Author: Adam Christopher
Series: N/A, for the time being
Published: 5 January 2012
Length: 445 pages
Warnings: profanity, violence 14+
Source: Angry Robot Army
Other info: This is Adam Christopher’s debut novel. There is also a worldbuilder thing that you can find here, where you can play around with the characters, and have fun with.
Summary : The stunning superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York. It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York. When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist.
Review: it’s New York, and Rad Bradley is a private detective working to survive, as you do. Then he gets assigned a missing person case, and he is pulled into parallel worlds, the future, and many other places he’d rather not be. The aforementioned Parallel World is the Empire State, a very twisted Manhattan. Things will never be the same for Rad again...
It took me quite a bit of trying to get into this. Maybe it didn’t help that I started it while in the bar area of the Hammersmith Apollo while whoever was opening for Thin Lizzy was playing. But still, I should have been able to get into this. But it just left me quite confused. I didn’t really understand the whole thing concerning the superheroes, ie the Science Pirate and the Skyguard. This does get resolved alter with explanations, but it would have been nice to pick up quicker. The general world building, even of “normal” New York, wasn’t very good at all.
I also couldn’t really imagine Rad or Rex. Not good when these are the two major characters. This meant I couldn’t really visualise lots of things happening, and some things that I could, I just wasn’t sure if I was getting the right idea of those things.
Some things I did get though. The four worlds in this book are 20/30s New York (is writing a few days after reading and has forgotten fine details), 50s New York, the Empire State and the Space Beyond. All of these were well imagined and fit together neatly, even if it is very confusing to start with.
And we never get any explanation of why the superheroes exist. That I understood. Don’t like that. I did like the time travel elements.
It’s a very slow start. The first third, I wasn’t sure why I was carrying on reading this, aside from just hoping that something would happen. Luckily, a mystery is built in time for me to stay hooked, developing further on in the book, and it definitely picks up further on in the novel.
Overall: Strength 2 tea to a promising and actionfilled, but confusing book. If you really do enjoy sci-fi/reading about Manhattan, then you should read this. Otherwise, maybe give this a miss.