Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
I received a galley reading copy from the publisher for review. The debt system that runs this novel is a great idea. It reminded me of the movie In Time. The thought of bean counters and debt collectors is chilling and terrifying… a great conceptual plot. The delivery, however, left a lot to be desired. Take, for instance, the main character – Lirium. He, like most (if not all) debt collectors is addicted to the rush of the “hit” when he collects the remaining life from someone the bean counters have decided are too far in debt to live any longer. He lives a life of taking hits (a junkie high) and paying them off to the people the society deems the future thinkers/creators of the world (a junkie low). He is also addicted to prostitution (hiring prostitutes, not being one). And moving, apparently.
I didn’t feel like much happened in these three short stories/”episodes”. While Lirium showed some humanity and redeeming qualities at the end of the first episode, I still have a difficult time relating to him. And while the three episodes are linked together, the plot seemed rather sloppy, thrown together and not all that exciting.
While I am fascinated by the potential of this unique world Quinn has designed, I was rather disappointed with the execution. With all that being said, with “episodes” as short as these, it is worth the time investment for the read. While perhaps not my cup of tea, it is an entertaining ride. Just expect to read the entire series if you want any sort of resolution; after reading the first bundle of three short stories, I still didn’t reach a climax or resolution in the plot.