BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, August 15, 2014

Group Review of Visions By Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Dutton
Series: Cainsville #2
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository*Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new 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 have come to light, creating a rift between the pair 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 convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—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 her 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.

Our Thoughts:

Jax:

I'll admit, I've been behind on my reading and had to grab the first book before I read this one. Which was sort a boon, I didn't have to wait between the first and second book! Two books in, and this is already turning into a series I know I'll have to follow. Not a huge surprise, seeing as it's Kelley Armstrong.

It's got a darker edge than I'm used to in her writing, sort of a noir feel, which I love. I like my mythology and fairy tales to have a bit of bite to them. There is a wonderful sense of secrets and mystery, both in the town of Cainsville, but in how its influence reaches into the world at large. The hints of a variety of factions and forces manipulating events. I'm very interested in seeing which side Olivia chooses, seeing as the consequences of past decisions have been dire.

I also am antsy to see how things go with Gabriel. That connection has some great friction between them. I like him. Worldly, but in many ways as clueless as Olivia about the past. I can't wait for the next book to answer a few questions. 

Bea:

I loved "Omens" and was on pins and needles waiting for this one. I wanted answers to so many questions and happily we start to get them in this book. I loved that Armstrong didn't dole out the answers but made us work for them; we learned as Olivia learned. More than once, I had to look up references to Welsh mythology or used Welsh words (or I could have waited as Armstrong does provide answers but I was happy to look up instead of reading a few more pages).

I was talking with Steph about this book and said I thought it had a lot in common with her Otherworld books. Steph's reply? "Nope, these are freaking weird" and they are, but in a good way. It's our world but slightly twisted. How are the Cainsville books like the Otherworld books? Their use of mythology, mysteries, three dimensional characters, no easy answers, and lots of gray. Very little, including the characters, are all black or all white, all evil or all good. It's about the choices we make, the choices that others make for us, and the consequences of those choices. 

While the story of Olivia's biological parents makes little forward motion, other story lines  do - Olivia's growth, the relationship between Olivia and Ricky, the relationship between Olivia and James, the relationship between Olivia and Ricky, the truth about Cainsville and it's elders, etc. "Visions" is less action driven and more character and story driven but we do get some action, as well as romance and mystery and a healthy does of creepiness. The Cainsville books just may be Armstrong's best work to date.

Steph:

I met both my fellow reviewers (and my hubby) on Kelley Armstrong’s former website board, so it goes to say that I am a fan and jump at any chance I get when it comes to reading a book early. However, I do have to admit that I had Omens sitting on my Kindle unread since I got it. Against my better judgment, I started to read Visions and had to stop and go read Omens. Unless you really want to be confused, read the first book in the series before starting Visions.

Visions picks up pretty much right where Omens leaves off, something that I really like in a series. There is none of the “how long has passed since the last book?” stuff.

I love the characters. They are all complex and every time I think I am figuring one out, we get a curve ball. Omens was a crazy ride but comparing it to Visions, is like comparing a ride on a wooden roller coaster to a ride on one of the new upside down, twisty, swirly roller coasters blindfolded. I was sucked in and had the worst time putting the book down to deal with the real world. I love the characters and the story, even if I am still a little confused as to what is happening. We are in the same boat as Olivia and it is going to be very interesting to see how this all plays out. The Welsh mythology is new to me and I am really getting into it. I cannot wait for the next book.

The Friday 56 Visions by Kelley Armstrong

6 comments:

  1. Great reviews y'all! I would love to start this series, it sounds right up my alley.

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  2. Thank you for the reviews! I'm so looking forward to Visions.

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  3. I love the group review idea! So fun! This looks like a great series that I really must try. I love the cover and it sounds like the book itself lives up to it in creepiness.

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  4. I like the Welsh feel, I won't be repelled by the Welsh vocabulary so I have to try this series, thanks ladies !

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  5. Seems like everyone enjoyed this book! I better go and check out this series now, seeing as the main character has the first name that matches with my own! Sounds like a lovely, haunting mystery ^^

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/08/1st-blogiversary-giveaway.html

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  6. I have yet to read a Kelley Armstrong book (I own a couple though) and I'm trying to figure out why I haven't gotten around to them. Guess it's just always a matter of having the time :( This series sounds great though - I love that it has a dark feeling and that she's really making her characters work for things. Added to my TBR - great reviews!

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