Kelley Armstrong‘s latest book in the Cainsville series, Deceptions, was released earlier this week. I again wanted to make sure I had a refresher read to make sure I didn’t end up missing anything in the new book, so I took the time to read the previous two books. So glad I did, because I’d kind of forgotten how complex this story line actually is.
These books are all intricately connected and cannot be read as stand alone. They absolutely have to be read in order or you are going to be seriously lost. The general, larger story line, focuses on the main female character Olivia (Eden) and that she is the daughter of serial killers who was adopted after her parents arrest when she was two. She didn’t find that fact out out until the point where the book starts (when she is 25). Once she finds out, she spends her time dealing with the fallout when that becomes public knowledge, delving into her history and digging into the facts surrounding her birth parents crimes with the help of Gideon, an ethically questionable lawyer.
This series is packed full of side plots, dramas, details, intrigue and conspiracy throughout this series that makes this the kind of read where you really need to be aware and paying attention or you may end up missing something. The first book gives quite a few hints as to what direction the series is going to go with hints of fae and celtic mythology showing up in Olivia’s background. That takes a minor role starting out, but you know it is going to become a larger one later on down the line. Everything is always tied back to the very unusual and isolated small town, Cainsville.
The unique approach to the paranormal in this book is probably one of the things that lands this series solidly on my favorites list. It is contemporary, but with the aspects that put this into that paranormal genre beautifully worked in. With the first book, you get those hints but then it twists off into a totally unexpected direction. Each book seems to delve deeper into the paranormal side as more bits and pieces of Olivia’s history and origins are uncovered.
If you are a fan of Ms. Armstrong’s Otherworld series, this has a very different feel to it than those stories. Since there is so much to these and they are so tightly woven together with lots of the side plots left open by the end of the books (without any ugly cliffhangers), the focus stays on the main characters instead of different characters and their stories being the focus of individual books. I love how we get a smattering of reading from the different characters’ perspectives (and not just the main characters, but some of the side characters as well), but we aren’t constantly flip flopping.
Both the character development and world building in this series is beautifully done. The characters are richly expressed and easily connected with. The world is subtle, but that makes it so much easier to believe in it without stretching the imagination too far.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t picked it up yet.