I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved this novella. Which comes as exactly no surprise considering I love everything I have read by Kelley Armstrong. There is just something that is impossible to put down about all of her stories, and the strength of the women in her works is also completely admirable. Which, obviously, this was no exception.
I like that although this is kind of loosely based in the Otherworld series, it’s not really part of that world. It’s kind of what would happen after generations and generations of people making incredibly bad decisions. And the apocalypse / dystopian future. I love that it is showing just what can happen when prejudice and fear run rampant and destroy lives.
There is a whole lot of plotting and darkness throughout this story, and yet it is a wonderful and adorable teen romance. Even some of the plotting that in hindsight was obviously going on, wasn’t quite as obvious as in hindsight. Some of it actually took me by surprise. Always something I enjoy.
I loved this novella, and it is definitely one I’ll reread again when the urge takes me.
There is a very good reason why I love Kelley Armstrong so much. And everything I pick up one of her books, I’m reminded again of just WHY I think she’s so amazing. Although, admittedly, some of her works are pretty dark. This is nowhere near as dark and heart rending as some of her other stories though… there is such a pithy, light, and fun tone to this whole story that left me smiling throughout.
Kennedy is a little too much like me. And I loved her. She’s impulsive, loyal and doesn’t always think things through when trying to help. Which, of course is what ends up placing her in awkward position after awkward position. That, and she’s obviously and needfully very driven to find her sisters. Mostly though, her impulsively doesn’t always necessarily lend itself to being helpful in her situation. Something I am all too familiar with…
Aidan is a great counterpoint to Kennedy. He is sweet and buttoned up, and really very cute. His rule-following nature and tendency to want to plan his way through everything sort of acts as the voice of reason to Kennedy’s insanity. Like Kennedy though, he is incredibly loyal to his sibling. I loved how both the leads in this are very loyal to their siblings. It means they get manipulated constantly by this motive… but it’s yet another reason to love them.
The surprise of motive and culprit was brilliantly done within this novel. There were some wonderful surprise reveals from the second half onwards. It had me diving into this story page after page. I love when authors are able to take a great story and make it even more phenomenal with all of their tricky little twists and turns. The fact that Armstrong was able to use this surprise to provide a totally unexpected motive… I definitely can’t wait to read High Jinx.
It took me a while to get through this book, not because it was easy to put down. But because it was just dark enough that reading it at night, before bed was not the greatest of ideas. So many twists and turns, and somewhat gruesome deaths filled these pages. And, just like all of the other books I’ve read by Kelley Armstrong, I freaking loved this.
Although Diana didn’t seem like the greatest of friends even from the beginning of this story, I was shocked at the depths of badness that she went to. I mean, her steady unravelling while Casey is able to find herself… it was horrible and a little heartbreaking. Also a little bit too familiar. Everyone has had a toxic friendship, and as someone who has recently said goodbye to one such friendship, it was a little bit eerie and too relatable.
Actually, this story had a few unexpected twists and betrayals throughout it. I spent the whole time trying to figure out just who the killer was, and it wasn’t until literally moments before the big reveal that I guessed it. Which completely doesn’t count as anticipation, because it was literally the moment that Casey puts it all together. I love those surprises, and I would love to go back one day and reread this, finding all of the clues that I totally missed. Having said that, I didn’t actually have any good guesses as to WHO the murderer was…
I loved everything about this book. It was absolutely amazing and fun and delicious. The idea of a town in which people are trying to disappear hide out is so very cool. And I love that it highlights all of the ways in which people are likely to resort to less-than-desirable behaviours if the rules of society are removed. It makes you stop and think about what social rules shape us.
From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.
Here are twenty-three original tales – stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic – produced specifically for this volume by many of today’s finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card’s first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.
What a fantastic collection. And a great new genre to add to my ever-expanding knowledge of / collection of books. Before reading Dead Man’s Hand and Westward Weird, I had never heard of Weird westerns. And now it’s a genre that I’m seriously keen to find more of. There is just something amazingly fun and awesome about this collection. Very, very enjoyable.
The gunslingers and card players throughout this anthology took me on an absolutely joyous ride. One that I was kind of disappointed finished so quickly. The idea of the wild west has always intrigued me, making this the first time that I was completely able to thrown myself into this fascination.
This anthology didn’t quite get five stars because I didn’t fall head over heels for each and every story. Having said that, I would most definitely read this again. Even those stories which weren’t quite as holy crap amazing as the others.
25 chilling short stories by outstanding female writers
Women have always written exceptional stories of horror and the supernatural. This anthology aims to showcase the very best of these, from Amelia B. Edwards’s ‘The Phantom Coach’, published in 1864, through past luminaries such as Edith Wharton and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, to modern talents including Muriel Gray, Sarah Pinborough and Lilith Saintcrow.
From tales of ghostly children to visitations by departed loved ones, and from heart-rending stories to the profoundly unsettling depiction of extreme malevolence, what each of these stories has in common is the effect of a slight chilling of the skin, a feeling of something not quite present, but nevertheless there.
If anything, this showcase anthology proves that sometimes the female of the species can also be the most terrifying…
This is a fantastic collection. One which I thoroughly enjoyed but learnt fairly quickly that I shouldn’t be reading this late at night… after all, some of these ghost stories are actually kind of scary. And reading them late at night with the wind blowing through the house while you’re home alone… not the best decision making of my life. To be fair, it’s also not the worst…. But that’s a whole other story.
I love that all of these ghost stories are written by women. I definitely believe that we need a collection of women-only writers more often. Or at least, I need to buy more to put on my shelves… although not all of these stories had strong women as the voice, they still felt more relatable than many of the stories that I read by men. I suppose shared experience and all that nonsense.
As a kid, I was never into ghost stories or tales of things that go bump in the night. Although I’ve gotten more into the genre over the past few years, it’s still sometimes not the most powerful driver for me. This collection though is swaying me more and more towards those horror stories.
Lily has loved Nate for a long time, and they make a great team. Particularly when they’re in the Wild West.
I love reading a paranormal fantasy story and spending it trying to guess what “being” the lead characters are. In the case of this story, I spent my whole time trying to figure out what Nate and Lily’s paranormal species was. I didn’t get it. And now, knowing what I know… I feel like it should have been WAY obvious… but oh well.
The word “bamboozle” has got to be one of my favourites. There is just something… fun about it. So reading a story that features this word as the title was immediately going to draw me in (let alone the fact that it is by a well-loved author and series). But it was the activity of “bamboozling” people throughout this that really had me smiling. And I’m now just going to sit in my little book lair and keep saying the word. Because, seriously, who wouldn’t? It’s a pretty awesome word…
What was I saying?
Oh yeah. This is an awesome short story. You should read it.
This was actually a really sad short story. I was a little surprised at how much it plucked at the heart strings to be honest. Although, I really shouldn’t have been. Armstrong generally seems to have a slightly darker side to her stories than what I expect…
Although this is a bit sad and most definitely tragic, it is also a story that features love. That forever kind of love where you just can’t imagine taking another breath without the other person. It may have tragic consequences in this case, but I still found it beautiful and impossible to look away from. The perfect ghost story.
After finishing this short story, I kind of just… sat. And stared. And thought. It was a wonderful ghost story. Most definitely haunting, and not one I’m likely to forget anytime soon.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.