Author: Adam Christopher
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count: 416pp
Release date: 5th Jan 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Set amidst a Depression era New York and its alternate reality Empire State, the novel of the same name boasts bootleggers, criminals, femme fatales and robots. Yes, robots. This energetic foray into SF is Christopher’s debut novel, and if this is any indication of the way his mind works, I think future readers are in for a fun time.
Thoroughly noir in tone, the novel is split between the ‘real’ NY and its doppleganger of Empire State. In NY, Rex is a low down criminal who plans to make money by bringing in the ‘Sky Pirate’, a super heroine/super villain. Whilst in Empire State, Rad a hard boiled private detective type is busy looking for a disappeared woman Sam Saturn who is the lover of the mysterious Katherine Kopek. You also have the enigmatic ‘Pastor of Lost Souls’ who runs the local religious cult. On top of that, we have a war no side can win and the return of an ironclad populated by murderous robots.
To say this book is enigmatic is one hell of an understatement. A little erratic and confusing at times as the reader switches between worlds, this hardly matters. It is a fun fuelled journey into an alternate reality I’d like to see more of.
Hard to define but definitely genre, this alternate reality piece is well worth checking out. Do so now unless you want the hoodlums of Empire State to descend on you!