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This is an alternative history/Earth type story that has some really strong sections and some sections that drag on a bit, with some silly characters and daft plot turns. Worth a listen if sci-fi is your thing, but in my humble opinion it did need editing rather radically. I would probably still listen to a sequel though as the concept is so dam interesting.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
That cover looks RAD, doesn't it? Weird, retro-pulpy SF goodness. And there's plenty of that in Empire State - a novel that's seemingly influenced by Philip K. Dick, Jonathan Lethem, and maybe even China Mieville. It's got superheroes, airships, giant robots, an alternate-alternate Prohibition NYC, and is filled with all kinds of cool ideas and twists.
There's a lack of confidence in the execution, though - the characters go to pains to make sure the reader/listener understands the Really Cool Thing that just happened, dulling the edges of said Really Cool Things. The set-up for the story drags to get the plot established. And the characters can't rise above their functions/archetype. Protagonist Rad Radley, P.I., is no Philip Marlowe (or even Conrad Metcalf), and his dialogue and actions make him feel more like a stock character than anything else - like he's going through the motions.
Not that it's a bad book. Once it gets going, there's lots of fun stuff and interesting ideas happening (it's wartime, you know?) - themes of duality and comic book action set-pieces, but I wanted it to soar, and instead it just glides. Still, I'll be curious to see where Adam Christopher goes next.
Phil Gigante's reading is like a classic, full-cast serial performed by one man, which is incredibly impressive, and his style really lent itself well to this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I was searching for another book when this popped up on the screen. I didn't realize I'd added it to my cart, and when I saw it during check-out, decided to leave it in. That was a wonderful mistake. The story is a great mix of super heroes, villains, and film noir detective novel. It satisfied my desire for sci-fi, and had a decent plot. Some of the apparent plot hiccups during the story seemed out of place, but patience is rewarded.
The voice acting was great, with good production quality. Character voices were, if not completely unique, certainly distinct enough to follow. I highly recommend.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful