Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Rituals” by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: Rituals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defying genres and taking names.

Summary:

Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.

And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax. 

Review:

What should I say about this book? The last in a beloved series, whose characters I held close as though they were friends I wished to cherish.

This is a book that grasped me from the first word. It fulfilled my hopes for the three main characters, and yet it still left me wanting more. I am not one who wants to let go, and these stories and characters are going to be hard to let go of, even those I don’t like.

The plot was strong, twisting and turning, introducing new characters still, who I loved (some of them) and abhorred (one of them) which really is just the mark of good writing.

Liv, Gabriel and Ricky are each so different, but carry some similarities, and in this book you get to see what characteristics they’ve taken on from each other.

The thing that I think I appreciated most about this book is how there was humour imbued within it, even when bad things were happening it didn’t feel too dreadful and heavy.

I understand Kelley Armstrong will be writing more short fiction in Cainsville, which is good, because I don’t yet want to leave.

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Book List 2017

Review: “Lost Souls” by Kelley Armstrong

lost souls

Title: Lost Souls

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Ghost story

Summary: 

The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

Review:

I am a huge fan of urban myths and legends, I even did a speech on them in school. That is why this novella was awesome for me. So seriously awesome. Reason number two why this is awesome is because Gabriel might easily be one of my favourite characters in this, and I have a serious love/hate for Patrick.

This is from Gabriel’s point of view, which is interesting because there’s only really been few, fleeting moments where we get inside of his head, and I am certainly did appreciate the insight to this character.

This is a must for Cainsville fans.

 

Book List 2017

Review: “Betrayals” by Kelley Armstrong

betrayals

Title: Betrayals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Magic, Mystery, Fantasy and defying genres

Summary:

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers–she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents’ crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn’t enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel’s help to clear Ricky’s name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

Review

This book is a thing of beauty. It’s delicately woven plot and mystery pulled me right in and kept me turning the pages and absorbing the words as quickly as I possibly could. It is un-put-downable.

Olivia is stronger than I’ve ever seen her being in the books before, especially when it comes to her mother, and her father and her relationship with them.

Gabriel is softening, just slightly, and only for one person. I can’t really complain about that though. His character is still one of my favourite in the books.

Ricky remains steadfast, and his tale begins to unravel a little more in an interesting way.

The visions are still horrific, but so well written that I can see them in my mind’s eye as though they are right in front of me.

The world of the fae opens up more in this as well, and I’m glad to see it and found myself looking up stories and background for some of the things mentioned here, wanting to know more. Needing to know more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “The Orange Cat and Other Cainsville Tales” by Kelley Armstrong

orange cat.jpg

Title: The Orange Cat and other Cainsville Tales

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Mystery and Magic (Though really, defies all genre)

Review:

The Orange Cat

This may have been one of my favourite of the tales in this book. It gives us more insight into Gabriel as a professional before the beginning of the Cainsville series. It is almost like gothic satire, reminding me a bit of a classic horror tale with a satirical modern spin on it. It also shows why Gabriel is so open to the thought of magic, and something otherworldly, other than Rose’s powers to foretell the future.

Bad Publicity

God, does Patrick have an ego or what? I hate to say it but he is still one of my favourite characters even though I know he’s not the best guy in the fight. I actually really liked this story because it actually showed how his ego might be his downfall one day.

Lady of the Lake

This was an interesting story for me, skirting the edges of Cainsville, and taking place somewhere I’ve driven along here in Canada. I found it interesting, as Olivia and Ricky did to find out how different places, and cultures have many of the same fae tales but under different names.

The Lady of the Lake was a formidable opponent and the danger, despite this being an in between tale, felt quite real for these two.

The visions as always were a little horrific, and I did appreciate getting a little bit more of Ricky’s point of view on Olivia’s relationship with Gabriel. It only served to flesh out his character more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Deceptions” by Kelley Armstrong

deceptions

Title: Deceptions

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies genres but magic and fae ahead

In the exciting new novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s compelling Cainsville series, Olivia realizes that she is at the heart of a tug-of-war between ancient forces–and that everyone around her risks becoming collateral damage. 

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the only child of a privileged Chicago family, but of a notorious pair of serial killers–she found a refuge in the oddly secluded but welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a precociously successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she managed to partially clear her parents’ name in an investigation that also revealed darker forces at work in the town that had offered her a haven.

Fleeing Cainsville after she is almost killed, Olivia finds herself not only the target of the Cainsville elders and of the Huntsmen, but also of her ex-fiancé, James, who stalks her and even tries to have her kidnapped. All this as her feelings for Ricky deepen, and confusingly her feelings for Gabriel too.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, and holds out in her palm a black stone and a white stone that swirl together to create a balance of light and dark. Death stalks them all, as Olivia desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating the triangle that links her to Gabriel and Ricky, or whether she has the power to change the tragic outcome.

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Book List 2017, Genre: Fantasy, Genre: Mystery, Reviews

Review: “Visions” by Kelley Armstrong

Visions

Title: Visions

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies all genre

Summary:

In the second book in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new Cainsville series, Olivia’s newly discovered power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes come to light, creating a rift between them just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s certain it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger.

But then she learns that a troubled young woman with a connection to Cainsville went missing just days earlier–the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has Olivia’s new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Continue reading “Review: “Visions” by Kelley Armstrong”

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Omens” by Kelley Armstrong

omens

Title: Omens

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies all genre but it’s fantasy, horror, suspense and mystery all rolled into one if you’re going to force me to label it.

Summary: 

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.

Continue reading “Review: “Omens” by Kelley Armstrong”

Book List 2016, Reviews

Review: The Orange Cat and Other Cainsville Tales by Kelley Armstrong

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Overall Rating: ★★★★

I love Liv. I really love Liv and so I was glad to be able to get a sneak peak at her life as she travels through Cape Breton with Ricky (who I also love, but maybe not as much as Gabriel). The two of them of course find trouble, because what does Liv do except find trouble?

The chemistry between the two is there, the sex scenes are something I kind of skimmed past because it’s not really my thing though I hear they’re excellent and the games the two play are amusing. This is a lovely little addition to the Cainsville world.

Booking Things, Reading Challenges

Reading Project January-February Kelley Armstrong

I love Kelley Armstrong. I met her before I loved her writing, before I’d read a single word and she was a warm, friendly person. I wish I could meet her now to tell her that I’ve tried to read every word she’s written and it’s still an ongoing project for me, and that the world’s she’s created are amazing.

And thus, my reading project for January, February and possibly March even begins.

I am going to read the Otherworld series in chronological order. It doesn’t seem hard right? Except I’m including the novella’s and short stories as well.

That is, at current count, 61 different pieces of writing, novels, short stories and novellas included.

It has resulted in Otherworld Nights, Men of the Otherworld and Tales of the Otherworld appearing as follows: IMG_3932

This is going to be a very interesting project, and will hopefully lend more depth to the stories I’ve loved for a while. In a way it will be nice to be reintroduced to the characters who have always felt a little bit like friends, or dysfunctional family members.