped out of nowhere. At first they were investigating something very plausible and then bam, random thing that ended up being connected. It sent me for a bit of a twirl but otherwise I did thoroughly enjoy the mystery. 

Overall, a nice mystery read with a dash of paranormal and suspense on the side. Also, for those worried about the adult rating, besides the characters' ages (24+) and a sex scene in the beginning, the only other graphic scenes are those of violence as the genre entails. Definitely recommend it to mature young adult readers.



  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's a bit slow for some, but Armstrong is known to take her time developing her plots.

    1. That's a good point, I definitely saw that with this one but thankfully it didn't bother me.



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