I’m a reader. And, when I say that I mean it. Not in the ordinary way of people who read, really. See, when I get interested in a story I will read all night, all day, forget to eat, barely make it to the bathroom in time, until I hit the end pages. (I am AWARE that this is problematic…therapy is expensive!)
I can’t begin a new story before bed because I will read until the lines blur and I doze (book-in-hand) for a few hours then wake and read until I have to shower for work.
Which is why I thought I would hate a serial.
A serial is not simply a novel broken into bite-sized chunks, it is a recurrent character story with new adventures that all build to a coordinated climax.
Think: 24, in book form.
But I know Susan Kaye Quinn’s work. It’s solid. She’s a critique partner and friend. Her Mindjacker Trilogy is Hunger Games quality political-suspense-sci-fi-action-thriller with less bloodshed. If she was writing a serial I knew it was something I didn’t want to miss despite my obsessive reader nature.
I wasn’t let down.
Quinn calls The Debt Collector future-noir—which, simply put, means that it feels like a gritty noir feature, but it’s timescape is future. It’s ingenious!
The Debt Collector occurs in a future L.A. where pollution and corruption are a daily menace (okay so not very different from now). Still, in this brave new world, everyone’s life’s value is constantly calculated, assessed between the amount of money you could potentially earn versus that which the person might owe. That balance is never breached—if you near the point of equilibrium your lingering life energy is drawn out by a debt collector and transferred to another person more worthy. (Kinda makes me glad my credit card debt isn’t higher, amiright?)
Lirium is a young debt collector. He’s not so keen on the job–honestly, who wants to be a grim reaper? He deals with his depression in the natural way—booze and women—until the night his hired sex worker, Elena, convinces him to give the hit of life energy he generally bestows on his partners to her ailing sister, a child suffering an incurable disease. This turn of events leads Lirium down a path he never envisioned. Unwittingly drawn into the Kolek mafia, Lirium becomes a hit man of the highest order—taking life hits from the dregs of society and selling it to mafia patrons—along with fellow debt collectors Olivia and Valac. Along the way Lirium learns that kids are being illegally transferred out, and he’s compelled to determine the mastermind.
And, did I mention there’s romance? Not the main feature, but still present and pertinent.
I was dying waiting for each episode to go live. Following along with the release dates was like the anticipation of a new The Walking Dead episode—especially when the best characters got killed just after I fell in love with them!
As for The Debt Collector, each episode provides a satisfying arc and an excellent resolution while still propelling the overall storyline toward it’s finale.
Interested? You can get the complete 9 episode first season on Amazon.
Don’t forget to come back and tell me what you thought of it!