The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s “impossible-to-put-down” Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.
When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn’t resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents’ crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.
In the series’ fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel’s drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.
Gabriel, Ricky, and I fight against our roles as pawns by sticking together. That’s where the original three failed. We will not repeat their mistakes.
Rituals was an amazing end to the series. It tied up the outstanding threads with the story, and even brought in threads I had completely forgotten about or didn’t even think was important or still outstanding. It’s just extraordinary.
I just want more people to read this series…
There were a lot of things that just needed to be tidied up at the end of Betrayals. You would think that this is just going to go exactly as you expect it to go (though you hope for a certain outcome to do with the romance), right? Nope. Kelley Armstrong manages to add in even more lore, even more mystery, and even more consequences in Rituals that doesn’t seem cobbled together at the last minute to ensure a dramatic finish.
Also, the romance is yum. It was what I had been looking forward to since I started the series years ago. I wanted more, but that’s because I’m greedy.
I do want more, though. And it’s more than my greedy dragon self craving the lure of a giant hoard of good books. It is because Kelley Armstrong is so amazing at creating a world where it feels like the characters live in it. Because Rituals doesn’t wrap up everything in a tidy little package. You don’t get that feeling that everything is done and you can move on. No, you want more, you crave more. Because Olivia and Gabriel and Ricky feel like real people living real lives that can’t be wrapped up in one ending.
Which is why there are novellas that take place after the series ends, like Rough Justice and Cruel Fate. Which only inflate that need more. But I’m glad I have them.