THE EMPIRE STATE IS THE OTHER NEW YORK. A parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is the twisted magic mirror to our bustl
THE EMPIRE STATE IS THE OTHER NEW YORK. A parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is the twisted magic mirror to our bustling Big Apple, a place where sinister characters lurk around every corner while the great superheroes that once kept the streets safe have fallen into dysfunctional rivalries and feuds. Not that its colourful residents know anything about the real New York… until detective Rad Bradley makes a discovery that will change the lives of all its inhabitants. Playing on the classic Gotham conventions of the Batman comics and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, debut author Adam Christopher has spun this smart and fast-paced superhero-noir adventure, the sort of souped-up thrill ride that will excite genre fans and general readers alike. From Amazon.com
From the description at Amazon.com Empire State was going to be an interesting and unique read. While it is something fresh and a unique twist on super heroes and noir, I felt the execution of the book could have been better.
The reader is introduced to a New York City in the middle of Prohibition, but with a superhero and super-villain to protect and assault the city, respectively. The story begins with Jerome and Rex, and a car chase from the some thugs. The two are running moonshine and trying to avoid the police and outrun the thugs. After a few exciting and tense paragraphs Rex and Jerome come to a speakeasy owned by Martin Jeremy. Rex tries to force Martin to accept better terms for payment, and then we're introduced to Rex's old boss, the crime boss McCabe. A small talk about going for a ride, which as the reader I can safely assume means "ass-kicking", and then Jerome rescues Rex. And that's the end of the first chapter. At that Point I'm interested and engaged. I want to find out who McCabe is, and I can't wait to see what the next chapter holds.
Chapter 2 starts with a car crash, Jerome dead and still inside, and Rex alive, but battered when he was thrown from the vehicle. The reader is then promptly introduced to the Skyguard and the Science Pirate. A little back-story from an internal monologue from Rex peppers an action scene of the two super individuals as they battle. The fight comes to a close with the Science Pirate running the Skyguard into the ground and the Skyguard nowhere to be found. The Science Pirate rises from the crater and removes their helmet, revealing that *gasp!* it's a woman, not a man. She jets off into the air on rocket-boots as Rex watches the whole ordeal from the streets. A few moments later, Rex sees the Science Pirate, but in normal clothes, wandering the streets, appearing lost and confused. Rex decides he's going to capture the Science Pirate and turn her in to the authorities, making himself a hero and rich.
Chapter 4 jumps to a new character, Rad, who's being roughed up by a couple of "goons" in gas masks and fedoras. They ask him "What do you know about nineteen fifty?" He has a snarky reply, the beat him up some more, and then here comes the Skyguard to the rescue. Only, the Skyguard is dead, executed that day. The mystery deepens! And then the story loses its momentum. The Skyguard blasts into the sky, and we follow the life of Private Investigator Rad Bradley. Which is pretty boring compared to what the previous chapters were.
After chapter 4, reading further became more and more of a chore. The story is fractured and feels jumbled through most of the book. The book also has a bad problem with transitions. It jumps from one section or segment to another which is confusing for the reader, and can through the whole flow of the book off. About 70% of the way through the book the story really started to pick up. Loose ends and fragmented thoughts solidified and tied up, creating an interesting web of causes, effects, and parallel universes. This is when the real meat and potatoes of the book were shown. But, I had to work at reading the book to get to that point.
Even after the great ending of the book, there was still more to be desired. The author could have done more with the "Enemy" and how their lives were reflections of The Empire State. The Empire State would have made a wonderful trilogy, or multi-volume book that explored the characters more in depth, and the sci-fi steam-punk noir feel could have been fleshed out even further. The one word I would use for this book is "rushed." However, if you see it at the library, or it's still on sale at Amazon.com for $3.99 for Kindle, then I would give it a whirl. It's a unique enough twist on different genres and the ending redeemed the book to make it worth a read.
The 12th Planet is book 1 of the Earth Chronicles series, and is on part astronomic theory, one part anthropology, one part linguistics, and one part The 12th Planet is book 1 of the Earth Chronicles series, and is on part astronomic theory, one part anthropology, one part linguistics, and one part fiction. Sitchin does an excellent job of putting forth his theory of where man originated, using the Old Testament, Ancient Akkadian, Mesopotamian, and Summerian Texts as his initial building blocks.
The first half of the book will draw those interested in early civilizations and languages, as well as theologists, deeply into the book. Everyone else, will either love or hate it. The first 180 out of 300 pages, give or take 10, are Sitchin's observations and interpretations of Ancient Texts, building his argument slowly and deliberately. It works, but at a very tedious price. The final 70 pages are the real meat-and-potatoes of the entire book, where Sitchin lays out his theory in full.
The basic premise is that Man, Homo Sapiens, were created by an advanced race of beings from a planet in our Solar System. This planet, the 12th Planet, orbits the Sol every 3,600 years. It's a planet that had come screaming into our system, destroying half of a much larger Earth with one of it's satellites, creating the asteroid belt from Earth, and moving our orbit closer to the sun. The 12th planet was then caught by the Sol's gravity, and settled into a large elliptical orbit. My summary does not do justice to the depth at which Sitchin goes into detail, but that's the very basics of his theory.
Whether or not you agree with his theory, and whether or not you would call it absurd, it's still a fascinating read, and still recommended to anyone with a curiosity in ancient civilizations and their correlation with astrology and astronomy. The best moment of the book, however, at the very end, where Sitchin does not insist that he is right and that everything is fact, but instead poses 2 more questions for the reader, and leaves the conclusion for you to make....more
If the first chapter is any indication, the book was released prematurely. There is poor formatting, typos, and the writing is too sporadic. The authoIf the first chapter is any indication, the book was released prematurely. There is poor formatting, typos, and the writing is too sporadic. The author jumps from subject to subject and introduces characters too quickly and then brush them aside for something else. There are characters that are introduced (in name only) that *seem* important, but the author does not follow through with a complete thought and so the reader is left with a name and a vague idea that they relate to the two initial characters introduced. The author also throws locations and concepts at the reader without fleshing out the ideas well enough, and without giving the reader a chance to digest what they just read. He uses things like "the Arrow" and "the Halo" without really explaining what they are, or how or why they matter.
I couldn't read beyond the 1st chapter even though the premise of the story sounds interesting. It also sounds like the author has a large universe that they have created, but their execution of showing it to the readers just doesn't pull it off. I would NOT recommend this book until the author irons out organization and ideas and finds a decent editor. And if you still think you want to read this book I would recommend the free sample before even thinking about purchasing the book. Then again, it just may not be my cup of tea (or coffee)....more