The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher

Posted March 11, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Science Fiction, Thriller / 0 Comments

The Age Atomic by Adam ChristopherTitle: The Age Atomic (Goodreads)
Author: Adam Christopher
Series: Empire State #2
Published: Angry Robot, 2013
Pages: 416
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

The Empire State is dying due to the fissure connecting this reality to New York disappearing. The populace is in a panic, demanding the return of prohibition and rationing of energy. Meanwhile in 1954 New York there has been a dynamic political change. A new group called Atoms for Peace are preparing a robot army for a trans-dimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.

Private Investigator Rad Bradley is back in the sequel to Empire State. This time the twisted parallel prohibition-era New York City is falling apart and a robot army are planning to invade. Adam Christopher spent a lot of time building this amazing inter-dimensional city with some wacky atomic age technology and doppelgangers; in Empire State he has this brilliant tech noir story happening which I really enjoyed. But then we get to The Age Atomic and all noir elements have gone and the plot just feels like a generic atomic age thriller.

The world building he has done to give up this trans-dimensional New York is great and Rad Bradley is a wonderful character, so I can understand why he would want to stay in this world. I just think I was expecting another neo-noir type novel but was left we a pretty average science fiction thriller. The term ‘killing your darlings’ is often used and I’m wondering if Christopher should have just used the same world and created new characters. The return of Rad Bradley (an obvious homage to Ray Bradbury) just meant I expected more hard-boiled adventures from him.

I love this world but I’m very disappointed with the way this book turned out, I think Adam Christopher has the skills and tools to write great alternative reality or neo-noir novels but for me I think the genre switch left me dissatisfied. I recommend you read Empire State and if you are planning to continue to series, be warned, it’s not the same. I’m pleased to see that Adam Christopher added his writing and editing soundtrack again. This book could have been better, I will have to check out WorldBuilder again and see what other people have done with this world, since that is the most interesting part of the whole book.

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