Desert Isle Keeper
Over the years, Kim Harrison’s name has come up numerous times in conversations about urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Admittedly, I didn’t pay a lot of attention since the synopsis of the first book in The Hollows seemed kind of fluffy, not something I’d care much about. Then, The Drafter was published, and I took notice. This book seemed anything but fluffy. I snatched it up as soon as I could.
It’s important that you read Sideswiped before diving into The Drafter itself. The novella contains a great deal of information readers will find necessary for understanding the world the author has created. The Drafter doesn’t give a lot of set up detail, and readers are very likely to find themselves frustrated and confused if that is the starting point.
Ms. Harrison takes us to Detroit in the year 2030. It’s a different Detroit from the one we know today. For one thing, drafters and anchors are headquartered there. Peri Reed is a drafter. She has the ability to alter time. Usually, she only drafts back thirty or forty-five seconds. This allows her to create a second time line that will eventually take the place of the first. Before you get too excited by this possibility, understand that it comes at a cost to the drafter. Every time Peri drafts, she loses a bit of her memory. The duration of memory loss is determined in part by the trauma of the event she hopes to change with her draft, but her anchor also plays a part in this. Anchors work with drafters to fill in memories that are lost during a draft. It is not uncommon for anchors and drafters to fall in love. They work very closely together and complete trust is necessary in order for them to do their jobs.
Peri is a strong, confident heroine. She learns that the government agency she works for might be corrupt, and she hates even the thought of corruption. Unfortunately, drafting has made Peri more vulnerable than she would like. She relies on Jack, the man who has been her anchor for the past three years, to tell her what is true. But what if Jack isn’t telling Peri everything she needs to know? What if he’s keeping secrets from her in order to serve a dark and possibly deadly purpose? Peri doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe, but she knows she must find out the truth about the agency to which she gave her loyalty.
Most of the story is seen from Peri’s point of view, but we do occasionally see things from the point of view of Silas, a secretive man who works for The Alliance, an underground organization set on bringing Peri and the government down. Silas has been tasked with bringing Peri in for questioning, but he’s hesitant to do this. He’s not sure what the alliance really wants with her. What if they scrub her memory? Without Peri and the secrets locked deep within her mind, Silas is sure the corruption will go on unchecked.
An alliance between Silas and Peri might seem obvious from a reader’s perspective, but Ms. Harrison doesn’t make it that easy. It’s obvious Peri and Silas have a history that Silas remembers but that has been lost to Peri. We see the pain Silas carries around with him on an almost constant basis. He cares about Peri, but he’s not sure he can really trust her. For her part, Peri feels compelled to trust Silas, but countless drafts have made her wary. Plus, Silas isn’t honest with her from the beginning, and, although she isn’t sure what he’s lying about, she gets the impression he’s lying about something. This causes her to hold him at arm’s length for the majority of the book. All of this makes it difficult for them to really join forces.
If you’re looking for a book that’s brimming with sensuality, you won’t find it here. Ms. Harrison gives us glimpses into a possible romance between Peri and Silas, but nothing is certain. I get the feeling something will develop as the series progresses, but this is nothing more than my gut instinct. The Drafter is a book that kept me glued to my iPad from start to finish, even without a clear romance arc. It’s filled with action, and I really wanted to know what would become of Peri. Would she triumph over everyone who yearned for her downfall? Finding the answer was an exhilarating journey, one I urge fans of action-packed fiction to undertake.