Tag Archives: Kelley Armstrong

Rituals — Kelley Armstrong

19 Oct


Publisher: Penguin Random House
Released: June 1st, 2017
Genre: Mystery, supernatural
Source: Finished copy from publisher



Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax.

From Goodreads

Excuse me while I take a second to weep into my cozy reading blanket. I cannot believe that this series is over. I actually considered putting off reading Rituals in a weird effort to make the series not end. I lasted all of 30 minutes before I had to dig into it.

What can I say? Kelley is one of my fave authors and also one of my go-to authors. I can always rely on her to deliver an engaging, well thought out and well written book. The Cainsville series was different from her Women of the Otherworld series, delving into different aspects of the supernatural and lore, and I loved it. Rituals was a fitting ending for the series, tying up loose ends but still leaving things somewhat open, which is the kind of ending I love for a series.

The pacing was spot on, speeding up when needing to and slowly down when the story called for it. There was just enough about the previous books to remind me of important plot elements but not so much rehashing that it felt repetitive. In fact, I realized about a quarter of the way through that I actually haven’t read book 4 (GASP!) and I didn’t feel lost at all.

This is definitely a series that I will reread, and I cannot recommend it enough.


The Unquiet Past — Kelley Armstrong

14 Mar

unquiet past


Publisher: Orca Books
Released: September 29th, 2015
Genre: YA
Source: Ebook review copy from publisher


You can only hide from the truth for so long.

Tess has always been tormented by waking visions that make her question her sanity. When the orphanage she lives in burns down, she decides to face her fears and find out once and for all what is wrong with her. She believes the truth must lie with her parents, and so, armed with only an address and phone number, Tess travels to a crumbling mansion in rural Quebec, where she discovers evidence of mistreatment of mental patients. She also makes an unlikely ally and gradually unearths her family’s sad history—and finally accepts the truth about her paranormal powers.

From Goodreads

When I agreed to read and review all of the books in the Secrets series, I had no idea my fave author had written a volume. So you can imagine my excitement. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I really like that even though this is a bit of a different series for her, Kelley still added some paranormal stuff. Her own flair, if you will. I love when authors write outside of their preferred genre, but still make sure that they are including something that makes them them, you know? And that’s the case here.

As with the other books in the series, The Unquiet Past tackles a social issue — the prejudice against Native Canadians. I think for younger readers this aspect of the book will be a real eye opener.

This was one of the darker books of the series (perhaps even the darkest) and that definitely has to do with the subject matter. Questionable mental hospitals and mistreatment of their patients is right up there with creepy clowns in my fear book, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. This part of the story made for a very suspenseful read and made the book a strong page turner.

The Unquiet Past is a welcome addition to both the Secrets series and also Kelley’s books. I highly recommend it.

Secrets week is here!

7 Mar

I am soooooooooo excited about this, you guys! Orca has an amazing series out, called Secrets. It’s seven books in total, by different authors, and each book is about a different character. Here’s the series description from Orca:

In early June, 1964, the Benevolent Home for Necessitous Girls burns to the ground and its vulnerable residents are thrust out into the world. The orphans, who know no other home, find their lives changed in an instant. Arrangements are made for the youngest residents, but the seven oldest girls are sent on their way with little more than a clue or two to their past and the hope of learning about the families they have never known. On their own for the first time in their lives, they are about to experience the world in ways they never imagined.

Bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, Vicki Grant, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten and Eric Walters team up to create this series of linked YA novels.

Each day over the next week I’ll be reviewing each of the books in the series. And then? Well, then I’m giving away a complete box set to one lucky booknerd!

I loved this series and each book was just great. So make sure to pop back and check out the reviews and then the big contest!

Happy reading!


City of the Lost — Kelley Armstrong

16 Feb

citylostPublisher: Random House Canada
Released: January 2nd, 2016
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Source: Hardcover review copy from publisher




Casey Duncan once killed a man and got away with it. But that’s not why she’s on the run. Her best friend’s ex has found Diana again, despite all Casey has done to protect her. And Diana has decided the only way she’ll ever be safe is if she finds the mythical town she’s heard of where people like her can go to hide. Turns out the town really exists, and will take Diana, but only if Casey, a talented young police detective, comes too.

Imagine a hidden town, isolated in the Yukon wilderness, where everyone is pretending to be someone they’re not. Even good people can get up to some very bad stuff. The laconic town sheriff dispenses his own frontier justice, but he’s more accustomed to sobering up drunks in the horse trough, than attempting to solve the series of brutal murders that has rocked the town. As much as he hates it, he needs Casey. As for Casey, coming to the far North may have started out as a sacrifice she was willing to make for her best friend. But maybe, just maybe, she needs Rockton as much as the town needs her.

From Goodreads.


So yeah, I loved this book. Hard. I love certain kinds of thrillers/mysteries and City of the Lost was right up my alley. The premise was way, way cool and the characters were interesting, believable and also surprising. This was another book that I devoured in a couple of days.

A city where everyone is hiding from something that happened in their life? Holy intrigue and sketchy characters! But none of them seemed over the top. And what a cool place for a whodoneit. There were some twists and turns that I really wasn’t expecting, like, AT ALL, and I always love when an author can fool me in unexpected ways.

As always, Armstrong’s writing was spot on and Casey’s voice was both tough and vulnerable at the same time. She’s dealt with a lot of shit in her life and while Rockton is a bit of a party for some, she continues to have to deal with shit. Some her own and some belonging to others. That’s what makes her such an interesting character. And as you can tell by my opening sentence, I’m super excited to get to delve deeper into her psyche and get to know her better in upcoming books.

Armstrong gives readers another thrilling, page-turning read. Fans of mysteries should eat this book up.

The Masked Truth — Kelley Armstrong

6 Jan

maskedtruthPublisher: Doubleday Canada
Released: October 13th 2015
Genre: YA suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher




Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

From Goodreads.

Gah! How do I review this amazing thriller without giving anything away! Okay, okay, okay. Here goes:

Kelley has never written anything that I haven’t just absolutely loved, regardless of genre or age group. She is, by far, my favourite author. Period. So I had a sneaking suspicion I was going to like The Masked Truth. And I did.

This book just sucked me right in. It was another book I basically read in one sitting. (Isn’t it GREAT when that happens?) I loved everything about this book. There was nothing that disappointment me.

I actually think this was some of Kelley’s most solid and diverse writing. The way she writes Riley and Max just blew my mind (especially Max, but that’s all I’m saying on that). The way she dealt with his diagnosis and the way it factored into the main plot was perfection.

This was definitely a suspenseful read and even when I thought I had things figure out, I didn’t. And those are the best kinds of suspense novels. The ones that keep you guessing right until the end.

Close encounter of the Kelley Armstrong kind

2 Nov

*This is where I would put the pic of me and Kelley if I had remembered to frigging take one.*

If you’ve followed this blog since its beginning, or know me IRL, then you know that Kelley Armstrong is my favourite author. I am a HUGE fangirl of hers. Kelley’s been to the east coast several times for book signings and events but the stars have never lined up so that I could go.

Until this past Saturday.

Kelley was one of the authors featured this year at Hal-con. Once she was announced I became hell-bent to get over and see her. I was singular in my mission. I asked the hubs if he wanted to go and he said yes and we bought our tickets for Saturday. We made the commitment and I was over the moon happy about it.

Now, you need to understand why we just opted to go over one of the three days. We have a very unique household. We have a lot of animals, so the two of us going away for a weekend just isn’t doable. We may have been able to convince someone to come in and feed the dogs and let them out, make sure all our cats had food and water, the bunnies were okay, and go to our barn and feed our goats, but with 36 baby ducklings in the house, along with four chicks plus all the birds in our barn, it’s really too much to ask of someone. So a day trip it was. But that’s how much I wanted to meet Kelley. I was willing to do a day trip that saw me up at 3:30 am Saturday and not in bed until 1:30 am Sunday, driving almost 4 hours to Halifax and then back.

AND ZOMG it was worth it! The day was pretty amazing. I actually saw Kelley walking back to the venue after lunch and before her signing and did my typical fangirl freakout and was too overwhelmed to approach her. I did, however, talked to her before her signing and I am proud to say I didn’t cry or dork out. Although I may have cried AFTER I got to talk to her.

I brought an earlier edition of the Stolen paperback to get signed, because it was the first book of Kelley’s that I ever bought, so it has a lot of meaning to me. It was fun to chat with Kelley about the cover, which she said she hadn’t seen in a long time.

Her Q&A was just amazing. The only downside was I wish it had been longer. She had prizes for those who asked a question. I got up my nerve to ask a question (What is the most challenging character to write. The answer was Eve — who is one of my fave characters — because she’s so different from Kelley. Kelley also said she’s one of the most fun characters to write.). And then KELLEY ARMSTRONG GAVE ME A BOOK. A wonderful collection of her short stories. I may have spent the rest of the day hugging it.

So, yeah, Saturday was a big day for me. I was able to meet my favourite author and check one name off my Authors I Need to Meet bucket list. I’ll be giddy about that for a while.




The Calling – Kelley Armstrong

5 Jul

Publisher: Random House Canada
Released: April 10th, 2012
Genre: YA paranormal
Review copy from publisher

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is–a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

From Random House Canada website.

So, it’s no secret that I am a bit obsessed with Kelley Armstrong’s writing. She is, by far, my favorite young adult and adult author. But that doesn’t mean that I approach her books with rose-colored glasses, no. Just because I adore her and her writing doesn’t mean that I am going to fall head over heels in love with all her books. Cuz while I really, REALLY enjoyed The Calling, I wasn’t all crazy for it.

I’m not even sure it’s anything that I can put into words. There’s a lot of action in The Calling, and I think I was craving more character development and such. I also felt that some of the information doled out was chunky, almost like an information dump. But I loved the mystery of the story and also trying to figure out who was on whose side. The whole group dynamic of the teens fascinated me.

As always the writing was awesome (except for the aforementioned issue I had) and I was drawn into the story from the open line. Kelley just has a way of plopping the reader right into the middle of things. The book was face-paced and made for a quick read. So while I wasn’t all drooly over it, I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next book.