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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Sci Fi Debut
The Empire State is the other New York

It's a parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is a twisted magic mirror to our own bustling Big Apple. It's a city where sinister characters lurk around every corner, while the great superheroes who once kept the streets safe have fallen into deadly rivalries and feuds. Not that its colorful...
Published on 15 Jun. 2012 by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent...

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious novel that hugely disappoints
The multiple worlds that Adam Christopher has created for this book are genuinely unique and interesting places in which all manner of exciting tales could be told, but unfortunately this book is not one of them.

Three quarters of the book are taken up with clumsy exposition about the setting - pages and pages of characters literally explaining to the central...
Published on 13 April 2012 by James Turner


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious novel that hugely disappoints, 13 April 2012
The multiple worlds that Adam Christopher has created for this book are genuinely unique and interesting places in which all manner of exciting tales could be told, but unfortunately this book is not one of them.

Three quarters of the book are taken up with clumsy exposition about the setting - pages and pages of characters literally explaining to the central character how the multiple worlds work - and the remaining quarter is filled with confusing and nonsensical action. The central character is supposed to be a private detective who is the key to an inter-dimensional plot, but he never does any detective work, and just gets dragged dumbly along, never doing anything to advance a story that in truth could have carried on quite well with out him.

The conclusion is supposed to be an exciting series of crosses and double crosses, but none of the characters' behaviour makes any sense, the betrayals being present more because the author felt they were required of the genre rather than because they had anything to do with the motives on the characters. I kept expecting a clever twist at the end that would suddenly make the rest of the book make sense, but when in came to the final page I was just left disappointed.

Ultimately Empire State is an ambitious attempt to cross multiple genres, but sadly it fails to satisfy in any of them. Disappointing.

(Also - why is the main character so obsessed with his hat?)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 17 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Empire State (Kindle Edition)
Oh, I wanted to enjoy this. It looked so much like something I would dig. Noir, Chandleresque detectives, golden age super heroics, alternate realities... I despaired when this turned into my slog of the year. The genres are mashed, but not in a smart or invigorating way. They're just mashed. Ground up. Paid lip service, before being poorly implemented in a cliche-ridden way that avoids the heart of each, so that everything becomes tokenistic. The plot makes little sense, even though key characters repeat important plot points numerous times within each chapter so you don't miss them, the alternate reality is boring beyond measure, and the characterisation is hollow. A disappointment.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A pastiche too far?, 4 April 2012
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If you've never read a steampunk novel, a graphic novel or seen the movie Dark City you may enjoy this book.
I thought the characters were one dimensional (ironic given the nature of the story). The rules of the author's world were conveniantly broken which ended up having a detrimental effect (why didn't the same thing happen to all the characters that travelled between the cities?).Combined with a typo that gave away a significant plot point made this a disappointing read, great cover though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dull PI bumbles through a misconceived plot until being saved by some Deus Ex Machina., 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Empire State (Kindle Edition)
This book has a great premise, but is ruined by being populated by utterly unlike-able protagonists and having most of the action set in a world that is, by definition, very flat and lifeless. A ultimately dull read where the main character flops around aimlessly with no real direction and with even the few poorly done action sequences failing to inject any spark. By the end, I had no interest in what would happen to any of the characters.

It has all the right ingredients, but the mix just doesn't come off.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, the whole idea just doesn't work, 11 May 2013
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This review is from: Empire State (Kindle Edition)
There are some nice ideas in this story, and some imagery that should, in theory, add up to an innovative addition to the more usual alternate history/sci-fi stuff. Sadly though, Adam Christopher just isn't a good-enough writer to bring it all together in a convincing novel. The narrative is deeply confusing, and characters seem to shift personalities and motives. In the end, the story unravels into a big mess of people running around for no real reason.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 26 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Empire State (Kindle Edition)
This is steamclunk badly written with no sense of the period and a cliched writing style Avoid at all costs He writes a lot, unfortunately
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flat Characters and Dubious Plotting Waste a Decent Setting, 13 Feb. 2014
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Empire State (Kindle Edition)
I picked this up largely on the strength of its intriguing cover and jacket copy, which seemed to indicate some kind of pulp fiction, noir, steampunk mashup set in 1920s New York. Unfortunately, although I gave it 100 pages to reel me in, it never did. You'd think that a book whose opening chapter features Prohibition-era bootleggers in a wild car chase that ends up at the scene of an epic superhero fight would be fast-paced and vivid, right? Well, it's not -- it just sort of tramps along at a steady pace in a moody, dark New York (aka Empire State) where everything's just slightly off (and as others have noted, it's hard not to think of the brilliant film Dark City). Characters are flat -- including the most implausible private eye I can recall reading, the plotting is dubious (at one point, characters just decide that the perpetrator of a murder must be a robot, and since there's a mysterious ship that just came into port, the robot must have come on that ship -- there's about a million other potential explanations, but since the plot requires them to head to the ship, that's what happens), and the writing slapdash. It's also kind of off at times, when there are American characters in an American setting and non-American English idioms are scattered about (the author is from New Zealand, I think). Anyway, it's not entertaining, it's not interesting, and after 100 pages, it's not for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A struggle to the finish!, 4 Aug. 2013
By 
Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke "Graham BC" (Rayleigh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I am not a great advocate of science fiction. Anything can happen and in most poorly written books, it does. To me this book has a great idea behind it but that ideal of a parallel city New York/Empire State gets lost and the book becomes so confusing, So confusing that even the author gets the name wrong in the early part of the book replacing Rex with rad when, at that time Rad isn't involved in the book. Or was it the other way round?

To me the book is in two halves. The first half held my attention but the second half was where confusion reigns. There double crosses and double double crosses. You try to work out who the good guys are and then you have to work it out again.

There are so many loose ends and so many issues which do not add up. I didn't give up on the book but only because I had 70 a pages to go, if it had been more then this book would have been on its way to the charity shop early on.

Regret it wasn't for me. i like my stories to be straightforward and page turners, This was neither.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High concept, low execution, 2 Sept. 2012
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Let's get one thing straight, the whole idea about mixing up a Raymond Chandler/Film Noir-style detective story with Science Fiction and a helping of Super-heroics was a great one. No question. It's why I picked up the book in the first place. But sadly it doesn't work. Not because the basic premise is bad, far from it, it's a very good one. It's just badly written. It takes an eternity to get going, the Empire State is poorly described and the central character is unsympathetic. I'd hoped that 'Rad Bradley' was a tip of the hat to 'Slam Bradley', a detective created by Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, the men who gave us 'Superman'. When the owner of the illicit bar that Rad hangs out in is called Jerry, I waited on his partner Joe to turn up. Nope, the interview contained at the back of the book indicates that it was a typo owing more to Sci-Fi author Ray Bradbury. Shame. There are lots of unexplored avenues in this book. Why did the Skyguard and Science Pirate fall out originally? Why does the main villain character 'merge' when everyone else has separate and quite different versions on each side of the 'Fissure'? Why does Rad get caught up in it at all? The last is particularly problematic. We are endlessly told he's pivotal to the whole plot, but actually isn't. He's a passenger. He doesn't do anything of note. The author outlines in an afterword a 'Worldbuilder' project in which he invites, with some strict but understandable provisos, other writers to play in his world. My recommendation would be to go for it. It's an interesting world with a slew of different angles that could be taken. Sadly, none of them are on show here.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of alternate history sci-fi, read this., 25 Feb. 2012
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.
2/5 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.
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Empire State
Empire State by Adam Christopher
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