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Free on 18th - 22nd Sep 18
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Atlas Analytica is a secretive online communications firm and experts on crowd manipulation. Marlon Renner is a young American expat and a rising star at the firm’s head office in Paris, France.

With political tension swelling across the European continent, the firm is approached by a powerful group of financiers. Their request: to help intensify an economic collapse of Greece. Marlon, who is a loyal follower of his charismatic boss, is tasked to spearhead the campaign.

Embracing his new mission, Marlon is sent on a volatile journey that stretches from the major capitals of Europe, down to West Africa, and deep into former Yugoslavia. Along the way, dark cracks emerge, and Marlon’s loyalty is put to the test.

CROWD OF ONE is a contemporary novel inspired by real events. The story follows a fragmented young man surrounded by rising socioeconomic divides, immigration, terrorism, private data collection, and a looming economic debt crisis.

Free on 18th - 22nd Sep 18
View on Amazon.co.uk


"The right story with the wrong protagonist."

Reviewer: .

Marlon Renner finds himself working for a private unique company, Atlas Analytica, for the enigmatic Mr LaFontaine. The company uses social manipulation and thought ideas to drive ideas and themes in swaying public opinion without their realisation. Then the company is asked to drive turmoil in Greece to try and split it from the EU. Marlon's journey takes him from Africa to Europe as he finds himself delving further into the grey areas of barely legal methods of carrying out his work.

There are two sides two this story, Marlon's journey and the glimpse at some of the methods companies do use to carry out wholescale populace manipulation. There are plenty of interesting things going on, but they all happen behind the scenes and you get the feeling there is a great story if it concentrated on the other in the group. It is set in the modern day, following closely to modern events, and you do wonder if there what you have seen and heard in the media ws impacted by the actions of companies like Atlas given the sudden emergence of companies liked Cambridge Analytica in the news.

However Marlon is not a great character and he is more drawn from situation to situation as much pushed around as the people whose works he affects. The writing is descriptive but drags on with the events and I kept waiting for something to happen that was of interest instead of just finding things out at the snail's pace that Marlon does. I found myself waiting for something interesting to happen, but it always seemed to come back as a report later on.

But ultimately, the story centers around Marlon and his views on what happened. As a lot more of these companies are bought to light, this story will have some resonance, but is likely to age badly as the world moves on. Definitely, a story for its time, perhaps for those who know nothing about how the underlying media message in the world can be altered to push your ideas in a specific direction.

The right story with the wrong protagonist.

Rating: 2

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