Following the events of Empire State, all seemed to be well in both New York and it’s counterpart, The Empire State. However, when we pick things up in The Age Atomic, the fissure is missing and The Empire State is suffering. Plunged into a deep freeze, the citizens struggle to get through each day with what little they have. To make matters worse, the returning Rad Bradley and newcomer Special Agent Jennifer Jones, uncover an underground movement regarding the creation of a robot army.
Things in New York are not exactly perfect either. A new organization dubbed ‘Atoms for Peace’ is overseen by the once-suicidal-turned-Goddess Evelyn McHale. McHale begins preparing to mount an offensive against The Empire State with one goal in mind: trans-dimensional destruction.
I could probably say a lot more about The Age Atomic but I’m not interested in giving too much away. That being said, I easily had as much fun reading this as I did Empire State. It helped that your core characters returned while injecting new and interesting folks for them to interact with. Rad Bradley shone in the first book and once again, proves to be a guy you can’t help but root for. While he still carries that charm of the loveable underdog, Bradley has certainly grew leaps and bounds since the events of The Empire State. Rad is noticeably more confident this time around and implores a more ambitious side than we had previously seen.
The mystery of the fissure’s disappearance plays out well with twists and turns that throw away the book on predictability. Taking the real life tragedy of Evelyn McHale and re-imagining her as a super villain was pretty bold on the author’s part but succeeded where others may have dropped the ball. I loved her character as she played the perfect foil to the stubborn Nimrod, someone just as ambitious as he but with infinitely more power.
While the ideas behind this series show that Adam is imaginative and bright, it’s the writing that keeps you enthralled. I couldn’t tell you the amount of evenings where I lost track of time reading this book – it’s that good. Judging by my interview with the author, he’s not satisfied with just coasting along and seems to loving playing around with different styles and settings. It keeps things fresh and shows his drive to grow as a writer. The ending sets events up perfectly for a sequel, which I can only hope will arrive sooner rather than later.
I really hate to sound like a broken record here but based on the stuff I’ve read, Angry Robot is publishing some excellent work and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you’re passing it over.
Now, to get my hands on Seven Wonders.