336p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481423397; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481423410.
Gr 9 Up—For teens who have been lectured on the importance of saving money, this book will serve as a sober reminder. Buried in debt, the U.S. government has been purchased by Valor National Bank. But the new creditor-nation wants payback right away. Customers are given two choices: pay back the debt by becoming bounty hunters who gun down other debtors, or be killed on the spot. Seventeen-year-old Patsy becomes one of those bounty hunters in order to cover her mother's debt. Armed with a state-issued handgun, a postal service truck with GPS, a basket of fake flowers to lure her 12 unsuspecting victims to open the door, and a uniform with built-in camera, Patsy sets about on her grim assignment. After Wyatt, (the son of the second victim, whose younger brother is also on the list) tracks her down and demands answers for what is happening, he becomes Patsy's partner and backup. Each "job" becomes increasingly complicated as Patsy discovers that they all have a personal connection to her past life, including her missing father. But why? And is there an underground movement to overthrow Valor National? The plot moves along quickly with chapters ending in cliff-hangers. The author slows the plot down long enough, however, to allow the relationship between Patsy and Wyatt to develop at a believable pace. Dawson offers little background on the government takeover and ends the story with more questions than answers, thus setting readers up for a sequel. The book's subtle commentary on the country's credit industry and buying habits, in addition to its violent theme (reminiscent of the popular "Hunger Games" trilogy), make it most suitable for mature teens.—Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State University, NH
The near-future U.S. has been bought by a megabank. Now they're enlisting hitmen to ensure individuals pay back their personal debts--or else. Patsy, desperate to save her mother, becomes a reluctant indentured assassin...but it turns out she's pretty good at her job. The pacing is brisk and suspenseful, and the story's loose ends seem to hint at a welcome sequel.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing