Desert Isle Keeper
In the fall of 2015, I fell in love with the world Kim Harrison created in The Drafter. In fact, I ended up counting that book as one of my top reads of the year, so you can imagine how excited I was to get my hands on The Operator, book two in the Peri Reed Chronicles.
It’s important to note that this book would not be the best place to start with this series. Instead, I urge readers to begin with the novella Sideswiped before reading either of the full-length novels.
The Operator picks up a little while after The Drafter ends. Peri is in hiding, running a coffee shop and doing her best to stay under the radar. Unfortunately, her new life isn’t as much of a secret as she had hoped. Bill, her former boss, is determined to find her and convince her to return to work for Opti, the government agency responsible for making her a drafter.
Peri is equally determined not to become Opti’s pawn again. Altering time has taken a toll on her, resulting in an enormous amount of memory loss. She’s tired of relying on others to tell her about her past.
Bill believes he has the answer to Peri’s problems as well as his own. A brand-new drug has been developed, and it promises to allow people to draft back through time without suffering the side effects that affect their memories so adversely. Bill is sure Peri will jump at the chance to take the drug, reclaiming the thrill of drafting he’s sure she thrives on. Of course, he doesn’t plan to tell her of the drug’s addictive properties. Once she takes it, she’ll be his forever.
When Bill makes contact with Peri and tells her of his plans for her future, he is surprised she doesn’t immediately agree to renew her contract with Opti. Since she is not as easily taken in as Bill hopes, he manages to inject her on the sly, hoping the drug’s addictive properties will bend her to his will. Peri has other ideas, and she goes on the run again, determined to find someone who can develop an antidote for Bill’s miracle drug.
If you read The Drafter, you’re probably wondering what happened to Silas, Peri’s possible love interest. I can’t say much about him here without giving away some major plot points, but I do want to assure you he is still around, and actively working to better the lives of Peri and those like her. I admire his steadfast devotion to Peri, even when she treats him abominably.
Peri is still as brash and stubborn as she was in the previous book. She has achieved a bit more self-awareness, but that doesn’t necessarily make her more likable. She’s the kind of heroine I personally tend to cheer on, but I recognize not everyone will feel that way. She does go off half-cocked at times, and that can definitely be irritating, even if the reader is able to empathize with her motives.
The romance arc is kind of put on the back burner here. We get glimpses of a potential HEA for Peri, but the thriller-like plot is much more front and center. This is a story packed full of action that doesn’t let up until the very end. I would have read it in a single sitting if life permitted.
If you loved The Drafter, you’ll probably love its sequel just as much, but if you want something more focused on the romance, this might not work as well for you as it did for me.