Willa Wallace is a government employee. She is a phlebotomist working as a reaper. In the near future, after a very devastating war, all citizens are required to have mandatory blood draws and reapers are those who perform the draws, known as Harvest. The company that is contracted to do the draws is Patriot, who rewards those who give the most as well as the reapers who draw the most. There is, of course, a hierarchy to the blood types that are the most rare and the most in demand.
Willa hits on an idea to bring back an old collection technique that could bring a better balance to blood drawing in the city, but as she explores her options she discovers something quite sinister about the imbalance of blood availability in all parts of the city as well as a secret about Patriot – a secret so dire that Patriot will stop at nothing to silence her.
This was a thrilling yarn in the tradition of the best pulp fiction of the golden era of science fiction. Author Chris Panatier sets up our main characters and establishes the world with ease and enticing interest. My early thought as I was reading was, “Wow, this is a really interesting concept for a dystopian science fiction book.”
About a third of the way into the book Panatier reveals a surprising direction for the story which turns the book into a page-turning thriller. (I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone who has NOT read all the Goodreads reviews.) Upon reflection, I should have seen this new direction coming, but the fact that Panatier settles the reader in and manages to surprise us with the obvious speaks well of his storytelling.
Looking for a good book? The Phlebotomist by Chris Panatier has a fresh feel to an older scifi/fantasy trope and the writing is easy to get behind.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Chris Panatier
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 344 pages