Tag Archives: Cainsville

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Omens: Book 1 of the Cainsville Series: Armstrong, Kelley: Amazon ...

Title: Omens
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 24th May – 26th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: sphere
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The kind I’d only ever seen on TV, usually where the bad guys holed up until the cops came busting through the door.

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Synopsis

A LIFE SHATTERED IN ONE MOMENT.

On the eve of her wedding Olivia Jones discovers two shocking facts. One – she was adopted. Two – her biological parents are notorious serial killers.

A YOUNG WOMAN FORCED ON THE RUN.

With her life in immediate danger, Liv is thrown into a terrifying new world. But then she is confronted with a tantalising hope – is it possible her parents are innocent?

AND THE MYSTERIOUS TOWN THAT AVE HER SANCTUARY. AT A PRICE.

Arriving at the remote town of Cainsville, Liv believes she has found the perfect place to hide while she hunts for the truth. But Cainsville is no ordinary town – and Liv’s arrival was no accident…

Thoughts

So, there’s definitely a reason why I love Kelley Armstrong – Author. I’ve been putting off starting a new series by her because I tend to get sucked into her world, and then I’ll want to buy more and more books… but, I decided that I had to read Omens. I’ve read all the prequel short stories and really, really wanted to start on this series. It may have been a mistake… I now want to go out and buy the rest of the books in this series… and I really don’t have the money for that at the moment.

You really don’t need to read any of the prequel short stories to fall madly, stupidly in love with this novel. In some ways, it may even be a little better… you won’t know so much about the gargoyles, Gabriel and that slightly paranormal hint throughout the story. Although, if you’re like me and you want as much information as feasibly possible…. It’s well worth reading the short stories before this. It meant that I had some extra mysteries that I was just constantly guessing at. And some extra historical moments that helped to fill in some of the blanks…

I absolutely loved how Armstrong managed to layer the paranormal, omens on top of a very realistic storyline. It takes a long time to see how the paranormal starts to come into play. After reading her Women of the Otherworld series, it is really fun to see a more subtle and covert approach to the paranormal, and the way it is placed into a very realistic feeling setting. You can almost imagine that a town like Townsville exists and the power to read omens is strong and alive. I can’t wait to see how this “power” develops and the supernatural that is heavily hinted at throughout this novel develops as the series unravels.

There are many, many, amazing things going on in this novel. But one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most was that it definitely bought up the whole nature / nurture debate. That it highlighted the mixed and confused feelings that Olivia felt as she realised that part of her was created by two individuals she has never met. A good portion of this storyline is taken up with Olivia’s own internal battle, trying to figure out how to feel.

<- The Orange CatVisions ->

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The Orange Cat by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: The Orange Cat
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.7
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 27th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Gabriel put the pet carrier on the table.

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Synopsis

Gabriel is beginning to make his way in the world of criminal defense. But this latest case, featuring the orange cat is just a little bit unique… Cainsville kind of unique.

Thoughts

I like this short story that revisited Gabriel as an adult. You find out so much about his childhood in previous short stories, but, considering I’m convinced he’ll be an adult in Omens, I liked that there was a little bit more about him as he’s making his first forays into the adult world. The fact that it was done in a quite funny manner, with a bit of a sadistic twist… well, of course I enjoyed that all the more.

In all of the Cainsville short stories that I’ve read so far, one of the common re occurrences is karma, paying your debts, etc. The fact that this story uses an orange cat that just won’t stay away, can’t be killed and is pretty damn single-minded was quite intriguing and somewhat clever. It kept with the theme that I have found so far, but managed to make it a lot funnier – after all, who would have thought that a cat could cause that much damage?

The more short stories I read in this series, the more keen I am to start reading Omens. And, luckily, this is the last short story that stakes place before the activities in Omens, so now I get to read that novel to my heart’s content…

<- Bad PublicityOmens ->

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Bad Publicity by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Bad Publicity
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.6
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 25th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Making contact.

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Synopsis

Patrick has never wanted to do much publicity. But, when his new publicists manages to outmanoeuvre him, he decides to go along with her schemes. Until he realises that they may just not be her schemes…

Thoughts

It was nice to revisit Patrick and his shenanigans after reading Devil May Care. Particularly when you know that he is integral to this whole idea of a future that could impact all of the fae camps and the world as they know it. It highlights the reason why he’s obviously stayed away from Gabriel up until this point, and the ways in which the fae are already moving about in this world…

There may be no such thing as bad publicity, but there is such thing as a bad publicity experience. Particularly when the poor individual who organised it all ends up being just a bit of a pleb. One that is pushy. And driven. But still just ends up being a pawn in a greater battle. I like that even though Patrick is annoyed at the fact that she’s the instigator, he still honours her gumption and drive. It was a nice way to end this short story.

Bad Publicity is a little light and humorous. But it is also a great reminder of the more traditional role that the fae seem to be able to play in the Cainsville series… that of tricksters, predators and the slightly envious. Beings which always pay their dues and find a way to get their own. Regardless of the consequences to others.

<- Gabriel’s GargoylesThe Orange Cat ->

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Gabriel’s Gargoyles by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Gabriel’s Gargoyles
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.5
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 24th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: The man grinned.

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Synopsis

Gabriel loves his visits back to Cainsville every holiday. And this one is going to be extra special – he’s finally going to find that final gargoyle!

Thoughts

There are few books I’ve read that feature gargoyles. And, honestly, whenever I do read any mention of them, I think of the gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Because you know, they’re some of my favourite Disney sidekicks. The gargoyles in this story though really aren’t as funny and fun as the ones in Disney.

I read this short story straight off the back of Devil May Care. Which was excellent timing. After all, Gabriel’s beginnings are a little dark and you seriously hope that he gets a bit of a happily ever after. This doesn’t actually provide that in the slightest. But it does show the strength and gumption that the young boy has. It also has a great hint of the secrets of Cainsville throughout.

Finding gargoyles that constantly move in a town enmeshed in secrets sounds like exactly the kind of thing that I would have loved as a child. It made me wish that this town, which feels fairly dark actually exists. The fact that Gabriel is already a young boy on his own hints at the kind of man he is going to become. And I for one, can’t wait to meet him in Omens.

<- Devil May CareBad Publicity ->

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Devil May Care by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Devil May Care
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.3
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘All the gargoyles and the old people.

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Synopsis

Patrick has always enjoyed being footloose and uncaring about the responsibilities he should have. But a mysterious fae has sent him running back to Cainsville. And no matter how hard he fights, the future is going to have it’s own way.

Thoughts

When I first bought Omens, I didn’t realise that there was a fae aspect to the storyline. Or at least, not one that is very strong. I just loved past works by Kelley Armstrong, so figured that I would get some more of her books. And then I realised that there was a whole slew of short stories that take place before Omens. So I figured I had better read those too. And, honestly, it wasn’t until this short story that I understood how much of an impact the fae were going to have on this story.

I loved the introduction of Patrick in this story. He is everything that I imagine when I think of a puckish, trickster-like fae. He keeps a balance and makes sure that he repays all of his debts. He pursues his own interests and pleasure, regardless of what other people think or want to know about his life. And he DOES NOT want any responsibility – so the fact that he is embroiled in a pretty major prophecy, one that is filled with responsibility… it’s pretty damn good.

There was something that was surprisingly fun about this dark little origins story. And it is the very epitome of origins stories – the story of how a character I’m going to assume will be very important is bought into the world. And the horrible characters which will be a huge part of their lives…

<- Nos Galan GaeafGabriel’s Gargoyles ->

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Nos Galan Gaeaf by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for book cover haunted nights ellen datlow

Title: Nos Galan Gaeaf
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.2
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 2nd December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Blumhouse
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: But remember this: there is no fate you cannot undo.

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Synopsis

In Cainsville nothing is as expected. Including Halloween. And a bit of revenge might just turn sour… and quickly.

Thoughts

Halloween has always felt like somewhat of a dark holiday to me. There is just something about it that isn’t all clean and shiny like many of the other holidays and festivals that we celebrate. So I really loved that Armstrong took this and made it even darker, twistier and waaaaaaaay scarier. She created a kind of horrible (but also bloody brilliant) story that I look forward to reading again in the future.

This story starts out with a crush. More of a lustful crush. One that isn’t reciprocated. But, it doesn’t mean that they’re evil and have cast a spell on you. It probably just means that you have a crush. This is Cainsville though. Nothing is quite that simple, and it is always much nastier than a normal response. Which is why I love it.

My favourite thing about this short story is that karma is a fickle bitch. It’s a reminder that what we plan to do to someone is likely to come back to us… tenfold. And, especially if you live in Cainsville, you should probably make sure that you think about your actions first…

<- The Screams of DragonsDevil May Care ->

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The Screams of Dragons by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: The Screams of Dragons
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.1
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 21st October 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: He let her out!

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Synopsis

Bobby has never quite fit in with his family. But when his grandmother decides that he’s a changeling, things take a turn for the worse. Only the screams of dragons seem to make him feel complete… but they might not be the safest thing to obey.

Thoughts

I kind of forgot how disturbing Kelley Armstrong’s stories are. They’re so much darker than most of the fantasy that fills my shelves. And there’s not necessarily always a happy ending… although it does mostly work out that way. This short story goes to the top of the kind of disturbing list… especially when the story features a boy who is so obviously not okay… and, eventually completely evil.

I’m a big believer in the idea that there is a little bit of darkness in all of us. That it’s our choices and the influences around us which help us to either go down the dark path, or find a way to follow the light. Bobby so definitely chose the dark path in this story. At the beginning of the tale, you believe that he is a victim, someone you should feel sympathy for and you want to find a happily ever after. But, as he starts to find his own power… the sympathy starts to seriously wane and a new emotion takes over… revulsion.

I haven’t yet read Omens and truly started the Cainsville series, I’ve only had the joy of reading a few short stories. But they’re enough to know that I’m going to love the bigger series and find Armstrong’s twisted, dark version of fantasy as enjoyable as I did with the Women of the Otherworld series. There is something way more twisted to the end of this short story than most of the other villain tales I’ve read. And the poetic justice worked absolutely brilliantly.

<- PortentsNos Galan Gaeaf ->

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