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I Belong

Review: The Drafter by Kim Harrison

Title: The Drafter

Author: Kim Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction

Series: Peri Reed Chronicles (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 19, 2016

Format: Paperback, 550 Pages

ISBN-10: 1501108743 (Pocket/Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1501108747 (Pocket/Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Stephanie


In the first explosive book in the Peri Reed Chronicles, Kim Harrison, #1 “New York Times “bestselling author of the Hollows series, blazes a new frontier with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. “Detroit 2030.” Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don t forgive and never forget has always been Peri s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?”

Quick & Dirty: A confusing yet ultimately entertaining ride in this futuristic new series from Kim Harrison.

Opening Sentence: The room was a featureless eight-by-eight, the monotony relieved by a single chair and the door pad softly glowing in the recessed overhead lights.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Peri Reed is a drafter, a person with the ability to rewind time, albeit at the expense of her memory. Any draft has the potential to wipe an untold amount of time from a drafter’s past, but without that wipe, drafters would be left with two timelines in their mind, which their sanity would not be able to handle.  While on her latest job for Opti, Peri and her partner come across a list of corrupt agents, and Peri is surprised to find her name on the list. While she feels she isn’t corrupt, she has no real way of knowing because her memory of the past is gone. In order to find out the truth, Peri will have to let go of everything she’s known and believed about being a drafter and team up with a former Opti agent, Silas, who now works for an organization determined to bring Opti down. Will Peri find the answers she seeks? Will she be able to handle them?

I’ve had this book in my possession for over a year and just kept putting off reading it. The only reason I can think of for why is I was afraid it wouldn’t measure up to the love I have for Kim Harrison’s previous series, The Hollows. I love that series so much that I was afraid the magic couldn’t be repeated a second time. And while I did end up enjoying the ride this book took me on, it never fully got its hooks in me to where I didn’t want to put it down. In fact, I read two other books while still in the middle of this one, which says something.

I think the biggest problem lies in the fact that we as the readers don’t know much more than Peri about whether or not she’s corrupt. Even having read the prequel short story, I had no clue what was going on because this book takes place five years after the prequel, and it’s what happens in those intervening years that’s so crucial to knowing if Peri is corrupt or not. Now, don’t get me wrong, a part of me appreciates the fact that the reader is in the same situation as Peri. It helps us identify with her confusion and want to find out the answer. But at the same time, wanting to constantly  push through the book to get to the answer makes it hard to appreciate the journey it takes to get there because we’re feeling lost the whole time. It’s a tricky situation, and ultimately, I don’t think it completely works.

As far as the characters go, I really liked both Peri and Silas. I do think Harrison does a good job of fleshing them out so that we the readers like them and want them to succeed. The side characters of Taf and Howard are great as well, and I wish we had seen more of them. Everyone else didn’t seem quite fleshed out beyond whether they were a good guy or a bad guy.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one, which is disappointing. I’m going with 4 stars because ultimately, I did enjoy the ride even though I spent much of the time confused. I think it’s an interesting world that Harrison has created, and I want to give her a chance to flesh it out more and see if book two perhaps has less of the confusion that permeated this one.

Notable Scene:

Silas’s jaw clenched when someone knocked into her. And then he stiffened when, with a snap, the room reset and the last four seconds replayed, Peri adroitly shifting in her chair at the right instant to remain untouched. Time caught up, meshed, and he shook himself, a cold feeling slipping through him when Peri, oblivious to the skip-hop, leaned forward to read the screen.

Uneasy, he pushed off from the counter. He’d watched her jump three times to escape the airport. It was doubtful she even knew she had drafted. Her mind was flirting with collapse, and the he felt responsible bothered him. It had been too large a task; too much of her life had needed to be erased.

It was her choice, he reminded himself, but he still felt betrayed as he came closer, halting just within her range of sight and waiting to be noticed. Power and recognition meant more to her than he liked, but her determined drive had drawn him regardless. Even now, years later, he could feel it, and his jaw clenched.

As if sensing it, she looked up, her hazel eyes and long lashes vivid against the heavy eyeliner she’d used to muddle any facial recognition software. Her shock melted into a quickly quashed panic. She was afraid of him. “You,” she said, eyes darting to the perimeter for others even as she blanked her screen. “What are you doing here?”

The Peri Reed Chronicles:

1. The Drafter

2. The Operator


FTC Advisory: Pocket/Simon and Schuster provided me with a copy of The Drafter. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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