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Review of Kim Harrison's Peri Reed Chronicles

 

While Kim Harrison is a spectacular writer, especially with her popular "Hollows" series, the Peri Reed books so far seem forced and rather formulaic. After finishing her latest Peri Reed book, "Operator," we continue to be underwhelmed.

While the premise of the time-altering powers of Peri Reed and people like her called "Drafters" are interesting and hold a lot of potential, the world she inhabits seems forced and artificial (yes, obviously it is a fictional world, but still...). The main complaint here is that Peri and her cohorts keep getting captured, and put into situations that a rationally intelligent person, especially a specially-trained espionage operator such as herself, should avoid. The "Peri and Friends being captured" meme is overplayed and made this book hard to finish. Frankly, at this point, the only reason to keep reading this series is to prepare oneself for the Peri Reed/Rachel Morgan crossover.

 

Frankly, Kim Harrison should either focus more on the Hollows and Turn series, or seriously re-do how she presents Peri Reed and her allies in how they battle their foes. Overall, the Peri Reed chronicles seem forced and contrived. The best part of this series so far was the short prequel story, in which Peri was really a secondary character. That book, "Sideswiped," introduced Peri, along with key characters Silas, Allan, and others. The focus of this book, or so it seemed at the time, was Silas' girlfriend, Summer, who was a powerful drafter. Peri was more or less a secondary character here, yet she becomes the focus of the whole series. Confusing at best.

And, on the topic of the time-travel "Drafters," this is a unique take on time-travel, but it is also a bit frustrating for the typical fan who enjoys good (traditional?) time-travel tales. Very hard for the reader to wrap their minds around this new and rather hard to fathom time-altering ability.

The series has promise, but it is largely squandered by Harrison's characters' stupid, illogical, and risky behaviors. After reading this latest Peri Reed book, we were more than happy to return to her "Hollows" books, where Kim Harrison has created a successful and internally logical universe.

 


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