Picking up moments after the conclusion of the previous book, Hit, Strike finds Patsy Cline and her boyfriend, Wyatt, on the run with a truckload of laptops containing information on Valor Savings Bank’s conspiracy to buy out the United States government. They run headlong into the arms of the underground rebellion, the CFF – Citizens For Freedom – and its militaristic cell leader, Leon Crane. The CFF is composed of those few who are aware of Valor’s takeover and the demise of US democracy, and their plan is to fight back, no matter the cost. Joined by a handful of other teens on the run from Valor and united by their recent shared history as indentured assassins for the New World Order of Valor Savings, Patsy soon discovers that the CFF has secrets of its own.
As with Hit, author Delilah S. Dawson tells a hard-edged story of young adult dystopia packed with plenty of action, thrills, and more importantly, believable characters. Patsy and Wyatt are a great couple, and it’s fun to watch their relationship deepen, while Patsy grows into her role as a leader as their circle of friends expands. There’s plenty of paranoia to go around, especially as the teens find their world turned upside down more than once across the duration of Strike, and Dawson presents plenty of solid world-building to flesh out Valor’s history and plans to take over the nation.
One of the elements that I appreciated the most in both of these books is the setting of rural Georgia. While the threat of Valor is nation-wide, Dawson’s choice to place the start of a financial takeover dystopia in the suburbs and backwoods locales of her own backyard in the South provides a brilliant bit of scenery, and a much appreciated change of pace from the usual big-city areas these types of stories are typically set-in. It also helps give Strike a fun little bit of Red Dawn flavor!
Returning to narrate is Rebekkah Ross, whose performance here is a great as it was the first time around. If you liked her work in Hit, and I most certainly did, then you’ll do just fine with her second turn with these characters in Strike. Her Southern accents are well-done to this Northerner’s ears, but never distract in the few instances they’re used. Ross maintains a “typical” American accent for the bulk of her narration, making the audiobook completely accessible. She does a good job hitting a deeper register for the male characters, and demonstrates enough vocal range to provide separation among the various characters during dialogue. The production values are solid across the board, and this audiobook is a representative of the professional qualities I would expect from a major publisher like Simon & Schuster Audio.
[Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer.com.]