Review: Empire State / Author: Adam Christopher / Publisher: Angry Robot / Released: Out now
The violent, good vs. evil clashing of two superheroes named The Science Pirate and The Skyguard, over the Empire State Building in New York, leads to consequences that no average New Yorker could ever have imagined. A rip in time/space that creates a whole new city, known as the Empire State. So when Rex, a small time bootlegger, follows and kills Samantha Saturn in the streets of New York, it has massive, other-worldly consequences.
Back in the Empire State, a private detective by the name of Rad, is employed by Samantha Saturns girlfriend, to find her missing partner. His investigation leads to the discovery of bodies, religious sects, airships, killer robots, gas masked goons, superheroes and more. But when he realises his earlier life memories are false, that the Empire State itself is a bleak copy of another time and space and that both the Empire State and New York are at risk, he must do everything in his power to save them. But who can he trust and who is telling him the truth?
This is simply one of the greatest science fiction books I have ever read. And trying not to give away any spoilers at all, it is also unlike any other I have ever read. Its fabulous mix of crime noir, science fiction and steampunk combine beautifully to create intensely atmospheric environments and settings. The isolation and control of the Empire State through the buildings, weather, lighting and regulations is conveyed brilliantly. Which then leads us to completely understand why characters from the Empire State are so desperate to get to New York and characters from New York are so keen to return home.
As for the story itself, it constantly twists and turns and no sooner do you think you know where the plot is heading, then it throws another fabulous curve ball and continues to keep you guessing right up until the end. An utterly gripping read! Ok, so a few paragraphs towards the end may take a few re-reads to get the plot straight in the readers head but after such a brilliant journey, I personally didn't mind that at all.
So if you are looking for a super stylish, utterly engrossing, fast paced, smart and quirky read, I couldn't recommend this highly enough.