School for Psychics (School for Psychics #1) by K.C. Archer

Imagine, if you will, the absurdly unlikely but highly entertaining hijinks of the TV show Quantico starring a Jessica Jones type, where all the cast have mental superpowers. That is the fun romp that is K. C. Archer’s School For Psychics, in this case the Whitfield Institute to which our heroine, the wisecracking, damaged Teddy Cannon, is recruited after being banned from every casino on the Vegas strip. Teddy has always been able to read people in a fashion that has pretty much caused her to isolate herself from everyone except her beloved adoptive parents. She parlays this skill, however, into profits at the poker tables, to the chagrin of the casinos who ban her before she can finish paying back the stakes she owes a Serbian mobster (in what was the weakest part of the narrative to me, the fact that she didn’t sock aside money from her winnings, the hallmark of a gambling addict, but otherwise never displayed any other symptoms of addiction once she’d left Vegas.)

Anyway, the Whitfield Institute trains psychics for placement with law enforcement agencies, and Teddy is eager to take the opportunity to make something of her life after flaming out of Stanford. She joins an assortment of 20-somethings who each have their own set of skills and secrets, and begins a rigorous training program at the secluded island campus. But when a routine assignment reveals that her mentor may be the very antithesis of everything he’s taught her, and that the riddle of her own mysterious past may not be as unsolvable as it seems, Teddy finds herself and her friends in great danger as they race to uncover a truth that seems to be coming for them whether they like it or not.

This was a super fun book that felt like it would make for a great TV show. The paranormal “science” wasn’t the most rigorous even for that field of study but it was less insulting than some of the pseudoscience that peppers a lot of mainstream entertainment today, so the lack of precision didn’t spoil my experience at all. I also really enjoyed watching Teddy’s character grow and learn from her time at Whitfield, even if I’m more #TeamLucas than Nick. I’m excited to see where K. C. Archer goes with this series (and hope that Teddy doesn’t go the route of Season 2 Jessica Jones, who is high on a cocktail of self-pity and narcissism that is growing increasingly hard to watch.)

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