Empire Games is the new novel by Charles Stross, and it’s the beginning of a new series; however the novel is linked to the Family Trade serie where firsty the time walkers are introduced.
The novel is a science fiction alternative history with the addiction of parallel time lines: the universe is developing in parallel time lines where humanity evolved differently that are accessible only to people able to time-walk (or to normal people with the help of evolved scientific equipment)..
The relation between government and time walkers in time line 2 is deteriorated to end in a war and the elimination of all time-walkers. The survivors went in another time line, less evolved.
About this time 2020) the story begins: two factions are opposed, on one side the US in time line 2, while on the other the time walkers survivors leaded by Miriam Burgeson in time line 3.
Here comes Rita, an actress adopted by US parents, biological daughter of Miriam, but unable to time-walk. The secret service will recruit her and enable her quiescent skill.
The main elements of the novel are action, conspiracies, spy training, unfortunately the characters are poorly built (Rita is the best built, the others are simply inserted in the story). The greater shortcoming of the novel is its being a long introduction for the following installment, here the pawns are arranged, but they do not play very much.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
* Empire Games by Charles Stross ★★★☆☆
*I read this book in english