The Drafter by Kim Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"For what?", you ask?
For the line of betrayals, lost memories, altered timelines, and secondarily, who is faking love and who really feels it. But mostly, we need diagrams for the betrayals. I really got caught up in the heavily claustrophobic feel of the text and being stuck in poor Peri's world.
At first, I was struck by how much similarity there was between this novel and the horrible mess that was the Interland Security and the F.I.B. from the Hollows, letting the intrigue grow up and blossom into something that Harrison could never really get away with without losing the thread and the threats in her other excellent series. And then I was blown away at how absolutely complicated and convoluted this new series could really get.
Plot? Oh yes, this one is very plot-heavy. It also has a fantastic benefit/disadvantage ruleset for Drafting, never letting us envy the drafters despite their ability to redo moments of their life to find a better outcome. I mean, how good can it be if you forget both timelines after using it?
And then there are the Anchors, those interesting uber-powerful psychologists that have the ability help drafters recall what was lost after using their powers. Can you smell a setup for abuse?
You have no idea.
That's why I Need Diagrams.
It's either that, or I'll have to re-read the novel right before the second comes out. There's simply a LOT going on and I'm impressed. The novel is a deep exploration of the handful of rules set up at the very beginning, twisting and turning us around inside so much memory loss and intrigue that I would have sworn this was a spy-fic, only spies don't get shafted nearly THIS MUCH. Do I pity Peri? Yes. Do I want to see her unravel the horribly knotted mess of her life? Yes. Do I get this really sneaking suspicion that if she does this One Thing, she's going to immediately quit being everyone's doormat and kick some absolutely serious ass afterward? Oh hell yes.
It's the reason I read Harrison, after all. She always builds up some awesome stories and then slams them out of the park. The satisfaction quotient on this novel doesn't sit where I truly want it, but that's okay because I trust the author and know she's building to something really grand.
That's not to say the novel wasn't enjoyable on it's own, because it was. It just didn't explode the way I know Harrison's works have been known to do.
And in all honesty, even the Hollows series didn't truly begin exploding until a few novels in. They were good, but not the level of great that I now expect.
For this novel though, I have a very good opinion on how it's going and a pretty good estimate on how big the explosion is going to be.
I CAN'T WAIT. :)
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