Book Review: Kim Harrison’s The Drafter

Posted October 16, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

Book Review: Kim Harrison’s The Drafter

The Drafter

by Kim Harrison

four-stars

Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #1

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Dates from Hell, Pale Demon, Unbound, Something Deadly This Way Comes, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, A Perfect Blood, "Pet Shop Boys", "Trouble on Reserve", Into the Woods, Holidays are Hell, Ever After, "Waylaid", The Operator, The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death.

Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel

This Hardcover has 432 pages and was published by Gallery Books on September 1, 2015. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

First in The Peri Reed Chronicles science fiction series and revolving around a drafter, Peri Reed. This story is primarily based in the Detroit of 2030.

My Take

Wow. Wow. I would like to give this a “3” because of the HUGE hole in the idea, but I have to give Harrison a “4” simply because the rest of it is so incredibly well written and has more twists and turns than Machiavelli + a roller coaster.

Harrison dodges and hints, drops bits of back history that make you wonder, then turn back on yourself, and wonder in the opposite direction. It does take awhile to get into this, as all those twists and turns will twist you up, creating a tremendous tension And I simply was not getting involved in the characters. I do, however, hate Fran; she is the antithesis of what she purports to be. I don’t like Allen, either. Jack is…Jack. I can understand Peri’s attraction to him.

As for the hole, well, think of the size of a crater from a nuclear bomb. Yep, that’s how big that hole is. Harrison presents our heroine as a woman seen as a traitor for performing terrorist activities. That her employer will arrest her for being on the take. Her reputation will be trashed. Only, they know her memories can be changed, so how can Peri be responsible for what she does. If someone instills memories of a legitimate mission before they go on that mission, how is Peri to know? They can change her memories after the mission as well, so how is she to know what she actually did?

Why would they resent the personality of the person they created? That doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, she does like her nice clothes, fancy car, and the high tech she gets to use, but Jack doesn’t seem to object to any of it. He certainly dresses for success. As for having to take care of her. WTF? They know the state of health in which a drafter returns to life; they’re using it. Hullo? It’s a negative result of those abilities they’re using. As for Peri being “dumb”, again, hullo? If they can return her memories, why aren’t they returning what’s been happening in the world? Why aren’t they giving back her knowledge of how to work her gadgets, what she’s been up to? And, yes, I know you’re questioning why isn’t Peri questioning all this memory she loses…you’ll find out.

Jack doesn’t even like her, and he wants to keep working with her? I just don’t get it. And it made me feel so…scummy reading what he truly thinks.

It’s also irritating that Harrison provides very vague references to an incident that turned Peri into a drafter.

If you choose to read this, I’ll tell ya that I had a hard time getting into this. That’s not to say it’s not tension-filled, ’cause it is, but I think I found it too tense with too many obscure comments. It is an interesting tangle what with Peri’s love for Jack, her appreciation for the Opti lifestyle, what Allen and Silas mean to her…and the truth.

The Story

Double-crossed, betrayed, Peri Reed can’t decide if she’s a renegade on the run or just imagining it. She can’t believe she’d do the things she thinks they’re saying, but how to prove it?

How to prove she’s innocent when her day job is drafting, an ability that allows her to rewrite time but destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote.

The Characters

Peri Reed is a drafter, a person with the ability to turn back time for a few seconds. But she can only do so when she dies, usually. Jack is her anchor, the partner who is able to return her memories when she wakes up again. He’s also been her lover for the past three years. Carnac is her cat. Her mother, Caroline Reed, has been the bane of her existence.

Dr. Silas Denier used to be employed by Opti until he learned the truth, and he quit.

Opti is…
…a covert government organization, per se. Both Peri and Jack work for them carrying out missions. Bill is their handler. Sandy is Peri’s assigned psychologist. Allen Swift is anxious to become Peri’s new anchor. Other agents include Gina Techer and Harry, Nina and Trey, Nathan and Chris, Brandon and Julia, Jason, Chuck, Tony, and Chuck.

Overdraft is a bar for drafters owned and staffed by Opti’s psychologists. Frank works at the bar. The “hole” is the underground medical floor where drafters are treated when they have “issues”. Ruth is one of the techs there. Jennifer had been Peri’s previous anchor.

The alliance is…
…mostly composed of ex-Opti employees: anchors and drafters mostly. Fran Jacquard is the head of the alliance. Matt is one of their techs. Liz, Howard “Squirrel” (a veterinarian in civilian life), Wade, and Brian are operatives.

Dr. Cavana is a child psychologist from Peri’s past. And part of Opti.

Taffeta “Taf” Jacquard is Fran’s unhappy daughter with almost-minors in half a dozen studies and a real one in business with a career as an event planner.

Karley is Silas’ disgruntled ex-wife. I think Summer is a dead agent.

Kelly is a sales clerk at Sim’s Mules. Susie and Anne work for the veterinarian.

Memory knots are snags of unremembered thoughts triggered by scent and images. An MEP is a memory-eclipsed paranoia as two different series of events in time struggle to be remembered. A twin timeline is those two different sets of memories: the truth of what actually happened versus the “truth” her anchor gives her, the rewrite. A talisman is a memento from a mission, a trigger that can help Peri recall a true memory.

The Cover and Title

The cover is lonely with its sienna, dark brown, and white sky, a pair of bare-branched trees in the lower center, the branches growing away from each other. The ground itself is a deep, dark brown while a vintage clock ticks away at the top. The truly great part of the cover are those black specks and the disintegrating title, Peri’s memories as they break and are carried away, disintegrating.

The title is all about Peri, The Drafter, who learns too much.


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