Review: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

August 11, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 40 ★★★★

Review: Visions by Kelley ArmstrongVisions by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #2
Published by Dutton on August 19, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Omens, Deceptions

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.

When you start seeing dead bodies everywhere

In Visions, I wouldn’t blame Liv if she started thinking she was going a bit batshit kookoo. Because not only is she seeing omens but she’s seeing the dead body (and body bits) of a young girl dressed to look like her. Luckily she really isn’t going crazy and the mystery of this dead girl is the one that Liv is out to solve in this plotline. It’s a bit of a deviation of where I thought this next book was going to go. I had assumed since the first book, Omens, centered around Liv researching the murders that her birth parents were convicted of, that subsequent books would continue on with her investigating more of those murdered couples. I’m sure that will be the case in forthcoming books but in Visions a local girl to Cainsville has disappeared and also happens to be the girl Liv keeps seeing dead. So her and Gabriel team up once again to solve a murder – in a very round about way.

The push-me, pull-you (5 points if you recognize the movie reference)

Liv and Gabriel have quite the interesting friendship. I shy away from using the word relationship because then folks might immediately think romance between them, when that isn’t the case (at least not yet or anytime soon I’m thinking). Especially considering Liv gets very hot and heavy with another character in this novel that isn’t Gabriel. Anyways back to them – what they have is most definitely a newly budding friendship and Gabriel is not used to having any kind of friendship or relationship with anyone because he’s a very closed off individual due to his upbringing and traumatizing experiences in his childhood and teen years. I’m happy to say we learn much more about Gabriel in this novel and why he is the way he is. So Gabriel has a tendency to run cold and then sometimes lukewarm, very rarely ever hot. He has a vice grip on his emotions and behavior like you wouldn’t believe. Unfortunately, because he likes to keep everyone at a distance he partly does this by treating everyone like a mark he can use to his advatange. Previously in Omens he did that once with Liv and promised to never do it again. So you can imagine what happens when it comes out that he’s done it in Visions.

Spicing things up one more notch

As I mentioned already Liv gets a bit hot and heavy with someone in this book and I don’t just mean once, I mean that you meet a new guy and all the two of you do during that buddy relationship period is bow chicka wow wow. Even I was surprised by the number, frequency and detail to which we see these encounters. So be prepared for some bumping and grinding, fair warning.

The Round a bout

So I mentioned that Liv investigates a murder but that it’s done in a rather round about way. While I do think that is the central part of the storyline in Visions, I didn’t feel like there was a very strong focal point this time around. It was more like “days in the life of Liv Taylor-Jones, and the murder mystery solving just sort of happens along the way, in conjunction with more mysteries revealed about the townm, its elders, Gabriel, a certain biker gang, etc cetera. It winds up being that the story flits from subject to subject like daily life. This style didn’t bother me at all but I could see how a lack of a tight central focus might not appeal to some readers. Overall I think Visions was a great addition to the Cainsville series and I eagerly look forward to more.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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40 Responses to “Review: Visions by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Joy (Joyousreads)

    Nope. Didn’t get the movie reference, sorry. I get zero points. *sad face*

    I’ve been waiting for this book for what seems like forever! You lucky duck. Though I am now a bit disappointed that there’s yet to be any progress between Liv and Gabriel (I’m a sucker for romance. Sue me!). I shouldn’t be surprised though. Kelley tends to drag her characters’ romantic entanglements as much as possible.

    Great review, dear. 🙂
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  2. Lege

    Can’t wait to read this. I really liked first book.
    Gabriel was the most interesting character to me in first book and I’m happy we’ll get some background info on him.It seems he continues to be “i-can’t-belive-he-did-that” guy. 😛

    Great review, Tabitha!

  3. Danya @ Fine Print

    Yaaaaaaay! I’m so happy that Kelley Armstrong hasn’t rushed the whole Olivia/Gabriel romance thing. Gabriel needs to come a looooong way before that happens. He’s a classic Armstrong lovable jerkface though, so it gives me hope for them. Pretty sure I know who all that bumping and grinding is with, hehe. ;)I’m surprised that the Larsen murder plot got dropped a bit in this one – I really liked that aspect of the first. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
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  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    *wolf whistles* Bow-chicka-wow-wow indeed! Too bad it isn’t Gabriel but he really needs to pull that stick out of his butt and relax a bit. I do kind of wish that there was more focus on the mystery as I have a hard time with more “day in the life” plots.
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  5. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I didn’t overly care for Omens, but I absolutely LOVED Visions, so I couldn’t be happier than one of my fav authors bounced back with book 2. And, that motor cycle scene with Olivia and Ricky!? Yeah, that was totally bow chicka wow wow to the MAX! I didn’t like Gabriel very much the first time around, but he definitely redeemed himself in this installment. Great review!
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  6. Kirsty-Marie

    Ugh, sounds like the “romance” took more of a central role this time around, which kind of sucks. Yay for the partnership that’s strictly friendship-or at least, up until now. Though, it sounds like it would be a lot of awkward if it did venture out of that zone. Would be pretty fun to read though. 😉
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Hmm nah the romance didn’t take a central role at all there was just a bit of bow chicka bow wow is all. I know odd right? but trust me it isn’t a central focus at all.

      Heck Gabriel and her are really shakey friends still I’m loving the developments of the entire series.
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  7. Lola

    I loved the first book in this series and I got an e-mail today that my hardcopy of Visions is on it’s way here! yay! I hope Liv and Gabriel get together eventually, but from reading Kelley’s others books I thinki she makes us wait for it. I love frustrating slow burning romances like this, although I usually don’t like it when the main characters starts dating other people, while it’s obvious they aren’t right for her. Great review! And I can’t wait to read this!
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I totally think she is going to make us wait for it. Which I think it best because they are both in pretty messed up mental states to be starting a serious relationship. Even the one she’s in right now I think is more carnal then anything. LIke a rebound you know?
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  8. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I love Kelley Armstrong, and I jumped on this series the second Omens came out last year . . . and it made not one lick of sense to me. I’ve sense found out that there is a prequel that answers, not all, but SOME questions, so I’m planning on reading it before I get to this one. I’m glad you liked it Tabitha, and I’m seriously hoping I do too 😉
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  9. Kel (Booked til Tuesday)

    I still have to pick up Omens! I almost bought it last night from BWB, but it wasn’t in the Bargain Bin and 40% off. 🙁 But I now see a new hardcover of it for $6?! No, Kel. Be strong! You just bought books last night.

    Anyway, great review! I’m off to lock my wallet away where I won’t be tempted.
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  10. Kathleen

    The only Kelley Armstrong I’ve read is Bitten and I was surprised I liked it because I’m not a fan of the genre (paranormal). I’m scared of trying any of her other books because I don’t want to spoil what warm feelings I had over the one I’ve read.

    But I’m a fan of the friends-into-lovers trope so I just might look into this series. I’m hoping for a lot of tension 😉
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  11. kim { Book Swoon }

    I would love to pick up this series by Kelley Armstrong. And from the sound of it – I’m thinking this may be a long waiting romance between Liv and Gabriel. Glad this was a great follow up to book one. BTW, I loved and laughed at your romance “bow chicka wow wow” reference. Thanks Tabitha! 🙂
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I have seriously enjoyed all of her books I’ve read. While some were 3’s all continued to build and get stronger as each series progressed. I’ve read her women of the otherworld series and both of her YA trilogies and now this one. I definitely recommend each of those (more so the adult otherworld ones)
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