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The Phlebotomist

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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 phle
Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  244 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)

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
Jess Hagemann
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Jake is Reading
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-the-book
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 ...more
Sci-Fi & Scary
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Krystelle Zuanic
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked 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.

Lynn Williams
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Khai Jian (KJ)
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Angry Robot for sending a review copy of The Phlebotomist to me! This is a dystopian fiction with a mixture of sci-fi and perhaps fantasy elements. As a hardcore dystopian fiction fan, I just can't let this one slip under my radar!

Subsequent to a cataclysmic nuclear war, blood is required to be passed to those in the Grey Zones (areas which were affected by radiation). Hence, the Patriot (the government of the society) imposed a mandatory blood draw (the Harvest) whereby every 45 days,
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
Wart Hill
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-2020
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+
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
I finished this novel before Christmas and haven't stopped thinking of it. Panatier has a gift of writing medical facts into an amazingly developed dystopian plot. I'm not exactly one who likes a lot of technological, medical or textbook driven paragraphs in my fantasy so when I finished this in two days I realized that talent like this is few and far between.

Hooked is an understatement. Honestly, I need to pull out a thesaurus for a better term to describe my admiration and total immersion int
Reid Edwards
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oxana Tomova
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
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
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Science Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic
*Rating* 3.5


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
Lena (Sufficiently Advanced Lena)
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was such a good dystopian. Might be a little bias? Maybe but so good! I love how the world was constructed!
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Learned alot about blood!
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalleys
‘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
Dan Hanks
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, terrifying, and (blood) bags of fun.
Dean Osborne
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review: The Phlebotomist by Chris Panatier

Rating: 9/10


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.

Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Laura (crofteereader)
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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Chris lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, daughter, and a fluctuating herd of animals resembling dogs (one is almost certainly a goat). He writes short stories and novels, "plays" the drums, and draws album covers for metal bands. As a lawyer, he goes after companies that poison people.

Chris's short fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Metaphorosis, The Molotov Cocktail Magazine, Ghos

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