Release-Day Review: The Drafter by Kim Harrison (Peri Reed #1)


The Drafter by Kim Harrison // VBC ReviewThe Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles #1)
Kim Harrison
Published: Sept. 1, 2015 (Gallery)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Peri Reed is a drafter, someone with a rare psychic ability to go back a short amount of time and revise events. When she drafts, Peri doesn’t consciously remember what happened during either timeline. She relies on anchors, people with the psychic skill to recognize the draft, to remember what happened and fix the correct memory in her mind. She is able to draft without an anchor, but is left with gaps in her memory.

Peri Reed is also a double agent. Five years ago, Peri infiltrated a top-secret government organization called Opti that uses drafter/anchor teams to carry out covert missions around the world. A group called the alliance believes that corrupt factions within Opti are going on unsanctioned missions, selling their services to the highest bidder. Peri was sent in to find proof of those missions and identify the corrupt agents. But because her anchor is able to access her memories, she can’t have any knowledge of her true objective.

Dr. Silas Denier pioneered many of the techniques and technologies that drafters and anchors use. He was also once a double agent within Opti, but left because the company was abusing his innovations. Silas knows what Opti would never admit—that anchors have nearly unlimited power to manipulate the drafters’ memories. His experience makes him the best candidate to pull Peri out of Opti and try to recover her memories, but he’s torn between his need to help her and his desire to leave the past behind.

Together Peri and Silas try to piece together the details of her last mission, which were erased from her memory, and find the list of corrupt operatives she recovered but can’t remember where she hid. I loved the Bond-worthy spy craft and the fact that Peri is a tiny little badass. This plot would be right at home in a Mission: Impossible movie if Tom Cruise could time travel.

I was surprised that The Drafter is set only fifteen years from now. It seems like such a futuristic idea. Their phones and other technology are more advanced than the ones we have today, but they’re not that far off. (Peri’s car has biometric locks but it doesn’t fly or anything.) I like the fact that the world is largely recognizable since the drafting is already so much to wrap your head around.

Kim Harrison did make some major changes to the city of Detroit though. By 2030, the city is recovering from its recent economic troubles. Parts of it have been rebuilt around the new high-speed rail line, while others are still in ruins. A sense of the city’s history remains though, and Peri talks about efforts to preserve its landmarks. I loved Peri’s love of her hometown, her reverence for its past and her hope for its future. Perhaps that’s meant to be a metaphor for her life as well.

If you’re still not sure about all this drafting stuff, check out the prequel novella Sideswiped. It’s set six years before The Drafter and provides background on Opti and the world. It also shows the beginning of Peri’s relationships with Silas and some of the other characters. Knowing their history made Silas’s story in particular even more poignant. Knowing (even more) things that Peri didn’t until the very end of the book was also odd and frustrating for me. My brain is broken, but so is my heart.

There are still many things I’d like to know about the years between Sideswiped and The Drafter that I hope Harrison incorporates later in the series. Also, some of the choices made by both the author and the characters at the end of the book feel strange to me, but I’m willing to wait and see how it all plays out. Im just fascinated by this world and excited to see whats next.

Sexual content: sex

4 Responses to “Release-Day Review: The Drafter by Kim Harrison (Peri Reed #1)”

  1. Amy M says:

    I’ve been really interested in this one since I first heard about it. Your review makes me want to forget everything else and sit down to read this book NOW! Great Review!

  2. I loved this one, too. Time-travel books can get out of hand in a hurry, and I was never anything but engaged with THE DRAFTER. Plus, the concept is just…so good.

  3. Kate says:

    As someone who writes time travel, I know how confusing a concept it can be to write and how difficult it is to keep everything straight in your own brain, let alone to effectively explain it. So this review definitely makes me want to pick up this book! It’s always a great learning tool to read well-done time travel!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I’m about 80% done and I’m loving it!

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