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What made the experience of listening to Debt Collector Season One the most enjoyable?
The serialized format is interesting but this is not a story for the faint hearted. It's dark, dystopian and often not very pleasant to listen to although it is well told and kept me coming back to find out how it ended.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Debt Collector Season One?
The scene where the professor, Joe and his mother discuss her medical treatment is interesting.
Which character – as performed by Max Miller – was your favorite?
Ophelia is the most interesting character. She's spunky, sexy and has an interesting sense of humor.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It's pretty grim but not particularly emotional.
'You never know when it's your time to go.'
But what if you did? What if someone could tell you when your time was up - or how much you have left?
'Youth is wasted on the young.'
Further, what if someone could take that time from you, or give you more? What would that life be worth? How much would you pay? Is the reverse true as well - how much money can you get for your life?
Such is the world of Susan Kaye Quinn's "Debt Collector." Lirium, our trenchcoat-and-jackboot-wearing protagonist, is sanctioned to take life and give it to another. Good work if you can get it, but it's not as easy as it sounds. The job takes its toll - physically, mentally, and emotionally. He grows throughout the book to learn what he can and can't - and shouldn't - do.
I love a good genre mash-up - paranormal romance, historical mystery, even military courtroom drama. With "Debt Collector," you get the combination of science fiction and the noir crime novel. The combination works pretty well. The key to making it work is knowing how to work the formulas of each style in concert. For the sci-fi side, the book takes one thing ("taking your time"), changes it, and sees how society might react. That works really well for this concept as we get to see the good and the bad.
The bad is where the noir side kicks in - gangsters, prostitutes, smuggling, corruption, and hard drinking. More importantly to the noir concept than setting, though, is the idea of choices and consequences. The protagonist deciding who is going to be - choosing to do the right or wrong thing, and weighing the cost of doing so. To me that inner struggle is what makes or breaks a good noir and we get it in spades here. Lirium really struggles with what he is - how to be a good man doing what he can do. That struggle makes for compelling characters and good storytelling.
Max Miller does a good job with the narration. There are a lot of accents to juggle throughout the story and he handles them well. Kudos to SKQ on her selection of narrator; he fits the noir style like he is a gumshoe from a 1930's detective movie. It really helps set the mood throughout the book.
I mostly know the author from her young adult offerings. This book completely breaks that mold - it's definitely not for kids! What it is, though, is a great piece of speculative science fiction wrapped in some good old-fashioned noir storytelling. If this is what "not for kids" looks like, all I can say is "give me more."