BOOK REVIEW – Visions (Cainsville #2) by Kelley ArmstrongVisions (Cainsville #2)
by Kelley Armstrong
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Synopsis:

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.

book 1 : Omens ★★★★ (4.5 stars)

“We are imprisoned by the truth we dare not see.
We are imprisoned by the questions we dare not ask.”

► The story starts when Omens ends, Olivia still trying to make sense of everything that happened to her – and to her serial-killers biological parents. While Omens was meant to be read as a thriller more than anything else, in Visions the mythology introduced there starts to be unraveled and more we learn about the different fights at stake, more I found myself completely enthralled in Kelley Armstrong’s story. Indeed whilst the mystery elements are still present, I can’t deny that the paranormal aspects increase in importance in this second book.

Every answer leads to more questions, and the different threads we follow seem so intricate that despite the clues given to us the mystery thickens and isn’t solved by any means.

Again I felt captivated from the start, the investigation pulling me in and the incredible dialogues holding my interest through and through. As I already said, I really, really love reading about these characters. This series is addictive, trust me on this.

▨ Olivia is resilient, stubborn, flawed, and still completely enjoyable. Despite the fact that I didn’t agree with all her choices, I genuinely care about what will happen to her in this strange world she discovered, because frankly? Her actions ring true to me and I can always understand her : she refuses to be used as a pawn yet she’s ready to play games to grab the answers she needs. Who wouldn’t?

In a word, she’s fierce and never, ever annoying. About how many MC can I say that? So few, guys, so few.

▨ Gabriel. GAH. I need to make a statement here : I completely fell for this manipulative little shit who is so much more than he appears. What can I say? He makes me laugh in his bossy way, I care so so much about him! His secret is… He’s incredibly multi-layered : from his words to his facial expressions or instant-jerk reactions, we readers have to observe him carefully to try making sense of his character and well, okay, I’m fascinated. Also, he cracks me up. SO MUCH. And I just love the practical and unfeeling way he talks, with maybe, just maybe, feelings lurking behind (I know! Such a crazy theory!)

Once again the quality of the secondary characters strengthens grandly what could have been a weak plot : From the Cainville’s inhabitants to the strange creatures people (?) Olivia meets, every character is interesting, none is wasted, and it adds so many layers to the story!

I feel the need to talk about the men gravitating around Olivia and the way relationships between them are handled. In my honest opinion we don’t have a love triangle in Visions (and even less in Omens).
✔ James is a controlling asshole whose relationship with Olivia ended.
✔ Gabriel is… Well, I’ll come back to their relationship after, count me on this (yes, because that’s by far my favorite part of the book, duh)
✔ Ricky is the only one who can be seen as a possible love-interest at the time. Period.

But the best thing about this book is by far the way the development of Gabriel & Olivia partnership is handled : as far as characterization is concerned, we have good character development and then we have excellent dynamics growth. Let me tell you something : I rarely met characters whose relationship gradually evolves in such a splendid way that Gabriel and Olivia’s. From their somewhat untrusting and forced collaboration in Omens to the partnership they develop in Visions, nothing feels forced but everything brings real vibes. Really, it’s fucking fantastic how Kelley Armstrong can give us so little hope at first and slowly build foundations for a friendship. Until we starve for more. Damn, I feel like cheering because maybe, just maybe, they’re friends now. I know, I’m pathetic. Move on. But I’m not gonna lie : the fierceness they show when they protect each other made my day. As Olivia rightly said, “You read actions and ignore words.”

► To sum-up, Visions offers us a strong sequel to the story started in Omens and I can’t see why you wouldn’t love it if you enjoyed book 1. Strongly recommended.

PS. I chose to not add quotes (or barely) even though I saved plenty of them (mostly from Gabriel, of course), because I prefer let you discover them for yourself, especially when it comes to Olivia and Gabriel interactions. Trust me, it’s worth it^^.

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