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Review: The Impossible Cube by Steven Harper

The Impossible Cube by Steven Harper (Clockwork Empire #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
In an age where fantastic inventions of steam and brass have elevated Britain and China into mighty empires, Alice Michaels faces a future of technological terrors…

Once, Gavin Ennock sailed the skies on airships and enchanted listeners with his fiddle music. Now, the clockwork plague consumes his intellect, enabling him to conceive and construct scientific wonders—while driving him quite mad. Distressed by her beloved’s unfortunate condition, Alice Michaels sought a cure rumored to be inside the Doomsday Vault—and brought the wrath of the British Empire down on them.

Declared enemies of the Crown, Alice and Gavin have little choice but to flee to China in search of a cure. Accompanying them is Dr. Clef, a mad genius driven to find the greatest and most destructive force the world has ever seen: The Impossible Cube. If Dr. Clef gets his hands on it, the entire universe will face extinction.

And Gavin holds the key to its recreation…

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 The Impossible Cube blew me away! It was even better than the explosive Doomsday Vault.

There are only few steampunk series so far that really impressed me, and Clockwork Empire is one of them. Non-stop crazy adventures, complex and extremely entertaining world-building, fantastic team of main and secondary characters, and gadgets, gadgets, gadgets...

In book one Gavin and Alice release cure for the clockwork plague in London, but it doesn't help Gavin whose illness progresses with a much faster pace than normal because of Alice's aunt experimentation on him. Young man experiences more and more episodes of clockworker brilliance when his mind races at an inhuman speed inventing dangerous and brilliant constructions. While he is in his fugue as they call it, he is nasty, unreasonable and very aggressive. When he comes back to himself he doesn't remember what he said or done and how much time he lost, how much he might have hurt Alice...

Alice carries her own cross or shall I say, mechanical spider, which attached itself to her hand  in London and now transforms her blood which she sprays at clockwork zombies as a cure. She is undernourished, weak, suffers from constant blood loss and heartache, because she can't help everyone.

Alice, Gavin and their motley crew are on the run from lieutenant Phipps after destroying  Doomsday Vault and all the chances of British Empire to win against China. Their goal is to get to China and seek one of their dragonmen (clockworkers) to try and cure dying Gavin. But Phipps is so close that the fugitives decide to hide in a travelling circus on the way to extremely unstable Ukraine ruled by clockworkers and their war machines.

So there is this crazy chase, Ukrainian villains, possible time warp and the destruction of the universe... No pressure and all in good fun, of course! Powerful insane imagery and wild adventure, grab and read it, don't miss this little gem!

* * *
Обалденная, просто дико прекрасная стимпанковская книга! Берите и читайте сразу с Doomsday Vault ибо НАДО!

Фантазия так и бьёт ключом - тут вам и болезнь Гэвина, что превращает его в безумного гения и крест Алис, которая пытается помочь всем жертвам часовой чумы, лейтенант Фиппс, гоняющаяся за предателями Британской Империи, путешествие с циркачами на Украину, которой правят безумные часовщики со своими военными машинами, потенциальная чёрная дыра, прыжок во времени и уничтожение вселенной...

Прекрасные персонажи, как главные так и второстепенные, невероятно сильно и зрелищно написано, книга читалась на одном дыхании и теперь восторженно требую ещё.

Алис и Гэвин направляются в Китай, чтобы попытаться излечить болезнь умирающего Гэвина и в то же время донести панацею от часовой чумы до империи, противостоящей Британии, но об этом мы узнаем в третьей книге.

Очень рекомендую всем любителям приключенческого романа и стимпанка.


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Okay, now you caught my eye and attention. I'm going to go look into this book and add it to my Goodreads WANT list, or the first book. :) Sounds like a great read and storyline. Thanks!!

Melliane said...

I don't thnik I know this series or the author, but wow 9,5? I think I need to check it now. It's always nice to have a good steampunk novel.

Bea said...

I have this book but haven't read the first one, do I need to or can I manage without it?

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Bea,you probably will have to read the first one. Otherwise there are too many references you wouldn't know about. They are both very good books, so I hope you'll pick up the first (perhaps from the local library?)

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Melissa, Melliane, I hope you both read this series! It's really really good! :))) I loved the idea of clockwork plague and all the crazy inventions.

Bea said...

Good to know, thanks. I'll check my library and see if they have it.

Bea said...

Hmm, the library system has it but it's marked as YA. It doesn't read that way from the blurb, would you say it is?

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

It's most surely NOT YA! A bit bizarre really, this classification! ;))) No, both heroes are adults. The only unusual thing is that Gavin is a bit younger and poorer than Alice.

Bea said...

Okay, I didn't think so but when I saw the library classification, it gave me pause. Thanks :)

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