Monday, September 26, 2011

The Doomsday Vault-Steven Harper

The Doomsday Vault

Steven Harper

Roc, Nov 1 1011, $7.99

ISBN 9780451464293

The “clockwork plague” has left many sort of dead as most victims of the disease become brainless zombies. A few of the inflicted turn into mechanical geniuses creating the technological advances that are all over London.

Twenty-one years old Lady Alice Michaels has no marital prospects amongst her aristocratic class as her family died from the plague and she is a blueblood clockwork expert. She still hopes to make a good match but knows this is unlikely.

Privateers attack the airship USS Juniper. Gavin Ennock is fortunate to survive though he is trapped with no place to go in London. The British government’s top secret Third Ward recognizes his musical and air talents worthy of exploitation, but hold off abducting him when Gavin and Alice meet as her estranged aunt left her with something they want to possess. As the beleaguered technological geniuses flee from the government, they learn of the intent of the Third Ward that shows a love of empire right or wrong.

The Doomsday Vault is an engaging steampunk thriller. Alice feels like she fell through a rabbit hole; while Gavin is as confused by the let them drink tea cavalier attitude of the Third Ward. Although the use of coincidence enables much of the key escapades involving the lead pair, sub-genre readers will enjoy Steven Harper’s guided tour of the Clockwork Empire.

Harriet Klausner

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