Empire State by Adam Christopher: Review

Empire State by Adam Christopher

Empire State by Adam Christopher


Empire State by Adam Christopher is the debut novel from the New Zealand born author, published by Angry Robot Books. Since publication, Empire State has won SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year.




Empire State opens violently, with good vs evil clashing over the Empire State Building. Two superheroes, The Science Pirate and The Skyguard’s fight in the New York sky leads to consequences that no average New Yorker could ever have imagined. The fights cause a rip in time and space that creates a new alternate city.  The Empire State is born. When Rex, a small-time bootlegger, kills Samantha Saturn in the streets of New York, it has massive, other-worldly consequences.


Back in the Empire State, private detective Rad is employed by Samantha Saturn’s 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. When he realises his earlier life memories are false he discovers that the Empire State itself is a bleak copy of another time and space. Now the Empire State and New York are at risk and he must do everything in his power to save them. But who can he trust and who is telling him the truth?


The Empire State by Adam Christopher review


The Empire State is simply one of the greatest science fiction books I have ever read. Trying not to give away any spoilers at all, it is also unlike any other I have ever read. It’s a fabulous mix of crime noir, science fiction and steampunk, combined beautifully to create intensely atmospheric worlds. The isolation and control of the Empire State through the buildings, weather, lighting and regulations are conveyed brilliantly. This leads to us completely understanding 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. No sooner do you think you know where the plot is heading, it throws another fabulous curveball to keep you guessing right until the end. An utterly gripping read! Some paragraphs towards the end may take a few re-reads to get the plot straight in your head. But after such a brilliant journey, I personally didn’t mind that at all.


If you’re looking for a super stylish, engrossing, fast-paced, smart and quirky read, I couldn’t recommend this highly enough.


If you liked Empire State by Adam Christopher you’ll love Turbulence by Samit Basu




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