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The Phlebotomist

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War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete col War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete collection technique, but instead uncovers an awful truth. Patriot will do anything to protect its secret. On the run and with nowhere else to turn, Willa seeks an alliance with Lock, a notorious blood-hacker who cheats the Harvest to support the children orphaned by it. But they soon find themselves in the grasp of a new type of evil.


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War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete col War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete collection technique, but instead uncovers an awful truth. Patriot will do anything to protect its secret. On the run and with nowhere else to turn, Willa seeks an alliance with Lock, a notorious blood-hacker who cheats the Harvest to support the children orphaned by it. But they soon find themselves in the grasp of a new type of evil.

30 review for The Phlebotomist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vigasia

    Wow, this book wasn't what I expected. To summarize it short I can say that: The Phlebotomist teams up with an ex-marine hacker and they decide to take out an evil government whose members are (view spoiler)[vampires. (hide spoiler)] Yeah, this book started like some Orwellian dystopian novel, but fast became something else entirely. We enter the world where people are segreagted by blood. If you are an universal donor, like 0-negative, you're a highblood, if you are an universal recipent, well y Wow, this book wasn't what I expected. To summarize it short I can say that: The Phlebotomist teams up with an ex-marine hacker and they decide to take out an evil government whose members are (view spoiler)[vampires. (hide spoiler)] Yeah, this book started like some Orwellian dystopian novel, but fast became something else entirely. We enter the world where people are segreagted by blood. If you are an universal donor, like 0-negative, you're a highblood, if you are an universal recipent, well your blood isn't worth much so you're a lowblood. To pay for living, people have to sell their blood, that is used to help people from Grey Zone (meaning a zone that suffered after bombardment). Of course nothing is as it seems, and when our protagonist The Phlebotomist Willa (who is AB-positive, lowblood herself) finds out that something is wrong, the hell breaks loose. She has to team up with legendary Locksmith and those two badass old ladies, backed with some other side characters, try to show people the truth. Yeah, I think this is as much as I can say about the plot. This book is crazy with action and it is impossible to be bored by it. Characters are great and no one is safe. Great read indeed! I am looking forward to read more of his author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess Hagemann

    In The Phlebotomist, Chris Panatier gives us the unlikely female protagonists--a plucky grandmother, a tech-geek locksmith, and a teenager with swords--we didn’t know we needed, and sets them in a near-future world that terrifies because it feels so possible. Nuclear disaster? Check. Constant monitoring by Big Brother? Uh-huh. Invasion of both men’s and women’s bodies for the Common Good? That, too. At once grounded in legit science, and also so totally imaginative that you have to find out what In The Phlebotomist, Chris Panatier gives us the unlikely female protagonists--a plucky grandmother, a tech-geek locksmith, and a teenager with swords--we didn’t know we needed, and sets them in a near-future world that terrifies because it feels so possible. Nuclear disaster? Check. Constant monitoring by Big Brother? Uh-huh. Invasion of both men’s and women’s bodies for the Common Good? That, too. At once grounded in legit science, and also so totally imaginative that you have to find out what happens next, this book will take root at the base of your brain, threading its tentacles into your spinal cord and requiring you to keep turning pages until the bloody end.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars This is one of those science fiction dystopians with the kind of unique premise that keeps the genre feeling fresh. I really liked the female main character because she was not only smart and confident, but also an older person (something we don't see in fiction enough). My favourite aspect of the book was easily the hard science focused around blood. I haven't read about the subject since high school biology class, but I was able to keep up since the author explained the science in clea 3.5 Stars This is one of those science fiction dystopians with the kind of unique premise that keeps the genre feeling fresh. I really liked the female main character because she was not only smart and confident, but also an older person (something we don't see in fiction enough). My favourite aspect of the book was easily the hard science focused around blood. I haven't read about the subject since high school biology class, but I was able to keep up since the author explained the science in clear,  understandable terms.  In terms of the plot itself, I liked the idea of it more than the execution. While the narrative was filled with classic tropes of scifi thrillers, like evil corporations and secret government plots, I never found myself fully immersed in the world or storyline.  Overall, I would recommend this one to readers looking for a different approach to dystopian fiction. This one would be approachable for someone who is newer to science fiction, but also deep enough to appeal to seasonedreaders. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Angry Robot Books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A bold, bloody high stakes plot, relatable characters, and a diabolical twist make this an standout book of 2020. I absolutely love when a book surprises me, and I’m happy to say The Phlebotomist is one of the happiest surprises I’ve had all year. This book is sure to make my Best of 2020 list, and it wasn’t even on my radar u I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A bold, bloody high stakes plot, relatable characters, and a diabolical twist make this an standout book of 2020. I absolutely love when a book surprises me, and I’m happy to say The Phlebotomist is one of the happiest surprises I’ve had all year. This book is sure to make my Best of 2020 list, and it wasn’t even on my radar until just recently. This isn’t an easy review to write, though, because there is a plot twist that happens around page 100 that I simply can’t talk about, which is sad because it’s a huge part of the story (but you're better off not knowing, trust me). Set in a dystopian future where a nuclear blast has devastated the population, society is now divided up into sections based on blood type. A government agency called Patriot has instituted the Harvest, a mandatory blood draw, in order to help the people who were closest to the blast radius. Those relegated to the Gray Zone are dying of cancer and other diseases and need blood in order to survive, and most citizens are willing to donate their blood in order to help out. Patriot hands out government food rations to those who comply and even lets citizens give more than their required pint every forty-five days in order to earn more money. This system has resulted in inequality among the population, with some blood types (O and A in particular) being able to live better lives than the “lowbloods,” those with AB blood, simply because their blood is more valuable to Patriot. Willa Wallace is a phlebotomist, or “reaper," and works at a collection center, taking in pints of blood each day and scanning them for authenticity. Willa is one of the best and manages to make her daily quota, but she herself is AB positive and is only able to live in a better neighborhood due to her job. Willa is the sole provider for her grandson Isaiah, after her daughter Elizabeth died, and she will do anything to keep him safe. But one day, Willa witnesses a blood transport drone crash—the drones that transport the day's collection to a blood storage facility—and she’s shocked to discover that it’s empty. Soon after, a security guard from Patriot pays her a visit and bribes her to keep quiet about the drone, but Willa suspects there’s more to the story than Patriot is telling her. Armed with her new suspicions about Patriot, Willa sets out to discover the truth. Helping her are Everard, a gangster blood hacker, and Lock, an ex-Marine who uses old technology to hack into Patriot’s system. And then Willa uncovers a startling secret about Patriot that will change everything. Panatier has envisioned a terrifying future that seems familiar in some ways—I mean, we’ve all read stories about autocratic societies who have stripped people of their freedoms—but instead of taking the expected path, the author throws us a curve ball and takes his story in a completely different direction. He also grounds it in hard science by adding in lots of facts about phlebotomy and the science of blood. Each chapter starts with a word relating to blood and other medical terms and its definition (“Hypovolemia - A state of decreased intravascular volume, including as a result of blood loss”), and these really added a nice touch of authenticity to the story. I loved that Willa used to be a “real” phlebotomist, and she actually knows a lot more about blood than most people (which comes in handy more than once). You wouldn’t know it from the bright pink cover, but The Phlebotomist is a bloody, action-packed thriller that turned out to be much more violent than I was expecting—and that’s not a complaint! This is one of those books that you don’t want to put down, even for a moment. I was so caught up in Lock’s dangerous plan that I stayed up way too late reading. Once Panatier reveals his horrifying secrets, the story takes on even more urgency, but he also balances out the action with some quiet, reflective moments, like the fact that Willa avoids looking in mirrors because she sees her dead daughter’s reflection. Although the majority of the story is told from Willa’s perspective, we occasionally dip into other POVs. Everard’s character progression isn’t something I can talk about—damn you, spoilers!—but I will say there are a few chapters of his near the end of the story that were awful and heartbreaking. Each character, in fact, has some kind of emotional hook that grabbed me and even made me cry, in some cases. And speaking of characters, The Phlebotomist has a wonderful cast of kick-ass heroines, and I fervently hope there are going to be more books in this series, simply because I didn’t want to say goodbye to them at the end of the book. Willa is a sixty-something grandmother and not your typical protagonist, but I instantly connected with her. She believes completely that Patriot is doing the right thing, and she’s proud of her contributions as a phlebotomist. When the story takes a turn and Patriot turns out to be hiding a big secret, Willa has a hard time coming to grips with that fact. And then there’s Lock, another middle aged woman who is tougher than nails and has a room full of secret, obsolete technology that she uses against Patriot. Finally, we meet a fourteen-year-old named Kathy with her own secrets, who joins Willa and Lock in exposing Patriot’s schemes. Panatier brought all of these characters to vivid life and also proved that you don’t have to be young and pretty in order to save the world.  All this is set against a gritty, futuristic backdrop with lots of cool elements. All kinds of drones buzz through the skies in addition to the blood transport drones—food drones, ATM drones (imagine the bank coming to you!), and my favorite, umbrella drones. Taxi drones will fly you from place to place, that is if you can afford one. At one point in the story, Lock hacks and steals a Patriot drone named Llydia, and Llydia ends up being an extremely important element in the story.  Panatier’s hard hitting reflections on how governments exert control over their citizens make this not only a thrilling reading experience but a cautionary tale as well. The Phlebotomist is science fiction, but it’s also eerily close to our current reality. If you’re depressed and worried about the trash fire year that is 2020—COVID, climate change, and collapsing governments—then I suggest reading this book right away. Because things could be worse, believe it or not. Much, much worse. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    "The bombs that followed were the natural sequelae of the first, with the country now engaged in a never-ending war with someone, though the authorities were cagey about saying who. They justified their surreptitiousness under the umbrella of protecting intelligence, and with the press largely dismantled, the public had long given up in pushing for answers." The Phlebotomist starts out fantastically, atmospherically describing a dystopian future where several cities in America (I'm guessing, the "The bombs that followed were the natural sequelae of the first, with the country now engaged in a never-ending war with someone, though the authorities were cagey about saying who. They justified their surreptitiousness under the umbrella of protecting intelligence, and with the press largely dismantled, the public had long given up in pushing for answers." The Phlebotomist starts out fantastically, atmospherically describing a dystopian future where several cities in America (I'm guessing, the country is never really specified) were blown away by huge nuclear explosions. The people who still live there, in the so-called Grey Zones, need a lot of donor blood to refresh their irradiated bodies. The populace of unbombed cities have to mandatorily give blood, but also can give extra blood for money. Society is now divided by the bloodtype one has, as some types can be used by anybody, the rest become increasingly less useful. "When Claude arrived, Willa traded the woman’s blood bag for the gelpack, a small syrette filled with carbs and epinephrine used to jumpstart folks who sold more than their bodies could give. She broke its cap, pushed the two tiny needles into the skin on the inside of the woman’s arm, and squeezed the contents into her basilic vein." The phlebotomist of The Phlebotomist is an older woman, Willa, who used to be a professional phlebotomist long before the Chrysalis (the word used for the first bombings). She works at one of the bloodbanks, which are run by a corporation calling itself Patriot, that also seems to function as the government. Soon things take a strange turn, and Willa finds out that the bloodgiving and Patriot might not be what they seemed. The first thing that now probably springs to your mind, is the correct one, I'm afraid. I was quite disappointed, especially after a great opening. From here the narrative logic starts to really slip, there are too many inconsistencies, and the characters are dull and don't develop. The worst is Willa, who becomes whinier and whinier the further you read. The last third of the book makes all kinds of illogical jumps to push the book towards its end. That said, I did like the very end of the book - it ends in what I thought is the only real logical way possible. 2.5 stars (Kindly received an ARC from Angry Robot through NetGalley)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mili

    A dystopian book that centers around mandatory blood draw. That alone got me curious, I love blood in my books whether it be spilled in epic fantasy books or horror books or whatever genre. In short there was a war and everyone was exposed to different levels of radiation. ( I work with radioactivity and am the type in the hospital that is friendly but def needs to give you an injection ;) I kinda liked the themes some extra because of that). The blood draw is called the Harvest and is overseen A dystopian book that centers around mandatory blood draw. That alone got me curious, I love blood in my books whether it be spilled in epic fantasy books or horror books or whatever genre. In short there was a war and everyone was exposed to different levels of radiation. ( I work with radioactivity and am the type in the hospital that is friendly but def needs to give you an injection ;) I kinda liked the themes some extra because of that). The blood draw is called the Harvest and is overseen by Patriot, a government blood contractor. Then there are blood types, people are sorted by them and the more you give or the rares the blood type the more money you earn. This causes gaps in wealth layers, some people are just getting by. All for a good cause. My first impression of the book was how fast and smooth it reads, directly getting you effortlessly into the story. You get introduced to the system and we get to know Willa who works for the Patriot collecting blood. Her personality is professional and empathetic towards people. She lives with Isaiah, her grandchild. And is friends with Claude who is her coworker. After Willa has to speed off with her collected blood cause her cooler is broken she comes across something strange. A Patriot personnel arrives and she is taken home, not understanding the severity of what she has witnessed. I don't want to give away much, as it is a book that kicks off pretty fast and full of intrigue. I really loved what Willa gets into and the people she meets. Survival at some point becomes the center and understanding the new insights that changes everything the society has stood for! Change was necessery. Really loved the dynamics of the characters, so much badassery! And the action and horror scenes captivating me throughout the book. Kinda perfect for the Halloween month!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |

    Chris Panatier knocks it out of the park with The Phlebotomist. A post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that–for once–doesn’t include a love triangle, a trio of moody teens, or zombies. Amazing, right? Instead what you get is a protagonist in her sixties, and another in her fifties, both waging war to save their grandchildren against a life that is potentially much worse (or better??) than they could have ever imagined. For our full review on Sci-Fi & Scary, look here Disclaimer: We received a co Chris Panatier knocks it out of the park with The Phlebotomist. A post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that–for once–doesn’t include a love triangle, a trio of moody teens, or zombies. Amazing, right? Instead what you get is a protagonist in her sixties, and another in her fifties, both waging war to save their grandchildren against a life that is potentially much worse (or better??) than they could have ever imagined. For our full review on Sci-Fi & Scary, look here Disclaimer: We received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jake is Reading

    As a trained phlebotomist, I’m fully qualified to tell you that this book is bloody fun. Chris Panatier’s debut novel has satisfied a thirst I didn’t know I had for a dystopian-heist adventure. The Phlebotomist is set in 2067 after a series of nuclear attacks have led to radiation poisoning and a slew of illnesses, particularly blood-related diseases. The government has been supplanted by Patriot, a private organisation who enforce a monthly blood tax in order to save the sick who live in the Gr As a trained phlebotomist, I’m fully qualified to tell you that this book is bloody fun. Chris Panatier’s debut novel has satisfied a thirst I didn’t know I had for a dystopian-heist adventure. The Phlebotomist is set in 2067 after a series of nuclear attacks have led to radiation poisoning and a slew of illnesses, particularly blood-related diseases. The government has been supplanted by Patriot, a private organisation who enforce a monthly blood tax in order to save the sick who live in the Grey Zones. Willa’s life is quickly turned upside down when she sees something she shouldn’t have, making her question her whole world. Harbouring new suspicions about Patriot, Willa is forced to cooperate with blood-hackers, criminals who profit from mislabelled units of blood, in order to keep her grandson safe. The Phlebotomist has been on my TBR ever since I first saw the stunning cover illustrated by the author himself. This book is as fun as it is surprising, with Panatier putting an interesting new twist on more than one genre mainstay. While the story can be read as scathing social and political commentary, I think Panatier mostly wants you to sit back and enjoy his bloody ride.   Willa is a badass woman tackling the world head-on in her aubergine boots and candy-pink wig. She is a loveable character, tired of the world and at the same time ready to see it burn if it means giving her grandson a better chance at life. At 60-something years of age she’s not your typical lead for a spec fic dystopian novel, but I found her point of view refreshing and interesting, one that I would love to see more of in SFF. Willa and the tech-savvy, slightly unhinged Lock are absolutely my new favourite criminal duo. Read my full review on jakeisreading.com Thank you to Angry Robot for providing an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and congrats to Chris Panatier for an awesome debut.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you so much to Angry Robot Books for the finished copy in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own! My dark sci-fi dystopian blood drawing nurse heart was all about this book. My patients not-so-lovingly call us night shift nurses “vampires” because we are always after blood at night, and I was immediately drawn to the synopsis where a mandatory blood harvest has created a segregated society based off of blood types. Willa Mae is in her 60s and a fantastic older main character. Thank you so much to Angry Robot Books for the finished copy in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own! My dark sci-fi dystopian blood drawing nurse heart was all about this book. My patients not-so-lovingly call us night shift nurses “vampires” because we are always after blood at night, and I was immediately drawn to the synopsis where a mandatory blood harvest has created a segregated society based off of blood types. Willa Mae is in her 60s and a fantastic older main character. Lock, the blood hacker, can’t be much younger, and for some reason reading about older women playing the heroes struck a chord with me. They are snarky and wholesome and so caring for their young charges. Both rely on their knowledge and use of older technologies in a highly automated big-brother type world to undermine Patriot and practice some old-school phlebotomy to (at least try) to save society. I can’t talk about Patriot too much without spoilers but the company runs blood collection stations all over the country to fuel the need for blood transfusions after nuclear bombs struck in certain “gray areas.” The lies, murders, and political structure of Patriot.. let me just say that I couldn’t put this book down once I started. 100% not what I expected. The side cast of characters was great too, there was so much hope in one area called “bad blood” where everyone that was undesirable for transfusions was sent. They grew gardens and repurposed factory stores. The book definitely was not always happy, there were some significant and bloody deaths which I 100% endorse in any good resistance based dystopian. Lastly there is a bit of transfusion based science provided just for informational sakes and I thought that was great. We have to do so much checking and double checking of blood before transfusing and I think Panatier did a phenomenal job putting this all into layman’s terms for readers. if you are even slightly into dystopians, sci fi, resistance based novels, even fantasy/paranormal readers could cross over and enjoy this, I totally recommend it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Esther King

    Please note this is a 3.5 This book was a great example of a fantastic set-up, and first half. It didn't pull any stops, building a post-apocalyptic nightmare world that I had no idea as to twist until it hit me full force in the face. Now, THAT was a surprise- and specifically to suddenly have myself gifted with a horror novel. The first half with the caste system, the drones, the blood collection, and the characters was absolutely riveting. However, the second half is where this book lost me. It Please note this is a 3.5 This book was a great example of a fantastic set-up, and first half. It didn't pull any stops, building a post-apocalyptic nightmare world that I had no idea as to twist until it hit me full force in the face. Now, THAT was a surprise- and specifically to suddenly have myself gifted with a horror novel. The first half with the caste system, the drones, the blood collection, and the characters was absolutely riveting. However, the second half is where this book lost me. It was as though it devolved into a generic thriller with no real meaning left in it, and the whole of the story was just lost to the ending. The idea of an epic collection of people fighting the big baddies was sweet, but there are so many other roads it could have gone down, and I think it would've benefitted from perhaps something like the taking down of the system from the inside. I wanted this book to be so much more, and it was deeply lacking in that respect. The characterisation slid downhill too, and I almost felt like I was reading a totally different book. However, the first half, with its fascinating set-up and the absolute backhand of a twist it provided made for a really interesting start to the book. There was so much potential here, I just wished it went a little further with the story and it ended up somewhere a little less stereotypical.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Williams

    https://lynns-books.com/2020/09/28/th... My Five Word TL:DR Review : Absolutely Bloody Brilliant, pun intended. The Phlebotomist is a book that really took me by storm. To be fair I read a glowing review for this over on Books Bones and Buffy but even so, and even though I requested a review copy, I felt a little hesitant about picking this up. I think it’s all to do with my reading mood, the way it fluctuates without warning and the current pandemic situation which I cannot deny has greatly affec https://lynns-books.com/2020/09/28/th... My Five Word TL:DR Review : Absolutely Bloody Brilliant, pun intended. The Phlebotomist is a book that really took me by storm. To be fair I read a glowing review for this over on Books Bones and Buffy but even so, and even though I requested a review copy, I felt a little hesitant about picking this up. I think it’s all to do with my reading mood, the way it fluctuates without warning and the current pandemic situation which I cannot deny has greatly affected my emotions and ability to settle down. Then along comes the Phlebotomist to laugh in the face of all of that and just provide a really damned good bit of respite from the everyday mundane. Seriously, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one (yes, I read a review but it was very secretive and gave little away – apart from the fact that this is good). And, to be honest, I’m going to give very little away too, in fact I’m not really going to go overboard on the plot but will look at world and characters instead. The Phlebotomist is set in a fairly near future (2060s??). Our worst fears have been recognised and war and nuclear blasts have changed the way we live. There are grey zones that still suffer from the fallout and people who desperately need blood to help them recover. Patriot is an organisation that harvests blood – your country needs you! And, depending on your blood type, your life can be one of relative luxury or incredibly tough with barely enough food to survive. Areas are divided by blood types with the most affluent areas being inhabited by those with the most sought after blood types. Enter the scene Willa Wallace. I love this woman Willia is the Phlebotomist. She’s old enough to remember the world pre nuclear blast and she still likes ‘old school’ methods when it comes to a lot of things. She is responsible for her grandson, her own daughter having passed away, and she works for Patriot as a Reaper – sounds grim eh? (Ha, another pun). Willa collects blood, but she doesn’t just go through the motions, she’s smart, she likes to read (high five Willa) and she has common sense. Unwittingly, Willy stumbles into ‘something’ and that’s when things start to go pear shaped. I won’t elaborate further other than to say this went in a direction I never saw coming and I loved it. The other characters. Well, we have an ex marine called Lock (short for the Locksmith) who is basically a hacker. Lock uses old technology to stay under the radar, she has a number of hideouts and her main priority is the group of ragtag children that she’s taken under her wing and cares for. Everard is a bit of a tough character, he’s not above committing crimes, he might have a tweak of conscience about it but he’s prepared to make hard choices when it comes to keeping the children safe. The other character is Kathy, I can’t say too much about her because of spoilers but she’s great and I have to say these three females just about made my day. Long story short I really enjoyed this. I couldn’t wait to pick it up, it was entertaining, fast paced, high octane, bloody, and violent, in places and emotional. What a ride. The writing is really good. Panatier strikes a perfect blend between those tense moments where you’re holding your breath and then the relief that swiftly follows. He provides clear information about the world and the way of life. He provides his cast with very ‘real’ motivations and he manages to provoke heartfelt emotion. On top of this there is much drama and over the top heist style scenes that give you a real rush – not to mention woohoo moments. Okay, I enjoyed this. Maybe you can tell. It just give me a real boost. In terms of criticisms. The only thing I can think of is that some of the tech info felt a little bit less like a conversation and more like a convenient way to quickly deliver all the knowledge in one swift chunk. It’s not something that bothered me though. High speed chases through the air, corporate conniving, conspiracy theories, do we really know how the other half lives? It’s all here. I would read more of this world without hesitation in fact I strongly hope that more is forthcoming and I can only hope this gets optioned for adaptation, it would be great on the big screen. I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sakina (aforestofbooks)

    okay, this was really something. As a phlebotomist myself, I really appreciated the research that went into this, though Willa is like 100x more experienced than me. There is no way I could ever attempt a vein-to-vein transfusion, though it sounds very cool. The definitions at the start of every chapter were so fun, especially since they correlated so well with my pathology class this semester; it was like studying, but a lot more entertaining. The whole concept of this book is very unique from o okay, this was really something. As a phlebotomist myself, I really appreciated the research that went into this, though Willa is like 100x more experienced than me. There is no way I could ever attempt a vein-to-vein transfusion, though it sounds very cool. The definitions at the start of every chapter were so fun, especially since they correlated so well with my pathology class this semester; it was like studying, but a lot more entertaining. The whole concept of this book is very unique from other dystopians I've read, and I really enjoyed it. It definitely took a lot of turns I wasn't expecting, and there are parts of this book that are a little disturbing and made me nauseous, and that's coming from someone who deals with blood for a living. (view spoiler)[I'm just not a fan of drinking it, is all I'll say (hide spoiler)] There were some descriptions that went over my head, though considering this is sci-fi/dystopian, that tends to happen. The last bit of the book, so much happened all at once. The ending definitely had me on the edge of my seat. I'm curious to see if we'll get a sequel. I imagine it'll be bloodier than this one if we do. Thank you to Angry Robot Books for sending me a finished copy for review! 3.5/5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wart Hill

    I received a free ARC via Netgalley 3.5/5 stars. The Phlebotomist is the story of Willa Mae Wallace, a ‘Reaper’ who works for Patriot – the corporation in power. Reapers collect blood as part of a system put in place after a series of bombs created a high need for transfusions and a shortage of blood. Patriot set up a system where people are paid for their blood, the rate determined by the percentage of the population who can receive transfusions of their blood type – putting O- at the top and AB+ I received a free ARC via Netgalley 3.5/5 stars. The Phlebotomist is the story of Willa Mae Wallace, a ‘Reaper’ who works for Patriot – the corporation in power. Reapers collect blood as part of a system put in place after a series of bombs created a high need for transfusions and a shortage of blood. Patriot set up a system where people are paid for their blood, the rate determined by the percentage of the population who can receive transfusions of their blood type – putting O- at the top and AB+ at the bottom of the financial ladder. Willa worked as a phlebotomist before the current system and she longs for the ability to separate blood, unfortunately they no longer have the ability to make the anti-coagulates that would allow that to be possible due to radiation from the bombs. At least, that’s what Patriot tells them. When Willa witnesses a transport drone crash and finds that the drone, which should have been carrying blood to those that need it but was instead empty, Willa starts spiraling down a path of conspiracies and lies towards the truth Patriot has been hiding the whole time. Willa teams up with a group from the AB+ district to try to get the truth out. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s interesting and for the most part I liked the characters. I did have a few problems with it. First, there’s Willa’s grandson, Isaiah. He is a huge catalyst for the final climax of the book, felt more like set dressing than a proper character in his own right. It felt like the book wasn’t sure what to do with him. Another issue I had was, there’s a section where Willa has to manually fly a drone for the first time and she almost immediately gets into a chase and succeeds not only in weaving in and out of buildings but also leads her pursuer down a dead end and narrowly escapes. If there’d been a more extensive learn to fly a drone sequence implied, it wouldn’t have bothered me that much but it just felt like Willa went from “I’ve never flown a drone” to “The Fast and the Furious: Drone Edition” unbelievably quickly. While I did have a few problems with The Phlebotomist, overall I did enjoy it and I’m glad it seems to be set up for a sequel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The Phlebotomist follows Willa, a Reaper, a woman who works for Patriot drawing blood for the Harvest. In a society separated by blood types, those with a universal donor type are regarded more highly, creating a caste system. When Willa sees a drone meant to be carrying blood crash, Patriot pays her a visit, leading to Willa on the run, teamed up with a blood-hacker, Lock. The Phlebotomist ticks every box that I want from a science fiction dystopian novel - an intricate social system, power hung The Phlebotomist follows Willa, a Reaper, a woman who works for Patriot drawing blood for the Harvest. In a society separated by blood types, those with a universal donor type are regarded more highly, creating a caste system. When Willa sees a drone meant to be carrying blood crash, Patriot pays her a visit, leading to Willa on the run, teamed up with a blood-hacker, Lock. The Phlebotomist ticks every box that I want from a science fiction dystopian novel - an intricate social system, power hungry leaders, a bad ass main character seeking to overthrow the leaders, and a whole lot of feeling. Willa might not be your typical dystopian main character - she’s a grandmother in her sixties, wearing a bright pink wig - but that doesn’t stop her from being just as badass as any other dystopian main character you can think of. In fact, it makes her a bit better than most because she’s mature, level headed, and educated. This also cuts out the typical dystopian love triangle we normally get, and this just made me love The Phlebotomist more. The blood caste system affecting the social stratification was also fascinating. The level of detail that went into the blood was incredible, giving little tidbits at the start of each chapter that give you some more background on what the different types are, and different skills that a Phlebotomist would have. It felt surprisingly educational while being a fast paced story about trying to overthrow Patriot. There were some surprising twists throughout the book too, that take it to a new level of dystopian horror almost, and honestly, while I wasn’t expecting it, I was all for it. It suited the story fully, and the twists didn’t feel like they came entirely out of left field just to make the story progress. And for how surprising some of the twists were, and how action packed the story was, there was lot of heart involved. You feel for Willa and Lock, and the hardships they go through. It was a fine balance of cheering them on through all the action, and having your heart hurt, but it balances well and really pulls you in to the story. The Phlebotomist is one I absolutely recommend for fans of dystopian style books, and especially those that like a touch of horror tossed in for good measure. If you’re looking for a unique main character that you don’t often see in Sci-Fi, Willa is one to remember, and this is absolutely a book worth checking out

  15. 5 out of 5

    Reid Edwards

    Wow - Panatier's The Phlebotomist drives forward like a semi-truck, never content to let you sit quietly and process. With second to none worldbuilding, he's layered traditional fantasy within sheets of science fiction, post-apocalyptic dystopia, and good old fashioned adventure. Like a parfait (or an onion), every time you think you're comfortable and fully in control, Panatier pulls the rug out from under your feet with a new twist or a new shift to the paradigm of his world. Eschewing the tra Wow - Panatier's The Phlebotomist drives forward like a semi-truck, never content to let you sit quietly and process. With second to none worldbuilding, he's layered traditional fantasy within sheets of science fiction, post-apocalyptic dystopia, and good old fashioned adventure. Like a parfait (or an onion), every time you think you're comfortable and fully in control, Panatier pulls the rug out from under your feet with a new twist or a new shift to the paradigm of his world. Eschewing the traditional post-apocalyptic protagonists (star-crossed lovers, abandoned-at-birth youth, mysterious stranger with a past), his characters feel real, with understandable motivations and passions that drive them. Panatier did his research as well; his science feels accurate (always a risk when you use actual science vs making it up) and doesn't detract from the plot. All in all, I can recommend this book wholeheartedly, without any reservations - I just need to go find out my blood-type so I can prepare (just in case).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Oxana Tomova

    It's been a while since a book about the near future has made me that excited. The Phlebotomist draws a very interesting future where blood has literally become the most important part of economy. We follow the story of a phlebotomist - Willa, trained around our present time, that has held the job title in the future, even though the job in the future bares very little resemblance. Willa now spends her entire workdays collecting blood donations that get sent to areas where people need transfusion It's been a while since a book about the near future has made me that excited. The Phlebotomist draws a very interesting future where blood has literally become the most important part of economy. We follow the story of a phlebotomist - Willa, trained around our present time, that has held the job title in the future, even though the job in the future bares very little resemblance. Willa now spends her entire workdays collecting blood donations that get sent to areas where people need transfusions because of radiation sickness. She's managed to get a somewhat comfortable life for this post-apocalyptic world, when by sheer accident she starts uncovering the truth behind the system, in which she works and lives. I really liked the characters and setting, and how everything was explained. This made for quite a nice weekend read. The book seems open to a sequel and I'd be really happy if we get one. *Thanks to NetGalley and Angry Robot for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.*

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    3.5, really, but such fun that I rounded up. Difficult to review without spoiling some of the most enjoyable reveals, but it's a bit silly, a bit queer, a lot gleefully gory - and the main characters are in their 50s and 60s, kicking ass and taking names and looking after everybody. If the blurb catches your interest, I can confirm it's worth a read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* NetGalley *Genre* Science Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Chris Panatier's The Phlebotomist is Thelma and Louise meets The Passage. The year is 2067, it has been 35 years since Chrysalis changed the world. The government has been supplanted by Patriot; a private organization who enforces a monthly blood tax called the Harvest in order to save the sick who live in the Grey Zones. 60 something Grandmother Willa Wallace is the main character in this story. Her title is Reape *Source* NetGalley *Genre* Science Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Chris Panatier's The Phlebotomist is Thelma and Louise meets The Passage. The year is 2067, it has been 35 years since Chrysalis changed the world. The government has been supplanted by Patriot; a private organization who enforces a monthly blood tax called the Harvest in order to save the sick who live in the Grey Zones. 60 something Grandmother Willa Wallace is the main character in this story. Her title is Reaper (or what we call a Phlebotomist which I am proud to say I was one). She's one of the rare ones in that she was trained to do the job unlike those she works with. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    Learned alot about blood!

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Lawrie

    The novel draws a direct line of sci-fi lineage from the likes of I Am Legend by reinvigorating a well-worn concept with fresh, believable insight. But it's so much more than a modern retake of classic themes. It's a shot of adrenalin in the arm of SFF, written with flair and panache, a great seam of humour, and a genuine sense of love for its characters. As exciting as it is thought-provoking, it's such an impressive work that its hard to believe it's a debut. Panatier marks himself out as a wr The novel draws a direct line of sci-fi lineage from the likes of I Am Legend by reinvigorating a well-worn concept with fresh, believable insight. But it's so much more than a modern retake of classic themes. It's a shot of adrenalin in the arm of SFF, written with flair and panache, a great seam of humour, and a genuine sense of love for its characters. As exciting as it is thought-provoking, it's such an impressive work that its hard to believe it's a debut. Panatier marks himself out as a writer to watch, and he does it in his own blood. The Phlebotomist is a bloodrush doozy and I recommend leaping on it ASAP.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    ‘The Phlebotomist’ is part medical sci-fi, part dystopia, and part fantasy novel. It’s audacious in scope and full of brilliant ideas, but they don’t always work cohesively together. The twist in the middle was shocking and completely unexpected, but the sudden tone and genre change didn’t work for me in the way I wanted it to. Before reviewing this, I feel like I should give a disclaimer – I have a medical background. I’m always going to be pickier with medical sci-fi than any other genre, becau ‘The Phlebotomist’ is part medical sci-fi, part dystopia, and part fantasy novel. It’s audacious in scope and full of brilliant ideas, but they don’t always work cohesively together. The twist in the middle was shocking and completely unexpected, but the sudden tone and genre change didn’t work for me in the way I wanted it to. Before reviewing this, I feel like I should give a disclaimer – I have a medical background. I’m always going to be pickier with medical sci-fi than any other genre, because I’m familiar with the theory behind it. It’s clear from the first page that Chris Panatier has done his research, with everything he includes more-or-less grounded in science, and I’m very impressed with the whole idea of a society segregated by blood type. There are a couple of inaccuracies (for example a reference to an O antigen, which doesn’t exist), but overall Panatier does a great job at incorporating medical science facts as springboards for science fiction. The story focuses on Willa Mae Wallace – a Reaper for Patriot, the blood contractor that more or less rules society. The world has been ravaged by nuclear weapons, producing Grey Zones – areas full of people suffering from radiation sickness and other injuries who desperately need blood. With jobs mostly performed by robots, the main way for the populace to earn money is by donating blood – with the best price gained for O negative blood, which can be donated to anyone. Those with O negative have become rich, whilst those with AB positive live in slums, as their blood can only be donated to each other. Willa is AB positive, and has only dragged herself out of the slums by gaining her job as a Reaper (or phlebotomist). However, after witnessing an accident at work, Willa finds herself privy to Patriot’s biggest secret – and they’ll do anything to keep it from getting out. Willa is an intriguing character. For one thing, she’s a grandmother – an unusual choice for a sci-fi protagonist – who’s been left completely bald, choosing to wear a wig of bright pink hair. Everything she does is to protect her grandson Isaiah. She’s got strong morals and a kind streak a mile wide, but – whilst she regularly reminisced about the past – she doesn’t always read her age. She’s an active lady with no age-related complaints, and I wish a little more had been done to make her seem like an older lady – or else she’d just been written as Isaiah’s mother. While Willa is the majority point-of-view character, we get occasional chapters from the perspective of Everard, the member of a group of blood-hackers. These are interesting but mostly unnecessary – they never do anything to further the plot. They also do nothing to flesh out Everard as a character – while Willa gets some backstory, most of the other characters are little more than names on the page. This makes it hard to care when bad things happen to them, and lowers the stakes in what should be tense, dramatic moments. My main issue with this book is more of a personal one than any flaw with the book itself, and that’s that it turned into something very different to what I expected. I went in expecting sci-fi dystopia, but by the end this was more of a fantasy novel with a sci-fi backdrop. I love fantasy, but I see so little medical sci-fi that I just really wanted a novel that explored the potential of that, rather than falling back on fantasy to add intrigue. My rating is purely based on personal enjoyment, and I really think that many others will love the direction it takes. I would prefer this as two separate books – one sci-fi dystopia, and one with the intriguing fantasy elements. The ending feels a bit rushed in places – so much happens in a short space of time that it stops being as dramatic as it should be – but sets the book up for a potential sequel. Given that I’ll know what to expect, I might pick up a sequel if it appears – the world is excellent, and I’d be interested to see if Panatier explores beyond the boundaries of what we see here. Overall, this is an ambitious book that didn’t quite work for me, but that I expect many people will love. If you’re a fan of genre-crossing sci-fi and fantasy, kickass grandmothers, and taking down evil corporations, this might be a book for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Hanks

    Fascinating, terrifying, and (blood) bags of fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dean Osborne

    Review: The Phlebotomist by Chris Panatier Rating: 9/10 Synopsis War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete collection technique, but instead uncovers an awful truth. Patriot Review: The Phlebotomist by Chris Panatier Rating: 9/10 Synopsis War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper. To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete collection technique, but instead uncovers an awful truth. Patriot will do anything to protect its secret. On the run and with nowhere else to turn, Willa seeks an alliance with Lock, a notorious blood-hacker who cheats the Harvest to support the children orphaned by it. But they soon find themselves in the grasp of a new type of evil. Review Kick-ass grandmother, an evil corporation and a dystopian setting. Does it get any better than that? Right, where do I even start with this one? Maybe I should just leave it with a “GO AND GET THIS BOOK, NOW!” You won’t regret it at all but I guess you want more of a review than that. Let’s get to it and I want to start with the cover of The Phlebotomist. I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but how can we not when it looks this good. Just check out that cover. It’s bright pink, it's simple and Chris Panatier illustrated the anatomical heart/flower mashup himself. That’s pretty damn awesome. This book is an eye-catcher and will look great on any and all bookshelves. Okay, so what I really loved about this book is our protagonist, a Reaper called Willa. A 60 year old grandmother that works for Patriot, a blood donation company, and does all she can to provide for her grandson in a dystopian near future. We get to see Willa change from the sweet and kind grandmother we all know to a mean machine during this story. Don’t get me wrong she is still sweet and kind but now knows how and is willing to get s**t done in order to keep those around her safe. Chris’ character development is fantastic and I really connected with all the characters throughout the story including the side characters. Chris Panatier lands us straight in the centre of a country that has been ravished by a recent war and we soon understand the consequences of the war and how the people adapted afterwards. We witness a country of titanic inequality amongst its population and this holds a mirror up to our current society and shows us how devastating inequality can be for everyone. I enjoyed the way that Chris Panatier approaches the subject of inequality and it will serve as an eye-opener for many people. Overall the world-building in The Phlebotomist is fantastic and if you are a fan of well crafted settings then this is for you. Now I found the plot unique in its telling and it had me hooked and asking questions from the very first page. It’s a nice fast pace without feeling rushed and the story unravels at just the right frequency to keep the reader entertained. I certainly didn’t feel any lulls during this read and it kept my attention throughout. Chris Panatier creates an interesting take on the classic dystopian future and I for one can't wait to read more of his work in the future. The Phlebotomist is definitely for those that love dystopian novels, definitely for those that love a strong female lineup and definitely for those that love a little dose of conspiracy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book absolutely blew me away, from the first line where people were queuing up to sell their blood, I was hooked. The Phlebotomist is set in a world where people have become reliant on selling their blood to Patriot, a global retriever of blood every 45 days from everyone aged 16 upwards. Within the world that Chris has created, the population is segregated into several living areas based on their blood types. This provides a somewhat caste system depended on an individuals blood, from high This book absolutely blew me away, from the first line where people were queuing up to sell their blood, I was hooked. The Phlebotomist is set in a world where people have become reliant on selling their blood to Patriot, a global retriever of blood every 45 days from everyone aged 16 upwards. Within the world that Chris has created, the population is segregated into several living areas based on their blood types. This provides a somewhat caste system depended on an individuals blood, from high bloods, medium bloods to low bloods - such as AB that can be given to anyone. With the blood types, each one is worth more or less depending on how high in demand it is, this leads to bloody (get it?) crimes such as blood muggings! How scary is that?! This world that you can find within the pages of The Phlebotomist is horrifyingly shocking, set with a dystopian backdrop but Patriot and 'the reapers' who work there are just the tip of the iceberg. We meet our female protagonist, Willa, who is a lovable granny and one of the only actually trained phlebotomists left working at Patriot. She is a character who you can't help but fall in love with, with her well tuned moral compass, her kindness and the love she has for her grandson Isaiah. This fast paced, throw you in the deep end biological / medical dystopian has so many depths and twists that I was gripped and consumed the whole novel in one day. When Willa falls across cover-ups, conspiracies and a mystery that has her running for her life with some unexpected acquaintances and nail biting reveals, it's hard not to be completely mesmerised by The Phlebotomist. The storyline is impeccably written, with each chapter starting with a 'fun fact', Chris obviously took care to research the components of this novel which helped take it from strength to strength. The knowledge interwoven into the storyline fitted perfectly, not only did it provide a further atmospheric feel but it also educated me. Another reason why I loved this book is it's nothing quite like anything I've read before, a medical dystopian mixed with a sci-fi element that felt scarily plausible on so many levels - people willingly selling their blood in dangerous levels in order to help themselves and their family survive, a huge multi-national company literally draining its 'customers' of life then slapping a name on it that suggests that it's their patriotic duty to provide this life giver! A little peak into money and greed within humanity don't you think? Overall, a fantastic novel written to create a terrifyingly tense literary adventure, with chapters flowing easily into one another and just intoxicating the reader with futuristic technology, biological hacking and an array of other adrenaline pumping elements, The Phlebotomist is a dark, twisted debut you're really not going to want to miss!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I'm just going to call this a 'bloody good read' now to get that over and done with. Now that is out of my system, on with the review: A lot of the contemporary dystopian novels I've read over the last couple of years seem to have focused on the same sort of character over and over again and I just can't seem to escape him: a white middle-aged man, thrown into a dystopian world, separ Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I'm just going to call this a 'bloody good read' now to get that over and done with. Now that is out of my system, on with the review: A lot of the contemporary dystopian novels I've read over the last couple of years seem to have focused on the same sort of character over and over again and I just can't seem to escape him: a white middle-aged man, thrown into a dystopian world, separated from his family (who then briefly grapples with the fact that he is actually secretly relieved to be free of them), who manages to find time to squeeze in an affair (that he concludes is fine because he has decided his wife is probably dead), who mopes around for a few hundred pages until he inexplicably saves the day. This is not that book. The Phlebotomist would have been a 3 star read for me if it had not been for the main character, our reaper Willa. Willa is a really refreshing lead character. I need more books featuring grandmothers taking on corrupt institutions, please. It is long past time. It was such a lovely change to read a book centered on an older woman who had her own sense of purpose, her own skills and her own motivations, rather than just being around to move the plot along or to aid another character's development. Willa is shown to be inquisitive, competent and had motivations that made her actions actually make sense to me, and it was a joy to follow her.  I found the supporting characters to be engaging too, especially Lock and Kathy, but I wish they'd been fleshed out a little more. This is a really plot-driven book and that is great as it keeps the pace up, but it did leave me wanting the relationships between the characters to be explored a little more; it didn't really feel like there was time for that to happen because there was so much going on. That said, there were hints about their lives prior to the events of the novel scattered throughout that kept me invested, and the world-building was expansive. You can tell a lot of research went into this novel. I particularly enjoyed the final section of the book. (view spoiler)[I felt that the latter part of the novel took the wider dystopian world that Panatier had built well and really honed in on some of the more macabre aspects of the society. The conference scene towards the end of the book reminded me of an iconic scene from The Witches (1990) (hide spoiler)] . It was wonderfully twisted. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable debut and I'll be keeping an eye out for the author's work in future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    A while back, while sitting at my computer in my home office I found myself bored. My children were in the adjacent room watching reruns of Paw Patrol, my wife asleep on the couch. To provide some entertainment, I began making the rounds to my favorite publisher's websites to see what was coming up in the pipeline. I typed in the URL for Angry Robot and began my research. The Phlebotomist, the computer screen read in black digital ink. What an interesting title, I thought, so I clicked on it and A while back, while sitting at my computer in my home office I found myself bored. My children were in the adjacent room watching reruns of Paw Patrol, my wife asleep on the couch. To provide some entertainment, I began making the rounds to my favorite publisher's websites to see what was coming up in the pipeline. I typed in the URL for Angry Robot and began my research. The Phlebotomist, the computer screen read in black digital ink. What an interesting title, I thought, so I clicked on it and was greeted with a bright pink cover and a picture of a heart. Once I read the synopsis I knew this book would be mine. My concern was that the synopsis wasn't accurate, that a book with such a promising premise would fall short and flat. My worries were unnecessary. This book is a roller-coaster ride from page one. It tells the story of Willa, a phlebotomist in a future society where the demand for blood has increased so much everyone over the age of 16 is required to give a minimum donation in the Harvest. For those who choose to give more, they are compensated by a government agency known as PATRIOT. Certain blood is worth more than others based upon its bio-compatibility. O-negative is the universal donor so it is valued the most as are the donors. People are essentially placed into a caste system based upon their blood type. I've read numerous books where people are placed into a caste system but none have been centered around their blood type. This was such a genius idea. Willa soon discovers things aren't as they appear and thus begins the story of bringing down an entire social strata system. Panatier does everything right in this book. There is never a dull moment with fast paced chapters full of excitement, action, twists, and turns. He beautifully weaves a society which is both horrifying yet believable, where politicians and high society members declare FAKE NEWS! and quell any type of uprising. Willa is such a great protagonist too. She is loyal, mild mannered, and content with her life until her eyes are opened. She is certainly someone I got behind and enjoyed reading about. With this being Panatier's debut, I can only imagine what his ceiling is. This is a book that I would expect from a veteran in the industry. I have already raved about it to coworkers, book club members, friends, and family. The only problem is they will have to wait until September when it comes out. To summarize this long review: read this weird, twisted, wacky book. It has a chance at being the best thing you'll read all year.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    More of a 3.5 than a 4 but I'm feeling generous today. I definitely enjoyed reading this novel, but it didn’t blow me away. While there are many variations of classism/segregation in sci-fi novels, this was one I hadn’t read before. Segregating people by blood type was a fascinating premise, as blood type is something I rarely think about (truth be told, I don’t know my blood type and I’m 35-years-old). The logistics of the Harvest was fairly believable, as was the eventual reason for it that we More of a 3.5 than a 4 but I'm feeling generous today. I definitely enjoyed reading this novel, but it didn’t blow me away. While there are many variations of classism/segregation in sci-fi novels, this was one I hadn’t read before. Segregating people by blood type was a fascinating premise, as blood type is something I rarely think about (truth be told, I don’t know my blood type and I’m 35-years-old). The logistics of the Harvest was fairly believable, as was the eventual reason for it that we find out about a quarter of the way in. While I wasn’t super keen on the twist itself (view spoiler)[vampires? Really? I mean, I should have expected it with the emphasis on blood, but it's almost cliche. He did manage to give them some new facets that were interesting, but I would have liked the story better if it were something else (hide spoiler)] , the story is an exciting, entertaining thriller. The book really shines with the two main characters: Willa, the rather naive and complacent grandmother, and Lock, an ex-marine hacker with a big gun. The two have a fun dynamic that plays one off of the other and it was wonderful to see a novel in this genre feature not only one old lady protagonist but two. Willa is too hesitant and Lock is too rash, which create interesting scenarios. Neither really grow too much as people, but they are quite fun. There is another character, Everard, who gets a perspective, but as it’s only a few chapters, we don’t learn nearly enough about him, despite hints that he has an interesting backstory. Unfortunately, there is a tonal shift from the first half to second that takes the story from serious sci-fi to rather campy. While it was still fun, I enjoyed the more subtly menacing tone of the first bit more than the action-adventure narrative of the second half. It felt like the novel was trying to “say something” in the first half but in the second half this message (about classism presumably) dissolves and it becomes simply an adventure. It’s a fun ride with a pair of protagonists we’re not used to seeing, in a novel which morphs from one genre to another in a twist I’m surprised I didn’t expect!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    You can't talk about this book without first talking about the cover: gorgeous and vibrant and every detail is relevant. But then you have older protagonists, a dystopian near-future where the older generation actually remembers life before, and a rather unique social structure based on blood type. I totally should have guessed the conspiracy but I'll admit, it took me by surprise. One thing that I've noticed about Angry Robot books is they're always a little weird/silly but they find a brilliant You can't talk about this book without first talking about the cover: gorgeous and vibrant and every detail is relevant. But then you have older protagonists, a dystopian near-future where the older generation actually remembers life before, and a rather unique social structure based on blood type. I totally should have guessed the conspiracy but I'll admit, it took me by surprise. One thing that I've noticed about Angry Robot books is they're always a little weird/silly but they find a brilliant way to balance that with serious subjects - in this case, poverty, classism, death of parents, death of children, and addiction. It did drag a bit by the end, when Willa has a crisis of faith, but overall the pacing made it easy to tear through this one. There's also some fun gore near the end, which I'm always down for. {My sincerest thanks to Angry Robot for the free copy in exchange for my honest review!}

  29. 5 out of 5

    BobNotBob

    Fast paced, engaging and a lot of fun. Echoes of The Hunger Games for me (no bad thing!), and some 'interesting' overreaching on cracking quantum crypto... All in all, a solid jaunt though, and I enjoyed it very much.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Kohler

    From the insatiably evolving plot-lines, to how such BA older women could take on this adventure - to simply how well researched and unique the characters are - it's a delightful, and refreshing reinvention! Beyond how much I loved reading this story, which I hope shows like fireworks, I am enamored with how perfect the cover art is as well. I don't want to give away anything, you deserve to enjoy every aspect of this dystopian narrative in your own time~ preorder now :D Also, Mr. Panatier's aut From the insatiably evolving plot-lines, to how such BA older women could take on this adventure - to simply how well researched and unique the characters are - it's a delightful, and refreshing reinvention! Beyond how much I loved reading this story, which I hope shows like fireworks, I am enamored with how perfect the cover art is as well. I don't want to give away anything, you deserve to enjoy every aspect of this dystopian narrative in your own time~ preorder now :D Also, Mr. Panatier's authors note was one of the altruistic I've read in a while - bonus points! Galley borrowed from the publisher.

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