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[ Download ePUB ] Empire StateAuthor Adam Christopher –

The Stunning Superhero Noir Fantasy Thriller Set In The Other New YorkIt 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 YorkWhen The Rift Starts To Close, Both Worlds Are Threatened, And Both Must Fight For The Right To ExistAdam Christopher S Stunning Debut Novel Heralds The Arrival Of An Amazing New Talent

10 thoughts on “Empire State

  1. says:

    Two battling superheroes open a rift into a parallel dimension On the other side of the rift is The Empire State, an imperfect copy of New York Empire State detective Rad Bradley s search for a missing woman brings him into conflict with forces from New York But do they mean to save the Empire State or destroy it Why I liked this book Parallel universes are awesome, aren t they One out of ever five Star Trek episodes uses them in some way The Empire State is a copy of New York that reminds me of the movie Dark City Many New Yorkers have analogues in the Empire State In the course of this story, many of them meet their doppelgangers Some people s doppelgangers were not very dissimilar from the originals.The setting is a pseudo New York of the 1930 s, with robots, detectives, prohibition, and a war against an Unseen enemy Ray Bradley is just a gumshoe that isn t all that bright and keeps finding himself in the thick of trouble The two superheroes, Skyguard and Science Pirate, after pretty interesting Nimrod and Carson were both characters I d like to see from I had no idea where the central mystery was going.Why I did not think this book was amazing Let me take a deep breath and for a book that s promoted as a superhero book, there isn t nearly enough super hero action The logic of how New York and the Empire State are connected was inconsistent from chapter to chapter None of the characters were particularly well developed I know I was supposed to care when the Skyguard s identity was revealed but I didn t I felt like a lot was going on and it never really came together into one cohesive story In that way, it kind of reminded me of Stephen Hunt s Court of the Air.I think if the book had been focused and about a hundred pages shorter, I would have liked it a whole lot It had it s moments but felt plodding and bloated in places It s not a bad book, though It s pretty entertaining if you can stomach the slow parts I ve giving this one a 3.The thing I meant to mention but forgot until I was driving home from work For a similar but better story, give Doc Sidhe a try.

  2. says:

    Three stars means I like a book, even though it feels like a meh when you see those three lonely stars up there on a review However, in this case, it rings perfectly true I liked Empire State.I m having some trouble being objective in this review, because I follow Adam Christopher on Twitter, he has been a friend to Sword and Laser, etc etc But I had a hard time truly getting into this book as much as I wanted to Part of the problem is that the storyline is purposely convoluted We re thrown into a world that features alternate dimensions, time shifting, doppelg ngers, and a murder mystery all wrapped into one The intentions and loyalties of the characters are constantly in flux, and I frankly found it hard to keep track This is not a book of hard science fiction the science used to explain the fissure between these two worlds or rather, the Origin and the Pocket is murky at best, but that s not really the important thing here Was it an entertaining story Yes Did I like the characters I think so when I understood what was happening Was the ending satisfying Hmmm mostly Ended somewhat with a fizz rather than an explosion But overall, I thought the storyline was original and interesting Though it felt a little unclear to me at times, it s entirely possible that this was a fault of mine, not the books.

  3. says:

    The Empire State is an alternate reality to what we know as 1930s New York City Under oppressive rule, the inhabitants of the city are forced to ration all commodities to fund the war effort against an unknown force simply identified as The Enemy When detective Rad Bradley is hired to investigate the disappearance of a young woman, he encounters visitors from New York As Rad s investigation continues, the truth behind the existence of The Empire State begins to unravel causing the detective to question everything he s ever known.I had a hard time writing that introduction The truth is, a lot happens in this book and the less you know, the better It should be noted that writing a book is most likely not an easy feat When you re writing a book that features time travel, multiple versions of any one character and twists and turns than a race track in Mario Kart, it has to be that much difficult.Adam Christopher takes up the daunting task of presenting us with a Sci Fi novel constructed with the pillars of many different influences You have his love of superheroes with the appearance of original characters The Skyguard and his partner turned rival, The Science Pirate You have his love of pulp era detective novels with private dick, Rad Bradley as well his appreciation for weird alternate dimension travel through Doctor Who You would imagine that approaching a novel incorporating all of these elements would create a bit of a jumbled, unfocused mess but Christopher manages to take those ingredients and create a pretty decent meal out of it.Despite the fact that I ve been known to have a hard time in the past keeping track of who s playing for what side when several back stabbings and twists occur, Christopher never left me feeling lost Given the nature of a lot of these selfish characters, it s only natural that each would align with the side that gave them the biggest advantage even if at times only temporarily.On a side note, I should mention that Angry Robot included a great interview after the novel s conclusion that is definitely worth a read Adam also included what he felt was a soundtrack to the novel itself featuring songs and artists that he listened to while working on the book as well as ones that influenced the story on a whole There are links on Adam s website to the iTunes as well as Spotify playlists if you wish to download them.When I finished the book, I was glad to know that a sequel is being written and even happier knowing that I already have an advanced reader copy ready to go I d give it a good hearty recommendation.Cross posted Every Read ThingCheck out my interview with Adam.

  4. says:

    This book is a hot mess Often times, books which are a hot mess are fun to review, because I go into rant mode and just let loose on all the many ways I hated it But, honestly, I didn t hate it I didn t care enough about it to hate it And, in a way, that s kinda even sad than hating it.It s just kind of there.I think, overall, it just tried to be too many things There s a smattering of Rocketeer like superheros There s some prohibition gangster kind of stuff that s mostly there for window dressing There pocket dimensions and guys in gas masks and for a brief, shining moment I thought it was going to have some Dark City vibes but no such luck It s got a noir, down on his luck detective who does absolutely zero detective work and generally just gets led by the nose from one hot mess to the next, and we know as little about wtf is actually going on as he doesAnd in some books this works, and in some books it just makes a convoluted nightmare that I can t even begin to care about.This is the latter.It didn t help that the characters were all charicatures and just generally uninteresting.And it felt like it went on for ever.But I m still gonna give it 2 stars and not 1 because it had some interesting ideas and that s mostly what the second star is for I mean, the execution was painful, but the ideas were pretty cool.Ya know, it wasn t even painful as much as just kinda shoddy And sorta boring.And, for the second review of today I m gonna say this coulda been awesome as a graphic novel Take the general ideas of the world and outline of the story, strip out a lot of the repetitive prose and crappy dialogue, and the over explaining everything basically, keep the good stuff, dump the extraneous crap, and graphicalize it It would totally work better in that format, I think.ETA One thing that did bug me was that there weren t really any rule to the pocket Sometimes your alternate would be the opposite of you Sometimes they were just like you, but with your names being weirdly opposite Sometimes they were pretty much the same people.Ditto with the Enemy view spoiler They were a reflection , which is why the ships turned into airships, except it s not just like the sky was reverse or anything, because the land was still on the land, and the airships were in the air and all and the airships even had hydrogen so it s not like they were just water ships that were somehow reflected in the sky they were actual airships.But they were airships because the Enemy is a reflection of the Pocket.But if it s a reflection, shouldn t it be, ya know, a reflection hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Take this with a pinch of salt, because though I m immersed in geek culture enough to be passing familiar with superheroes, parallel universes, etc I don t have much contact with the primary sources, so maybe I just don t get it.The plot moves along briskly but is complicated to the point of convolution and the writing style is often unclear The main characters are cardboard cut outs and the supporting characters are tissue paper thin The ideas were so interesting but they re mostly just wasted when they re not confused Sometimes the pocket universe is the opposite of the origin, sometimes it s not I don t know why Does Christopher view spoiler Why are Sam and Lisa Saturn different Why are Rad and Rex Why aren t Carson and Nimrod My questions need answering hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Oh my Where do I start Do you like superheroes How an noir ace detectives Or perhaps steam punk Alternate realities Robots If you re not absolutely salivating with geeky lust, then move along There may be nothing to see here But to those cleaning the drool off their tablets and laptops, stop now Go to book store website Buy Empire State It s absolutely awesome I want Skyguard I want Detective Rad I want drinks at Jerry s I want robots Well done Mr Christopher Island and applaud Slow clap.

  7. says:

    From outside this looks like some cross over of noir and superheroes with flashes of Watchmen and Wild Cards but when you drill down you find this confusing, tangled sci fi heart of other dimensions, reflections of the real world and duplicity of the soul.The book starts as a detective novel set in a 30 s 40 s blend of Prohibition and World War 2 era Manhattan, known as the Empire State A woman is missing and it s up to PI Rad Bradley to find out what s going on The he digs the he discovers only find a whole lot than he bargained for It s almost as if he walked onto the wrong sound stage and suddenly he s in a different movie Full of mad scientists, superheroes, an unknown Enemy, bizarre cults and .This is a madcap book with so many different genres pushed into it but somehow it holds them all together and doesn t burst Towards the end it does start getting a bit full with a lot of things crossing over but it all ties up well The description was great, the characters brilliant I could see this making a great movie For a debut novel it s a hell of a good start and I look forward to seeing what Adam Christopher comes out with next.Definitely recommend this.

  8. says:

    During the last great superhero fight a blast of energy rips a hole in reality, the result Empire State a twisted parallel prohibition era New York City But now the rift is starting to close and both parallel worlds have to fight for the right to exist Adam Christopher s Empire State tells the story of Rad Bradley a private detective investigating the disappearance for Sam Saturn which leads him to uncover something a whole lot bigger This book is everything you expect in a pulp style superhero novel you have the super villains, airships, robots, organised crime and prohibition to make it feel like a pulp novel This is all a brilliant back drop for the main plot the case the gets Rad Bradley tangled in a complex web of robotic killers, inter dimensional doppelgangers and science.The whole tone of this book feels very much like a superhero novel but never loses sight of the noir style narrative The whole story cast of wonderfully unique and mystery that will keep the read on the edge of their seats while reading this book There are some things that didn t quite work within the story and the constant world shifting can get the reader lost I think in the end there turns out to be at least three different worlds Prohibition New York, Empire State and New York 1950 s The world, the crime and the characters show potential for a lot of great stories to follow.Adam Christopher and publisher Angry Robot Books have invited others to create works based in the world of Empire State Writer, artist, musician, sculptor, puppeteer, interpretive dance major, or poet, are invited to create their own stories with what they are calling WorldBuilder as long as you stick to their Guidelines and Instructions They are authorising fan created content to be created under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License which means content can be posted on the internet or beyond as long as it s in a non commercial way publication rights of the stories are still in the hands of the publisher There are plans for an eBook or Print on Demand anthology of the best stories which is pretty exciting I ve never seen a novel do anything like this, making for some interesting stories to follow I think this world is capable of millions of other great stories whether superhero, science fiction, alternate history, organised crime or even pulp stories.I m curious to see what the results of this creative common might lead to but as for this book, if you want a fun, exciting novel with twists and mystery, then you really should give Empire State ago There s a certain uniqueness within this book while remaining familiar with the writing style I feel nostalgia towards a good pulp novel and this blends that with science fiction elements with such ease This genre is often called Neo Noir a genre that blends pulp with updated themes, content, or style, often blended with Science Fiction and there have been some great books that have come out in this style, but Empire State is definitely one of the better ones.

  9. says:

    Empire State is a frenetic concoction of noir mystery, Prohibition era gangster style criminal conspiracy, and Golden Age superhero fiction Reading it is like sitting in a bare room, concrete walls and a single steel table with an uncomfortable chair, as the clock above the door ticks steadily towards 3 AM It s minimalist and rough, sometimes surreal and always uncomfortable Just when I thought I had it figured out, Adam Christopher changes gears and leaves me in the dust I like that I was always kept guessing in that sense However, Empire State s characters and story also leave much to be desired I m not sure how great a book this is, but it s definitely a very interesting experience.Without spoiling too much of the story, Empire State is basically about the relationship between two alternate universes The first universe is like ours, except that New York in the 1930s came with two superheroes attached The second universe, the Empire State, is itself a distilled, distorted version of the first, even different from our own universe And don t worry, Empire State obeys the airship law of alternate universes TVTropes , though it s somewhat justified here because of the time period Although mysteries were my first novel love, way back in grades five and six, I never made it as far as the noir and pulp traditions I stayed safely in the posh land of Poirot and Holmes and their ilk Empire State features a private detective named Ray Bradley He s exactly what one would expect short on funds, caught in the middle of an interminable separation divorce with a woman he might still kind of love, not quite an alcoholic but well on his way to being dependent on the bottle, and possessed of slightly too much in the way of integrity to make his way in this broken town Unlike his counterpart from New York, Rex, I found Ray a rather tolerable and sometimes even entertaining protagonist.Christopher aptly bridges the noir genre with speculative fiction Though I m not really qualified to judge the noir aspects of Empire State, I think that in general this is a very natural union The science fictional parts of Empire State are almost but not quite Lovecraftian in atmosphere, almost but not quite steampunk in implementation Both of these styles are compatible with the dreary, gritty atmosphere of the noir realm, that sense that the world is a tough, unyielding place of grey skies and unceasing rain.On top of this union Christopher adds the superhero element The Skyguard and Science Pirate were once a crimefighting duo in 1930s New York Then they became bitter enemies for reasons no one knows Their final, climactic fight is related directly to the origins of the Empire State, and the identities of the Skyguard and Science Pirate play a crucial part in the resolution of the book These heroes are of the technological, Batman kind rather than the alien or mutant kind their powers are marvels of science and engineering, not natural gifts This all fits with the setting Christopher has created Some other reviews have questioned whether these superheroes are necessary or, along similar lines, lamented the way their stories are sidelined and shoehorned into the rest of the plot I can see the reasoning behind those critiques, but I personally didn t mind the superhero part of the plot Could Christopher have achieved the same ends with different means Perhaps But the inclusion of superheroes doesn t hurt anything.Instead, I am disappointed in the characterization of the superheroes, yes, but also the rest of the characters Most of the time, the narration follows Rad, occasionally jumping to a different character Sometimes their actions come out of the blue Carson s twist during the climax is a good example of this With other characters, like the anomalous Katherine Kopek or the Science Pirate, are complete ciphers without so much as a motivation call their own Christopher has an interesting in universe excuse related to the paradoxical nature of the Empire State s existence Even so, as someone who reads books primarily for the juicy drama of relationships between real human beings, this leaves much to be desired.I still liked Empire State, mostly because I love what Christopher attempts to do with these universes he has created I m not just talking about worldbuilding a term about which I feel increasingly ambivalent these days , though I can see why Angry Robot decided to use it as the basis for the WorldBuilder project I m referring to the way Christopher has intentionally taken these disparate but very compatible genres of noir, superhero, and alternate universe and fused them into a recognizable, workable story The plot is sometimes lackadaisical in its pacing, and the characters irritate me, but the framework on which these two elements hang is itself very intriguing.But better a novelist should take a stab at something clever and original and fascinating than play it safe Empire State doesn t succeed in a marvellous fashion but its very attempt, and the creativity behind it, deserves high marks It s a story that should appeal to a broad audience fans of noir mysteries or alternate universe shenanigans will probably find this a must read.

  10. says:

    I m not angry, I m just disappointed Empire State has been on my to read list for three years, as the combination of detective noir and superheroes seemed highly promising I was expecting a standard thriller plot with some interesting world building, rather than anything special in terms of writing or characterisation Yet I was sad to find that none of the above were really achieved At first I thought the problem was very similar to that of Aurorarama, which has a fantastic setting but frustratingly terrible, reactive protagonists Empire State does indeed have two awful protagonists, who have no idea what s happening and exhibit no notable personality traces other than alcoholism Rex and Rad and psychopathic disregard for deadly violence Rex However, Aurorarama built a beguiling, fascinating alternate world The Empire State, a pocket dimension connected to 1930 New York, has none of that vividness It feels like a derivative film noir remake that has been recorded onto old videotape and is fuzzy at the edges The noir element is thus underwhelming, but not as much so as the superhero theme The two superheroes, Skyguard and the Science Pirate, get practically no explanation Why are there only two of them Why did they team up originally Why did they subsequently argue and start fighting each other The reader never finds out any of this, as the novel is narrated by a clueless, ineffectual private investigator who complains constantly and doesn t even have the saving grace of being funny.Now that I think about it, much of narrative is taken up with matters irrelevant to the plot, as Rad wanders about being baffled and wanting a drink It s just very disappointing, as is the rather horrifying depiction of women Female characters are extremely marginal to the story and when they do turn up get few lines, appear vulnerable upset, are hit in the face for standing up for themselves, and never have their motivations properly explained Actually, this novel contains the most shockingly offhand murder of a woman that I ve ever read It is presented as a trivial accident the woman was so little and fragile, he snapped her neck accidentally with his clumsy man hands The murderer remains astoundingly blas about this when reminded of it the adjective used is petulant You know, I ve changed my mind I am angry Is this depiction of women meant to be a satire on detective noir Because Raymond Chandler was a lot less misogynistic than this Is the twist that two female characters are a lesbian couple supposed to make the horrible things that happen to them OK The two of them never even have a scene together While writing this I ve talked myself down from giving this book two stars to one There is potential for great interest in the setting, but this is not capitalised upon The plot is confused and frustrating None of the characters feel sympathetic or interesting and their dialogue is flat The writing failed to engage me and the ending is unsatisfactory in the extreme I kept reading, hoping there would be some saving grace, but it didn t turn up Maybe I ask for a lot from novels, but the vast majority manage to give me than this one did.