Review: Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

Review: Premonitions by Jamie SchultzPremonitions by Jamie Schultz
Published by Roc on July 1, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
AmazonThe Book Depository


It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister.

Karyn’s crew, and even Sobell himself, are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.

Premonitions came to me highly recommended by Lindsay Ribar, who was nice enough to send me the ARC I read. She warned me that it’s a strange book, and she was damn right about that. Premontions has the bantery, dialog-driven feel of a madcap, gang of misfits television show. It’s funny, off-kilter, and visceral. This isn’t a book that’s going to work for every reader, but, for those who have a particular sense of humor, it’s going to be a delight.

Schultz sets the tone right away by dropping an f-bomb in the first sentence. Not a fan of swearing? This is not the fucking book for you, my friend. Personally, I like swearing and I settled in to enjoy myself. Even better, the book opens with probably one of the best opening scenes I’ve ever encountered. The main characters are a team of thieves, who steal supposedly magical artifacts for their clients. What they’re looking for at the start is a rhino penis. Don’t worry, though, because it’s not attached to a rhino. Basically, I was dying with laughter at this. If you are offended by these things, this is not your book and that is okay. If your eyes are glinting or you’re laughing, this book might just be your new friend.

The leader of the gang is Karyn Ames. She sees the future. Sort of. Karyn’s powers are really cool, by which I mean they are cool to read about but damn do I not want this superpower. When not on drugs to block her power, Karyn sees possible futures overlaying the present. It’s confusing, nigh impossible to interpret and a chaotic mess. Also, Karyn’s visions are gruesome. Truly disgusting and horrifying and straight out of nightmares. What I thought was so cool was that, though being a seer of the future is often a curse (hello, Cassandra), I don’t know that it’s ever been quite this immediate. Schultz does a good job establishing the mood of Karyn’s power and how disorienting and upsetting it is.

The plot is straight up paranormal adventure, centered around one main heist, which, shocking no one, goes awry. My attention definitely did drift from the plot a bit, which is why, no matter how cool I think this book is, I’m rating it three stars. My problem is the multiple third person points of view. There were too many and some of them just did not hold my attention. Their usage permits some dramatic irony, but I think I would have been more invested in the story if I’d been reading only the team’s perspectives.

The cast is interesting and they’re all delightfully shades of gray. There’s some creatures/people that would tend to register as full evil, but no one in this book is good. Anna’s my favorite and I totally ship her with Genevieve. It’s weird, though, since they all chat constantly, but they never became real people to me. They lacked some dynamic quality to make them pop off the page. Maybe it’s how little I know about their interests outside of thieving? Anyway, it seems this will be a series, based on the ending of this book, so I hope the characterization improves in the next one, assuming there is a next one.

If you’ve got a weird, dark sort of humor, Jamie Schultz is an author to watch. Premonitions is possibly of interest for, say, Joss Whedon fans.

Favorite Quote:

“I don’t even know what a severed rhino dick is supposed to look like.”

“Like a severed elephant dick, only smaller,” Tommy put in.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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