1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It shouldn't work but it does,
This review is from: Empire State (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Adam Christopher's début novel and have been looking forward to reading it for a while. I was worried about how he would manage to juggle so many genres - science fiction, steam punk, hard-boiled noire, alternate history - but he manages to pull it off with some élan. As a first novel I found it assured, fast-paced, exciting and funny whilst still managing to hold its own as something unique and interesting (although it does wear its many influences heavily yet proudly). To go into plot details would spoil it but lets just say that duelling rocket-powered superheroes in prohibition-era New York cause the formation of a pocket universe (the Empire State of the title) in which private dick Rad Bradley tries to solve a Chandleresque murder mystery whilst being helped/hindered by a dead superhero, gas-masked hired goons, religious fanatics, an old-school adventurer and robots (did I mention the robots) whilst losing his hat. A lot. It's a real page-turner and rattles along at a furious pace, yet at the same time requires some level of concentration as the multiple plot strands mesh together. After such an assured début I am interested to see where Christopher goes next, particularly if the Empire State universe is developed further. My only criticism is that after enjoying the journey so much I felt the ending was a little rushed but this is a minor quibble. An assured début and highly recommended.