Review: Delilah S. Dawson HITs Close to Home With Debt Dystopia

“I want to survive the next five days.”

Patsy’s goal is very simple. The road to achieving that goal, however, is littered with fast food,  unmarked cars, flying bullets, terrifying encounters with desperate human beings, an unexpected dog, a hot guy, and mysterious hints about her absent father. Patsy, for the next five days, is a bounty hunter for Value Savings, the bank that paid off the debt of the United States of America. She has five days to hit ten people on a list. They can either pay in full, become a bounty hunter like herself, or be shot on the spot.

See? Simple.

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A gasp-inducing, goosebump-raising tale from Delilah S. Dawson, HIT is the start of a trilogy set in the not-too-distant future. A tiny clause in the fine print section of an amendment is the crack in the dam that allows Valor Savings to literally take over the United States government and unleash hell without even the slightest warning. Even calling 9-1-1 goes straight to Valor voicemail. It’s terrifying to imagine hundreds or thousands of Patsy’s fellow hitmen across the country taking out debtors left and right, especially knowing what number Patsy would have to say if she came to my door to collect. Or the Fella’s door. Debt is part of everyone’s lives: young and old, rich and poor alike. It’s utterly spooky to imagine what could happen if a little bit of fine print snuck in under the radar like it does in HIT.

But that being said, Dawson’s trademark snark, chuckle-worthy pop culture references, and dry humor peep through the dark and gritty world like unexpected dandelions through cracks in the pavement. Patsy has a lot of stuff she’s dealing with: becoming a murderer in order to save her mother’s life, running for her own life, ending other people’s lives… and she’s seventeen. So there’s the usual cocktail of sarcasm, hopefulness, hormones, anger, and grief. I found myself liking Patsy a lot. She’s tough, but not so tough that nothing hurts her, and at the same time, the hurt she feels doesn’t immobilize her… at least, not for long. She keeps moving in order to survive. Her human frailty morphs and changes on this journey, but she doesn’t lose it entirely.  Even the sprinkling of romance (if you can call it that, in this context???) in the story with Wyatt isn’t perfect or all-consuming – it’s an additional factor that Patsy must decide how to handle and use towards fueling her sanity and need to survive.

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In all, HIT is a bizarre, page-turning, breath-holding story with a good dose of sass and terror all mixed in together. I’m looking forward to the next installment, to see what more there is to learn about Patsy’s family history, the future of the “Valor Nation”, and what else is really going on out there.

Check out Delilah S. Dawson and her other amazeballs books on her website here and  follow her on Twitter because she’s hilarious and awesome and lives on Endor. Grab your copy of HIT at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite local indie bookstore!

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