Skip ahead a little in our timeline and we’re living in a semi-dystopian world where you can crowdfund a hit on anyone, no questions asked. The caveat, your campaign has a month to succeed or the target is permanently on the ‘Do Not Kill’ list. Enter Charlie, she’s your average girl, making a living doing various odd jobs, when one day everyone is literally out to get her. She’s the million dollar hit that everyone wants to collect on.
Now, Charlie’s got thirty days to outlive the Reapr campaign. Enter Vita, a bodyguard whose low rating puts her right within Charlie’s budget. But thirty days is a long time to keep someone alive, and Charlie’s price continues to grow. Will Charlie survive the Reapr campaign? Or will she prove to be her own worst enemy?
Christopher Sebela’s futuristic series, Crowded¸ is a high energy adventure that’s difficult to put down. This first book is packed with comedy, drama, and a healthy dose of violence. Sebela crafts characters with over-the-top personalities, from the dramatic to the destructive, each unique from the next. However, shootouts, car chases, and international assassins aside, Charlie and Vita’s relationship is the core of the Crowded Volume 1; their dynamic ranging from haughty to hostile to actually caring. For a book about the dehumanizing effects of the internet, Charlie and Vita’s relationship reminds readers that humanity still exists.
Sebela’s story in Crowded Volume 1 moves quickly, shuffling Charlie and Vita between safe houses, nightclubs, and various other settings. As the pair move around the city, there’s a feeling of constant unease, of being watched from every angle. This is where Sebela’s writing is truly brilliant. Without realizing it, you’re drawn into the story, feeling nervous about every decision. Don’t worry though, just enjoy the ride. It’s all building to an epic finish in the final pages that will not disappoint.
The Bottom Line
If you like action movies, futuristic-dystopian narratives, and dark comedy Crowded Volume 1 is the book for you. Christopher Sebela masterfully writes a poignant critique on our internet crazed society.