I've changed my mind about this book a couple of times reading it, but for me, it came good in the end. It is worth pointing out, though, that it's a bit different from Christopher's Empire State to which it is a sequel.
the earlier book, Age Atomic is set in the Empire State, a "pocket
universe" that is a twisted copy of 50s New York City, and in New York
itself. The hero of Empire State, PI Rad Bradley, returns. He is still
living in the back of his shabby office, still walking the mean
streets. However, this book doesn't have the noirish bite of the
previous volume - it is more straightforward SF, albeit at the softer
end of SF: there are robots, there is an airship, there are, er, more
robots, there is NUCLEAR FUSION... and did I mention the robots?
is a rollercoaster of a story, and to begin with I was a little
disappointed at the lack of noir, and perhaps at the (slightly) forced
plot, as Rad goes into action, saving the heroine, Jennifer (I'm still
not quite sure how that came about). But the story soon begins to
rattle along as twin threats emerge on both side of the rift that
connects the Empire State and New York. There are forces at work
engaging in a kind of arms race that mirrors the one the 1950s US is
part of. The plotting has many twists and turns, and although simpler
than that of Empire State, it keeps the pages turning - and I think the
ending is rather better. Don't, though, look for much logic in the
mechanics of the interlinked worlds or of the mysterious Director - as I
said, this isn't hard SF, not even firm SF. It is what is is, an
At the end, Christopher seems to be setting up for another sequel, and I look forward to that.