the Little Red Reviewer

Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Posted on: April 19, 2017

Lost Souls,  by Kelley Armstrong (Cainsville series)

published March 31 2017

Where I got it: received ARC from the publisher. Thanks Subterranean!!




These ongoing series are fantastic, aren’t they?  Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.  You never run out of books to read!


On the downside, a huge series like that can be daunting for someone who hasn’t even started it yet.  You mean I have to read 7 novels before the backstory starts up?  You most certainly do not.  Find yourself a short story or novella that takes place in that world as a “dipping your toes in”, as it were. Will you be reading things out of order? Yeah. Might there be spoilers? Yep!  But, you’ll get a feel for if this is a world you want to invest more time in.


Kelley Armstrong’s first novel, Bitten, came out in 2001, and since then she’s written over 25 novels, primarily supernatural urban fantasy, but also mystery and a few books for kids.


Her newest novella, Lost Souls, is part of her Cainsville series, in which people are desperately trying to escape their past and live normal lives.  This novella was my first  first Armstrong (I know, right?), and I’m pleased to say I came out of it caring about these characters and wanting to keep their secrets safe. Even better news?  If, like me, you haven’t read any of the Cainsville urban fantasy novels,  this Lost Souls is a good jumping in point.  Spoilers? Oh,sure,  a few.  But knowing the future is kinda fun, because when you go back and read the first two Cainsville novels,  you’ll feel like you’re in on a big secret that no one else knows.

Lost Souls is told mostly from Gabriel’s point of view.  Now a small town lawyer, Gabriel spent much of his youth on the streets. His workaholism tends to weird people out, and it’s not that he’s addicted to his job, it’s that deep down he still fears not knowing where his next meal will come from, and working gives him that much needed security.    Olivia, the investigator who works for him, is a little more open about her past, at least with people she trusts.  One day the two of them are going to have a few drinks, and play the “whose scars are worse”. It would be good for them.  For less than 200 pages, this novella is a slow burn for a lot of the reveals, yet nice and heavy on the characterization.


And then there is Patrick, who has the deepest secrets of all (although Olivia has already figured most of them out on her own!).  As much as I enjoyed getting to know Gabe and his vulnerabilities, it was Patrick who makes me want to continue reading in this series.  There is a big spoiler in Lost Souls about Patrick, but it’ll let me read the first two Cainsville novels with a knowing wink.


The quick plot summary of Lost Souls is that Patrick is trying to manipulate Gabriel and Olivia into investigating an urban legend of the disappearing hitchhiker. Typically a woman in white, she’ll flag down a driver and ask him to take her somewhere. He does, and she disappears. Maybe the driver finds her grave, or her body, maybe the guy drops dead of a heart attack or she lures him to drive off a bridge. It’s been happening in Cainsville, and Patrick needs Gabriel to get involved.


All in all, this was a very fun novella. So enjoyable in fact, that I read it twice!  It’s a fun, fast read, and I really got into the relationships between the characters and who knows what about whom.  I’ve already seen a few hardcovers floating around neighborhood bookstores as well, if you’re interested in picking up a copy.   If you enjoy urban fantasy with fantastic characters,  and dark twists, Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series is a series you should check out.


2 Responses to "Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong"

I tried reading one of her books. Seemed to much like a romance novel to me.


I’d pick up another book in this Cainsville series. Seems to have a similar feel to Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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