Monday, November 28, 2016

ARC Review: The Operator by Kim Harrison

Series:     Peri Reed #2
Pub. Date:Nov. 22, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Books
496 pages

WARNING!!! This review may contain (minimal) spoilers for events that occurred in the first book of the series, The Drafter. Read at your own risk if you haven't read the first book.

The Operator takes place approximately a year after the end of The Drafter. After walking away from both Opti and the Alliance, Peri Reed is hiding in plain sight... running an upscale internet cafe and coffee shop above a medical waste dump site. But she should have known that no one was going to allow her to disappear for long. Now she will be fighting on three fronts as Silas wants to protect her (from herself), Allen wants her working with the CIA, and Bill wants her back as his corrupt operative.

I'm not sure what happened to all the Alliance people after their showdown with Opti, but the whole organization was conspicuously absent in this installment.  Allen has hooked up with the CIA to bring in all the drafters that scattered when Opti went underground... and they are intent on Peri helping them before putting her in a cage as some kind of dangerous commodity. Bill and Jack are also determined to bring Peri back into the fold, and this time they have devised a dangerously addicting temptation to lure her back.

The suspense in The Operator was exciting and got my adrenaline going, much the same as The Drafter. Kim Harrison knows how to write an action sequence that makes you sit up and pay attention, and I like having a kickass capable heroine who (eventually) comes out on top. That being said, even though I want to like Peri, she makes it hard to love her. I felt bad that she has been continually used like a broken tool without her knowledge for so long... but she sure does fall into the same patterns a lot. For someone who hates to be alone, she tends to run out on her partners trying to solve problems on her own. Running off half-cocked into known traps does nothing to keep her from being ensnared by the multitude of unfriendlies she has accumulated.

I felt bad for Silas for most of this book. Now we know that he and Peri had a significant past, and she erased her memory of their love to take down Opti. I can only imagine how hard it was for him to be the only one who remembered their shared past, and to feel like he could not act on it. Luckily we see Silas and Peri rekindling some of what they lost in this installment, and I was glad to see a bit of amorous activity introduced.
  At some point, I really expected Silas to get tired of her antics and stop chasing her.

While I enjoyed the action, suspense and uptick in romance for this story... I had a hard time staying focused. Between this story and the last, the main plot points seemed somewhat repetitive. I also missed out on some of the more likable secondary characters in this story that aided Peri in The Drafter. Other than Silas, we only got to keep the annoying, iffy or downright villainous secondary characters like Allen, Jack and Bill. Helen and Michael were added to the villain team, Steiner joined Allen on the iffy side, and Harmony was shaping up to be a good addition but
  Given the ending, I have a feeling this pattern will continue further into the series. I hope the world continues to be developed as I am still curious as to the sci-fi aspects of the story... particularly how the drafting and memory wipes work.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced review copy that I received from the publisher, Pocket Books.

Peri Reed Chronicles

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