Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse

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Dark State continues the events of Charles Stross’s previous novel, Empire Games, which is a combination of a science fiction and espionage thriller. Dark State continues the story of multiple timelines. Miriam Burgeson, one of the main characters, is the head of an espionage agency in Timeline Two that spies on the other three timelines. Timeline Two closely resembles our own history with the exception of a stolen nuclear bomb being detonated in the White House, killing the President of the United States. In Dark State, Timeline Three–the country called New American Commonwealth, which overthrew the British monarchy in 2003–is facing a succession crisis. The leader is terminally ill, and the timeline’s government is looking for a successor. As a result, the people who move between timelines–called World Walkers–who include Rita Douglas and Miriam Burgeson, are summoned to ensure that the New American Commonwealth of Timeline Three doesn’t fall into chaos. Miriam and Rita must successfully infiltrate Timeline Three to execute a complex power shift that will have implications across all timelines.

Just like Empire Games, Dark State does not disappoint. Charles Stross is a masterful story teller, successfully weaving in the suspenseful plot and complex character development that he laid out in the first book and continuing to further develop the plot and characters in the second one. Both books are a mixture of genres, with equal parts science fiction, political thriller, espionage thriller, and alternate history. Stross brilliantly executes all the elements of these genres to make the story pop from the pages. Just like the first book, Dark State ends with a cliffhanger where the final part of the trilogy will pick up.

Since Dark State is a continuation of the events of Empire Games, it is imperative to read the first book in order to understand all of the events and the characters.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Tor Books
Publish Date 2018-Jan-09
ISBN 9780765337573
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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