Review: The Drafter by Kim Harrison

drafterReviewed by Jen

If you’re a fan of the Hollows and you’re debating whether to pick up this very different kind of book from Kim Harrison, let me make it easy for you: do it. Of course, this recommendation isn’t only for fans of Rachel Morgan, but I have to admit that after loving those books so much, for so long, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy Harrison making such a big departure from Urban Fantasy. Instead of disappointment, this book left me feeling excited about the next installment and finally broke me free of an ongoing reading slump.

Before you start, there are a few things you need to know. Number One: I’ve seen this billed as a suspense/ thriller, but for me the futuristic/ sci-fi elements were bigger. The story is set in an alternative world Detroit in the year 2030. Our heroine can manipulate time.  Two: There are romantic elements, but this is not a romance. Don’t expect an HEA. Which leads me to Number Three: Though this book has a clearly defined ending, this is only the first part of a trilogy. There are questions left unanswered and things left unclear. Get ready to burn for the sequel.

Peri, our heroine, is a drafter. She is highly trained as a covert government operative, who has the added juice of being able to skip back in time when a mission goes bad. She can’t go back far, just a minute or two. But it’s enough to make all the difference between success and failure. As cool as it is, the ability also has serious consequences. Living through two timelines can ravage the mind, and drafters need the help of an “anchor” to reconcile the events in their minds… and even then, sometimes memories are lost. But as the story begins, Peri believes what she’s doing is worth the sacrifice –and she couldn’t be more in love with her anchor, Jack.

Over the course of the book, Peri has to face some uncomfortable truths about what she does and who she does it for. And it’s made so much more difficult because she is missing her own memories and she doesn’t know who she can trust. Kim Harrison does so many things right here. I really felt Peri’s internal conflict. I believed in this crazy world she lives in and I was shaken right along with her every time Harrison dropped a new bomb in her lap.

There were so many parts where I didn’t know what to think –or who to believe.  That could be frustrating at times, and even after reaching the end, I still don’t know what to make of some characters (yes, Allen, I am talking to you.) But then I remind myself that there are still two books to go. If everything tied up in a bow, what would be left to uncover? That Harrison leaves me wanting more means she did her job well.

So much happens here. It’s complex and dense, but I never wanted to put it down. The secondary characters are well drawn and compelling. I want to know everything about Silas. I want to see the connection he built with Peri play out. Heck, even the villains are fascinating and in some cases, alluring.  Not that we know who all the villains are. That’s part of the mystery.

Bottom line: this book is fresh, original, engaging, fast, and just plain fabulous. I really kind of loved it.

Rating: A-/B+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Drafter
by Kim Harrison
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books




  1. Joyce Dingman says:

    I have a solution for reading those types of books that I LOVE, by the way. (I’m a Harrison fan.) I wait till they all come out…….then I can check out the end and see who the bad guys were. Problem solved. Then I can read it at a leisurley pace, enjoying all the little ins and outs knowing all the time who the bad guys are. It works for me…………. after all, I’m old, I might die before I get to the end and then I’d never know who did what!

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      Bwhahaha! Surely, there are no hanging plot threads in heaven.

      • Joyce Dingman says:

        Yeah….but nothings certain…………!!!

        • Redbutterfly says:

          WOW Joyce I do this too lol but instead of seeing who’s the bad guy I check who the heroine ends up with so I don’t end up rooting/getting attached to the wrong guy >.< I get so mad when that happens ;p

          • Joyce Dingman says:

            Glad to see someone “gets it”. I used to get so mad at people who read ahead untill one of my customers…. ( at my Bookstore) told me that she didn’t have time to read any books that she didn’t like the ending of. Now I look at it from the perspective of, did the author lead up to tghe surprise ending or did she just end it out of left field. Were there good hints…….. As a reader what should I have paid more attention to. I find I actually enjoy reading more this way. Happy reading……….

  2. I’n reading this now and really enjoying it. But I’m glad I listened to the prequel or I might have been a little lost with some of the character connections.

  3. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this. I plan to get to it very soon. I’m debating about audio or not.

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