It’s hard to believe it has been less than a year since Kim Harrison released The Witch with No Name—the novel that not only concluded her bestselling Hollows saga, featuring lovable demon witch Rachel Morgan, but also officially put an end to what I’d consider the Golden Age of Paranormal Fantasy. It was the last fanfare in a glorious era that spanned almost two decades, a time when writers like Charlaine Harris, Laurel K. Hamilton, and Jim Butcher became household names, and characters like Sookie Stackhouse and Harry Dresden evolved into pop culture icons.
Today, a new era begins: Harrison is releasing The Drafter, the first installment of the Peri Reed Chronicles, a heady fusion of near-future science fiction and corporate espionage thriller that will appeal to genre fiction aficionados and mainstream fiction readers alike.
If you’re looking for reasons to seek out this novel, here are three great ones:
While more than a few novelists are perfectly content to write within the confines of a particular subgenre category for their entire careers, I’ve always been drawn to authors who are constantly testing their own boundaries by exploring a wide variety of categories: George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Cherie Priest, Charlaine Harris, Ann Rice, Walter Mosley, and the list goes on…
It has been particularly fascinating to watch authors who rose to prominence in the paranormal fantasy boom reinvent themselves: Harris is writing a more subtle kind of paranormal storyline with her Midnight, Texas saga; Butcher is starting a steampunk series (The Aeronaut’s Windlass); Jaye Wells’ Prospero’s War saga blends police procedural with fantasy; Nicole Peeler is writing romance…
And Kim Harrison has written a near-future thriller.
The Drafter is a dramatic departure for the author. The writing style is tighter, more polished, and decidedly more mature. Fans of Rachel Morgan will be shocked by the speed and complexity of this novel. Set in 2030 Detroit, and featuring a government agent (Peri Reed) who has the ability to alter time, this is pedal-to-the-metal thriller material though and through. It’s visionary and provocative, and a shining example of Harrison’s evolution as a storyteller.
The Drafter isn’t easy novel to categorize. While it’s structured as an espionage thriller, the storyline subtly utilizes elements from science fiction, mystery, and romance, following Reed as she attempts to figure out her shadowy past, which has been wiped from her memory. It’s replete with plot twists, and a page-turner of the highest order. It’s undeniably innovative—and the character-driven storyline makes it a novel that will resonate with mainstream fiction readers.
3. Another iconic heroine
Readers who liked Rachel Morgan are going to love Peri Reed. She’s a complex—and endearing—character whose struggle to understand what is real and what is manufactured memory will enthrall readers to the final page. Her journey of self-discovery is heartfelt and heartrending. “I don’t know my own life,” she says, and her plight will have readers rooting for the deadly operative, who is being manipulated by everyone around her.
This is Kim Harrison 2.0, and her evolution as a writer is thrilling to experience.