Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Cainsville series — a five book series by Kelley Armstrong.  


  • Rituals — August 2017  
  • Betrayals — August 2016  
  • Deceptions— August 2015
  • Visions — August 2014
  • Omens — April 2013


  • Lost Souls, Limited Edition — March 2017
  • Cainsville Files, Apple Game App — 2013

TO HELP: Characters chart needs filling out.

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Mystery

  • Contemporary mystery/thriller with hints at supernatural elements

Series Description or Overview Edit

24 year old Olivia Taylor-Jones, has led a fairy tale life. Being the only daughter of a well to do family, she has received an exceptional education, and she has learned how to help those in need. Having never been there herself, she is full of kindness and concern. Engaged to be married to a CEO with political ambitions she is on top of the world. Always a daddy’s girl, her life begins a strange exodus when he dies. Suddenly she finds out she has been adopted, and everything she believes of her life is wrong.

Her real parents are notorious killers, both having received life sentences for murder and she is suddenly no longer the woman she was. As her life begins unraveling around her, she does her best to hide. She has become an instant celebrity, one that does not fit in the mold of the life she had planned. Everywhere she turns she is recognized, and her inability to disappear just keeps the rumors more vicious and profound. Even her (adoptive) mother has distanced herself.

Several incidents occur that lead her to the small town of Cainsville. Here she can hide from the sudden notoriety. Yet the town itself adds a sinister cast to the unfolding drama. When her real mother’s attorney seeks her out, she is immediately distrustful. She finds herself drawing on strange abilities, as she tries to come to terms with her past. An eventful meeting with her real mother entangles her in an investigation into the killings that happened so long ago. Were they really guilty, or were they just an easy answer to a series of macabre murders? ~ Omens by Kelley Armstrong | Blogcritics

Lead's Species Edit

  • Ability to sense Omens

Primary Supe Edit

  • Faeries

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • Some chapters: First person narrative told by Olivia, protagonist.
  • Other chapters: Third person narrative.

Books in Series Edit

Cainsville series / Omens and Shadows:

  1. Omens (Aug 20, 2013)
  2. Visions (Aug 19, 2014) — paperback: July 28, 2015
  3. Deceptions (Aug 6, 2015)
  4. Untitled ()
  5. Untitled ()

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

  • 0.5. The Screams of Dragons (2014) anthology — "The Screams of Dragons" short story prequel (Gabriel Walsh as 10 year old narrator)
  • Gifted (2014) ~ Contains two holiday stories, one Otherworld Pack and one Cainsville
  • Cainsville Files (July 2013) (interactive story) ~ Cainsville File - Kelley Armstrong

Other Series by Author onsiteEdit

Themes Edit

  • Adoption and how people are viewed who are adopted. 

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

  • Cainsville: A town about an hour away from Chicago.
  • Chicago: Where Olivia lived.


  • Kenilworth: Wealthy neighbourhood of Chicago where Olivia had lived with her mother.
  • Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Where Edgar Chandler, William Evans former thesis advison lives.

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Omens, psychics, Welsh folklore/mythology, faeries, hobgoblins, changelings, crone, Bean Sidhe (Banshees), ravens, Celtic lore, mythologica hunt, Wild Hunt, stone Gargoyles, , ,

Glossary: Edit

  • Cwn Annwn: In Welsh mythology, the hounds of the Otherworld better known as the Wild Hunt. They escorted the dead to the afterlife. According to the lore, if you heard the howling of the hounds, you would die.
  • Twyleth Teg (“Till-eg Tay”): Welsh for fair folk (the fae)
  • Changeling: A fairy child left in place of a human one
  • bean sidhe: Banshees. Irish Gaelic spelling of the word.
  • bean nighe: A form of bean sidhe. It's an old woman who washes the clothing of the dead
  • Gwrach y Rhibyn: Ugly old woman washing in a stream while wailing death warnings. A Welsh cross between the bean nighe and the taditional bean sidhe.
  • boinne-fala: A drop of blood
  • Bocan: Hobgoblins; characters like Puck in Midsummer Nights Dream
  • Matagot: According to some oral traditions of southern France, a spirit under the form of an animal, mostly undetermined, frequently a black cat, but rat, fox, dog or cow types are said to exist too. Matagots are generally evil, but some may prove helpful, like the "magician cat" said to bring wealth into a home if it is well fed.
  • Bran: Welsh for "raven"
  • Ewch i ffwrdd: Welsh for "go away"
  • Crimbils: Welsh word for changelings
  • Mallt-y-Nos: A figure in Welsh folklore. Otherwise known as Matilda of the Night, or Matilda the Crone. Associated with the Wild Hunt. The only woman who rides with them.In some stories she leads them. The Hunt rides in pursit of the recently dead, and if she captures a soul, it goes to the Otherworld. If she fails, it has a chance to pass to heaven.
  • Gargoyles: there are several stone gargoyles round Cainsville—the townfolk believe they come alive.
  • Poppies: portent of death
  • Disgynyddion:
  • bychan:

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Cainsville Elders

World Edit

The world of Cainsville is mysteriously steeped in Celtic and Welsch folklore.

In this alternate world, a magical community exists alongside but unknown to the mortal world. The magical beings appear to be related to the Fae, but few details of their mythology are spelled out in the first book—just subtle hints. The small town of Cainsville, in the isolated countryside outside of Chicago, is the center of this magical life.

On the surface, Cainsville is an idyllic little village with a cozy, otherworldly, old-fashioned feel. The buildings feature 19th century architecture with gargoyles on the roofs, and most of the businesses are owned by families who have lived in the town for many generations. Spend some time there, though, and it soon becomes obvious that dark secrets and mysteries are hidden under Cainsville's bland, comfortable surface. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Kelley Armstrong: CAINSVILLE SERIES

Protagonist Edit

✥ Olivia Taylor-Jones, the daughter of the wealthy owner of a department store, recently received her master’s degree from Yale and does volunteer work in her spare time like her philanthropist mother. She is soon to be married to the CEO of a tech company who was voted one of Chicago’s most eligible bachelors three years in a row. However, her life falls apart when her identity is revealed: Eden Larsen, the daughter of the notorious serial killers Todd and Pamela Larsen.

Since Olivia’s parentage was only known by her deceased adoptive father, this news comes as a great shock to everyone—especially to Olivia, whose parents had never told her she was adopted as a toddler. The media constantly hounds her, her adoptive mother distances herself from Olivia after learning she’s related to criminals, and the only person who seems at all sympathetic toward her is her fiance James. Yet even he would like to postpone the wedding until things settle down, a desire Olivia suspects is connected to his recent decision to enter politics. Olivia breaks off the engagement and leaves, planning to find a job and a place to live, but these goals are hindered by the fact that everyone recognizes her as Eden Larsen and no one wants to hire the daughter of the infamous Larsens. Olivia leaves Chicago entirely and relocates to the mysterious town Cainsville, where she rents a small apartment and gets a job as a waitress at a local diner. ~ Fantasy Cafe

✥ Olivia acquires a possibly hexed apartment, nosy neighbors, a crappy waitressing job at the local diner, hallucinations and/or mystic visions, and an imposing if slightly terrifying defense attorney—Gabriel Walsh. She ends up investigating her real mother's case to prove her innocent with Gabriel.

✥ Moving to Cainsville is actually the best thing she ever did because it allowed to find herself and to stay clear of the Chicago press that might want to take advantage of her. Olivia’s true strengths are her intelligence and her ability to conform to different situations. She isn’t afraid of the new and that came in handy quite often during the book. ~Goodreads - various readers

✥ Olivia is beginning to develop strange abilities—nothing too superhero-ish but rather something so subtle one would even wonder if incidents were in fact supernatural or mere coincidences. Olivia can read signs — a black cat or a certain flower catches her eye and an old rhyme pops to her head, a rhyme that uncannily turns out to be accurate. We know that it’s supernatural because of everything else that’s happening in the book. ~ Review | Omens, Kelley Armstrong | Literary Treats

✥ Olivia’s Omens related to luck, omens related to the weather, and omens related to death. ~ Dear Author

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
"Liv", Olivia Taylor Jones aka Eden Larsen ability relates to seeing and interpreting omens, actual omens.
Gabriel Walsh lawyer works with Liv to hear her parents of murder;
Ricky Gallagher biker dude/business student son of the Satan Saints' gang leader;
Todd and Pamela Larsen Olivia's parents believed to serial killing couple;
James Morgan politician ex-fiancé; dangerous
Patrick An author He often spends his days working on his novels in the diner;
Pamela Larsen

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste columns.

Kelly Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong

Author Edit

Kelley Armstrong

  • Website: Kelley Armstrong
  • Genres: Urban Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Bio: Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. ~ Goodreads | Kelley Armstrong

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit

Other Contributors:Edit

  • Audio Book Narrator: — Source:
  • Editor: — Source:

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Dutton Adult
  • Author Page: August 2013
  1. Omens: Hardcover, 486 pages, Pub. Aug 20th 2013—ISBN 0525953043
  2. Visions: Hardcover, 432 pages, Pub: Aug 19th 2014—ISBN 0525953051
  3. Deceptions: Hardcover, 464 pages, Expected Pub: August 18th 2015—ISBN 052595306X

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—Omens (Aug 20, 2013): 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. ~ Omens- FF

BOOK TWO—Visions (Aug 19, 2014): 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. ~  Goodreads | Visions (Cainsville, #2) by Kelley Armstrong


First Sentences Edit

  1. Omens (2013) — Prologue: Eden crawled onto the living room, the rough carpet burning her chubby knees and hands. / Chapter One: I waited in the shelter drop-in center for my next appointment.
  2. Visions (2014) — The poppies were a bad sign. A death omen. It doesn't get much worse than that.

Quotes Edit

“You're not shooting the cat, it would leave a mess. "True. also the killing of small animals is the entrance ramp onto the serial killer highway" Damm. I bet the cat knew that. he picked me because I can't hurt him, or I'd be fulfilling my biological destiny. So I'm screwed.” ~ Gabriel & Oliva
“Will you give me twenty bucks if I hit the head? "I'll give you ten if you just shut up and shoot.” ~ Gabriel & Oliva at the firing range
“One for bad news, Two for mirth, Three is a wedding, Four is a birth, Five is for riches, Six is a thief, Seven a journey, Eight is for grief.” ~ Old rhyme about crows (Olivia)
“A friend helps you move; a real friend helps you move a body.” ~ Olivia comptemplating Gaberiel's trust of her.
“I have met monsters and they all have quite normal parents.” ~ Anita Mosley

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (smilar elements) Edit

— Series or books with similar supe elements, sub-genres, tone, themes: Faeries, Wild hunt Changelings:


Celtic, Welsch mythology;



Notes Edit

✮ What kind of research went into the creation of Omens? — Kelley Armstrong: Lots! I did far more research with this book than any I’ve done for a while. While I can’t divulge some without spoilers, here’s a partial list: Welsh myth, general Celtic lore, omens & superstitions, gargoyles, Chicago, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini, the Cottingley Fairies, black shucks & other fetches, ravens… And biker gangs, though more of that plays into the next book (which is a hint that it wasn’t randomly introduced!) ~ Open Book Society | Kelley Armstrong author of Omens (Cainsville series, book #1): Exclusive Interview
✮ In her “Author’s Note” at the beginning of this book, Armstrong gives the reader a choice. She has sprinkled a handful of “literary Easter Eggs” throughout the book—foreign words and phrases (mostly Welsh) presented initially without context, although many are later explained in the text. The reader has the option of either pausing to search for the meanings (probably on the Internet) or, in Armstrong's words, “ignore them and travel on Olivia’s journey with her, uncovering the secrets as she does and, yes, I hope that’s the route you’ll choose." ~Fang-tastic Fiction: CAINSVILLE SERIES

See Also Edit

External References Edit


Summaries, Articles:

World, Characters, etc. 





Community, Blogs:

Fan Sites

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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