As a portrait of a society at war with itself, "The Hit" is harrowing. Throw in a drug that kills you in one week and you’ve got one hell of a movie script.

"The Hit" works on quite a few levels. It’s a character study, an action thriller, a shoot ‘em up and societal critique all in one package. It’s a quick read, too, which is what you would expect of a book about one teenager with only seven days to live.

It is the story of our world, one in which the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, jobs are scarce and options are limited, especially for youth. The latter is strange because American society has long been accused of being a youth society, one in which ads, fashions, movies, etc., are directed to and set by people in their teens to their twenties. So to see a society that robs its target demographic of hope is disturbing indeed.

The book doesn’t state what caused society to degenerate to this situation; it simply starts from that point and careens on its reckless path from there. What it also fails to do is show just what happens after the revolution is started or even what kind of government the rebels have planned after the official one is overthrown. They simply sow discord in everybody’s hearts and create anarchy in the streets. Very much like any revolution, I suppose.

As a fast-paced, exciting and gripping story of a world devouring itself, "The Hit" is a non-stop thrill ride. But don’t expect any easy answers or any answers at all…which may be the point.

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