Friday, December 30, 2016

Repeating myself

Before I start my review of Kim Harrison's The Operator, let me just say that it marks the 52nd book I've managed to officially finish in 2016. This is not something I've managed to do in quite a while.

Anyway, As I really was kind of "meh" about the first book of Peri, I went into this one with lowered expectations. It came off better than the first book, but it still didn't hook me the way the Hollows did.

Peri is back, and hiding, running a coffee shop in Detroit on top of a mildly radioactive site that covers up her tracking radiation.

Problem being WEFT (the official CIA operation running what was the sanctioned version of OPTI) wants her as does the remnants of OPTI, being run by Bill and financed by Helen. Bill has managed to develop two drugs; one, an accelerent, lets drafters remember both timelines, getting rid of the need for an Anchor. The other prevents the accelerant from causing extreme paranoia and death. The latter is also highly addictive, needing another dose every 24 hours or withdrawal sets in.

There's also a rather unstable and egotistical Drafter named Michael, whom Bill is using to get at Peri. WEFT wants Michael taken down. Michael wants the drugs, that no one will give him. Silas wants to reverse engineer the drugs and free Peri, and make her remember their love. Jack exists both as a real person trying to use Peri, and as a hallucination of hers that acts as her intuition made manifest.

Really, this one is much better written than the first one, but it does have a few shortcomings. Namely, one of the WEFT operative, Harmony, who we come to know and love, vanishes right before the climax along with another major player, leaving us totally in the dark as to their fates. (Given many of the supporting characters from the first one don't reappear in this one, I'm not sure how much faith to have in ever seeing Harmony again.) Also, much of the climax seems to be a bit like an 80's teen movie, with most of the players managing to simultaneously converge in the same spot at just the right time.

On the other hand, since no one is getting memory wiped in this one and the actual Drafting power is used rather sparingly, it's a hell of a lot less confusing as to what's actually going on. By that virtue alone, I'm looking forward to whenever the next one comes out.