Kris Ballard’s life changed irrevocably when, a year ago, she was targeted for termination by the Meridian corporation, one of the mega-conglomerates that controls the government in this dystopian future. She hid amongst the underground resistance—but now, right as her training with the anti-corporate movement is nearing its end, their compound is destroyed. Ready or not, Kris and the other trainees are recalled to the dangerous metropolis of San Angeles. But their transport is shot down and Ian Miller, the man she loves, is captured. Someone, it seems, is using him to get to Kris.
With the help of a retired operative with PTSD, and the mysterious man who fled the scene when Kris’s parents were killed, Kris searches for any sign of Ian. As the corporations battle civil unrest—and each other—the city slowly shuts down. Kris is running out of time.
Worldbuilding: The layered – pun intended, lol – world of San Angeles is very interesting. I enjoyed the variety of environments.
Characters:I felt Kris evolved in the story. I loved her cautious, action-prone attitude. There were different sides to her that were brought out by the interaction with different characters. I loved how seeing things from their perspective too put things into different light. By the end of the novel she seemed stronger, better prepared to deal with life’s hardship, but still vulnerable and easy to relate to.
Plot: The story was a good mix of suspense with dramatic and romantic elements.
Writing: Same mix of first and third person narrative, multiple POV. While it gave me wider a perspective on events, I didn’t respond to it as much as I might have liked.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material.
I enjoyed The Operative all the more due to its ending – and no, I am so not spoiling it for you. It’s a good entertaining read, but for reason it was less exciting for me than The Courier – but it’s a matter of subjective tastes. I recommend The Operative to fans of cyberpunk and thrilling action, and to fans of multi-POV stories. It’s an original and entertaining mix and it was a fun (though a bit bittersweet) ride.