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London, 2060: Following a series of deadly pandemics, devastating environmental disasters and a violent surge in cyber terrorism, the UN has made it compulsory for every tax paying citizen to login to the Perspecta Universe: a totally safe, pollution free, environmentally friendly virtual reality world.
Eighteen years later, ‘The Upload’ is complete, and billions of people all around the world exist in massive dormitory complexes surrounding the major cities, all totally unconscious of the crumbling world around them.
Apart from the renegades, the ‘Offliners’ who live in London’s silent wasteland, making the disused Piccadilly Circus Tube station their home: a fully self-sufficient, subterranean community.
When Josh ‘Kid’ Jones, a young Offliner, discovers that an antiquated piece of technology called an ‘iPhone left to him by his father seems able to communicate with the past through social media. He strikes up a friendship with Isabel Parry, a 16-year-old living in 2021, and the two begin communicating through time and space via Instagram. But what Kid and Izzy don’t realise is that by doing so they are not only changing their own fate, but also the fate of the rest of the world…
Sebastian de Souza is an actor, producer, screenwriter and musician. Sebastian can currently be seen on Channel 4, playing the leading role of Leo in the Hulu Original series The Great, opposite Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, written by Oscar-nominated and BAFTA award-winning writer Tony MacNamara (The Favourite).
Previous roles include Gareth in the BBC/Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People directed by Oscar-nominated Lenny Abrahamson (Room); in Netflix’s Medici, playing the iconic painter Sandro Botticelli; Alfonso d’Aragona in Showtime’s Emmy award-winning The Borgias, opposite Jeremy Irons and Holliday Grainger; and in the multiple BAFTA award-winning Skins, as lead Matty Levan.
Sebastian has also played the lead role of Rafa in Paramount Pictures’ Brit-Crime thriller Plastic, opposite Will Poulter and Alfie Allen, and can currently be seen on Netflix playing Edmund in Ophelia opposite Naomi Watts, Daisy Ridley and Clive Owen.
As a writer, at the age of 20 Sebastian wrote the feature film Kids In Love, which he also starred in opposite Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne. The film was produced by Ealing Studios, the oldest and most prestigious studio in the UK. He wrote and directed the short ‘Evelyne’s World’, starring Evelyne Brochu at Korda Studios in Budapest.
His debut YA novel KID: A History of the Future is published by Offliner Press in Spring 2021.
This was a really clever book, the plot was so intriguing and revolves around blooming Instagram messages of all things, but in a very different way than just sending someone a random DM.
The future is bleak, utterly miserable, but maybe it can be changed in the past, which in this context is our present – 2021.
But from Kid’s perspective, this is the tipping point, from here on out things get really bad and he desperately wants to stop evil megacorp Gnosys from taking over even the tiny crumbling corner of London, Soho, that he calls home.
I was absolutely hooked. Even though we currently appear to be living through our own dystopia, I am still very keen on dystopian fiction with a touch of hope. And Kid and Izzy’s friendship via some weird technological loophole gave me that hope. This is a chunky book but it fizzes along, blending future tech with contemporary lockdown life.
This is written with confidence and talent – it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. The characters are realistic and engaging, the plot is smart and gripping. It’s very enjoyable and compelling.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.