Urban Fantasy Review: ‘Premonitions’ by Jamie Schultz

PremonitionsPremonitions is a book that is exactly as advertised; a heist novel with paranormal elements. Karyn Ames, leader of a little crew with a constant need for cash, takes on cases that involves the theft of items that may have protections a bit harder to cut through than state of the art alarm systems or dogs with big teeth. She has a condition that allows her to see glimpses of the future but it is more curse than blessing. While occasionally useful in their heists it takes a powerful (and expensive) drug to keep from taking over; seeing EVERY vision of the future is maddening.

The story kicks off when the crew takes on a case from a known crime lord named Sobell. Their mission is simple enough; steal an artifact. Problem is the artifact is in the hands of a pretty fanatical cult and may be guarded by something extra sinister. Saying no is not really an option though. Not only do several members of the crew REALLY need the cash; Sobell is not the type of person one says know to.

There are two threads here playing out as one. One is the story that is supposed to be the main one; that of Karyn and her crew. It is an exciting heist tale with simple theft gone wrong, a failed delivery, and a whole lot of minor magics. The second story, which is supposed to be the background thread, involves the crimelord Sobell. And Sobell’s story absolutely shined. He was exactly the kind of character I wanted to read about; talking to demons, locking up angels, gaining a near immortality and ruling a criminal empire. Any scene he showed up in was gold—and it over took the rest of the story for me. I felt that this book lacked when he wasn’t present; a problem when he is not supposed to be the main character.

I don’t know where Karyn’s story moved to the back seat for me but once there it never threatened to come back up. Her crew was actually pretty forgettable; if you showed me a list of names two days later I am positive I will mix up a couple of them. One plays the tough girl, there is the big gun, and we have a newcomer who can draw up some cool magic. But Karyn’s condition basically places her outside the action. While her reflections on what is really happening had potential I mostly ended up thinking they distracted from the action; this is a heist novel and a brisk pace is pretty key.

So I found myself entertained throughout but usually wishing Sobell would just take over the whole story. There was nothing wrong with the main plot line on its own, it was fairly well paced and had some nice twists and turns that kept things from getting stale. But dealing with crew infighting and Karyn’s slipping sanity just couldn’t compete with Sobell’s full on mutiny and fight to stay ahead of demons.

A good read with perhaps a few too many ideas put into its page count. Something was going to suffer or the pace would be lost and for me it came out of one of the two major plot lines. Like many first in a series there are a good number of questions that are as yet unanswered. But still a book I have no problem recommending; it is a series that will be worth keeping an eye on.

3 Stars

Copy for review provided by the author.  Thank you Jamie Schultz!

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