Urban Fantasy is probably my favorite genre. I love the blend of modern settings and magical energies. It’s also a great genre because it’s full of kick-ass female characters. One of my favorite series was The Hollows by Kim Harrison. Unlike some writers who just keep publishing books until the characters you once loved become gross caricatures of themselves (looking at you Laurell K), Harrison knew when it was time to end the series and she wrote the last book a few years ago. Having loved The Hollows series, I was excited to find out that Harrison created a new character and rushed out to order this first book. But I didn’t read it until just in the last week or so.
This book is set about twenty or thirty years in the future, and it kind of reminds me of those J.D. Robb books where it is futuristic but that’s more just a flavor for the plot. Yeah, there are electrical cars with solar-charging paint, and facial recognition has reached a fever pitch where the government can find anyone. But it’s not exactly about the future.
In the future, there is this organization called Opti that employs these drafters, basically people who can travel back a few minutes in time to rewrite what just happened. This comes in handy if someone shoots you for instance, you could “draft” back and rewrite what happens so you avoid the bullet. But the people who are drafters can become kind of loony because they have two versions in their brain of what happened, so they need to travel around with a person who is their “anchor” who helps them remember what really happened and keep track of the timelines. Sometimes in this process, the drafter can lose a lot more than a few minutes; they might lose six months of memories with only their anchor to bring them back to reality to find out what really happened.
This book tells the story of Peri Reed, who has been working for Opti as a drafter. Her anchor is this guy named Jack who she also is in a romantic relationship with. The story starts when she and Jack are breaking in to some business to steal secrets, when Peri gets shot by a security guard and then goes into draft mode to turn time back. Then she has to draft back again when she finds out that she and Jack are picking up a list of corrupt Opti agents, and she might be one of them.
The book itself has some interesting moments and Peri is somewhat engaging and likable, but nothing really stands out. It seems like there is some dramatic irony being set up where the reader knows more than Peri as to what is going on, and some characters who Peri might have known in the past are being introduced. But then there’s a lot of confusion when she drafts and her brains get scrambled, little by little. There are a lot of boring descriptions of what Peri looks like. There’s some romantic/sexytimes stuff. And a cute cat appears a few times. But I’m not sure anything really gets resolved. However, I am moving in to book two so maybe things will get more resolved with that. Still wondering if I would have been better served re-reading Dead Witch Walking.