Review: Sideswiped, by Kim Harrison (and Giveaway)

Welcome to Kim Harrison week here at the Blog Formerly Known as Preternatura. I guess I should put the name somewhere on the blog, or maybe I’ll have a “name the blog” contest.

So, today, I have a little review of Sideswiped, which is the prequel to Kim Harrison’s Peri Reed Chronicles trilogy. It’s a digital novella that came out last August in advance of the first novel in the trilogy, The Drafter, which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow. On Thursday, Kim will be here with a guest post (woo-hoo!), and then we’ll all take a sideswipe over to next Wednesday, when I’ll have a review of the new novella Waylaid (Peri Reed and Rachel Morgan together!). Novel #2 in the series, The Operator, will be out in November.

In beween I’ll blither about something. I think “Blithering” might have to be the new blog name. Anyway, here’s some info on Sideswiped:

sideswipedSIDESWIPED: Every hero, even the accidental ones, have a beginning….Silas’s radical theory that drafters are not replaying time as much as they are temporarily sliding into an alternate universe has never been well-received, but frankly, the darling of Opti’s research has enough clout not to care, until a professor with a grudge tries to put a permanent end to it. Love can’t alter time, and sometimes, even being able to rub out a single mistake isn’t enough…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best-selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive.  After gaining her bachelor’s in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow.  She’s currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.

For More Information:

 Visit Kim Harrison’s website.

 Connect with Kim on Facebook and Twitter.

 Find out more about Kim at Goodreads.

MY THOUGHTS ON SIDESWIPEDI wasn’t too sure about the idea of having a prequel novella that (imagine) was actually a prequel—it came out about three weeks before The Drafter, book one in the series.

By the time I finished, I decided it was absolutely brilliant and, in fact, should be required of all speculative fiction series. It’s the worldbuilding, baby. For those of you (and I know there are many of you) who have been diehard fans of the Hollows series, you know that Kim Harrison develops very rich, complex worlds. It’s one reason I *hangs head* started the first Hollows novel, Dead Witch Walking, three times before I got into it. Once I did, except for a broken-hearted hissy fit over the whole Kisten thing, I never hesitate to beg people to read the series, which is still one of my all-time favorites and made me want to write urban fantasy.

But I digress. The world of Peri Reed and her ability to “draft,” or slip sideways through time and space and realize an alternate reality, is complex. And in Sideswiped, in fact, Peri is a peripheral character, a newbie in training, which is also brilliant. Instead, we get to know Silas, a brilliant geek PhD (I mean geek in the best of terms) who’s built more like a linebacker. His size and the value of his knowledge to Opti, the Big Brother of the series, makes it difficult for him to follow his heart’s desire of becoming an anchor. The novella takes place five years before The Drafter, where we’ll see Silas again.

Okay, I suck at describing the worldbuilding, but the brilliance of it is that we learn about it through Silas and his girlfriend, a drafter named Summer, in this short novella so that by the time we begin the full-length novel, The Drafter, we’re oriented and hungry for more more more.

Warning: This series is beautifully written and executed but if you’re expecting the wackiness and paranormalcy of the Hollows series, be warned that it’s quite a different animal. I’ve seen the series described as a “science fiction techno-thriller,” and that fits. I won’t talk much about Peri as a character until tomorrow’s review, but in this novella we come to admire Silas for his sheer stubbornness and his heart. We get a glimpse of the sheer talent that is going to be Peri. And best, we get a taste of the world these characters inhabit, a very high-tech remade version of Detroit.

THE GIVEAWAY: As a novella, Sideswiped is not available in print, so I will give away a digital version (Kindle or Nook) to a commenter. If you’ve read the series so far, what did you think of Sideswiped? Hold off on comments about The Drafter until tomorrow!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

17 thoughts on “Review: Sideswiped, by Kim Harrison (and Giveaway)

  1. Just finished reading Sideswiped and Waylaid. The Peri Reed Chronicles books are very exciting and complicated reads. Kim Harrison is the reason I read Urban Fantasy genre books, going back to 2009. What a fun ride it has been. Thanks Kim. I have been to two of her book signings at Anderson’s in Naperville, for her Madison Avery, YA series. June 2009 and June 2010.

  2. As someone who also lives within an easy drive of Detroit (and loves the city, warts and all) I would love to see how it fares in a high tech remake.

  3. Have The Drafter on my TBR. And, of course, the Hollows was a fav place to visit each year. I really appreciate your blog and allowing us access to new and established authors!

  4. I have not read this series thus far but really enjoy the author’s world building.

  5. I started Sideswiped and I have to say I struggled with it. I put it away for a while. I’m hoping my next attempt will be easier as I loved the Hollows series. I guess I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

    • It’s a complicated world, so I was glad I had committed to review it, which made me push through what felt like a lot of tech terminology. I’m really glad I did, because I could start The Drafter with an idea of what the world was like and it’s fascinating!

  6. i would love to read this ( and the drafter) as i loved the Hollows series and i’m really curious about this. One thing si sure i love the thoughts put into teh world building and this seems really excellent!

  7. I need to finish the Hollows books, but I don’t want them to end. I’d love to read this series too.

  8. I’m eager to start the series, seen a lot of great reviews. I’ve heard that Sideswiped is a must read before The Drafter, did you feel that way?

    • I would say that while not absolutely required, I would HIGHLY advise reading Sideswiped first. It made jumping into The Drafter much, much easier and eliminated those chapters of cluelessness that come with beginning a new series with some heavy worldbuilding. (Plus it’s only 99 cents!)

  9. Thanks for the comments, everyone. It was a drama-packed day on the day job (this is never a good thing, by the way) so I didn’t get a chance to pop over, but I always love keeping up with the comments. By the way, if you’re interested in Sideswiped, it’s only 99 cents for Kindle or Nook. The links on this page are for Amazon through my Affiliates account, which helps support this blog in the tiniest way imaginable–LOL.