Book Review: The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper

The Doomsday Vault (The Clockwork Empire #1) by Steven Harper
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pgs.
Published November 1st, 2011 by Roc
Reading Level: Adult (though I would say crossover appeal to mature young adult readers)
Source: Publisher *for review*

In a clockwork Brittania, Alice’s prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest in automatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice off in a direction beyond the pale-towards a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot.

 Wow!  This book got me all sorts of excited!  It was absolutely fantabulous! {Yes, I know that’s not a word.}  It had amazing gadgets and a super strong steampunk aspect.  And while I love steampunk {seriously, I do, I seek it out} I’m always a bit worried about how detailed it will be because I have a short attention span.  This book though, this book had the very strong steampunk aspect without lengthy descriptions, at all!  And while that’s a good thing for me others may see that as a negative.   Personally I don’t need to know how everything works.  I want to know what it looks like and what it can do and maybe a brief description of how it works is okay, but I don’t need to know how everything works.  These things may pass through my head fleetingly, but really, I was completely okay with not knowing.  But like I said, others might not like that.  
The characters were great!  In the beginning we’re getting stories from Alice’s perspective and from Gavins as well.  It alternates between them and we don’t know how they connect.  It worked fine for me and I felt like I got a good opportunity to get to know both of their back-stories this way.  And got to know them more personally.  Once their paths cross then it becomes mostly Alice’s story, with going back to Gavin just occasionally.  I thought it was all well done and was done in a way we got to get a real feel for them and their personalities.  And they are both absolutely fantastic characters, I fell in love with both of them.  The one issue I had, which was very minor, was that I had a hard time picturing Gavin as older.  When we are introduced to him he is a cabin boy and I think hearing ‘boy’ maybe messed with my head.  I’m not exactly sure, but he always felt a little young to me even though he never really did anything that made him seen immature or anything.  I still loved him though!  
This was a fast paced read with almost constant action that had me dying to know more.  I found myself wanting to sit and read it and not do anything else.  And I actually was so impressed with the automatons and the world that I totally went crazy describing it all to my six year old daughter.  {Yeah, I was seriously excited.} And it got her so excited that she said she wants to read it when she grows up!  {YAY!}  So any book that gets me excited like that is definitely awesome.  And as far as the gadgets and steampunk aspect goes this may be my favorite yet.  I mean this world building was phenomenal! Now, I could go into telling you more about how it all works and how there’s paranormal to it {there’s zombies on page one!} but I don’t think it’s necessary and will just get me all carried away.   I will say that the zombies have a scientific reason and so it was more light on the paranormal aspect {which I actually really liked!}.
This book was actually quite clean.  There is some cursing, but not much.  And there’s violence, but you find it worse in many YA novels.  And there’s no sex, just some mention of sexual activity {it was quite vague} and I think that many mature young adult readers may really enjoy this book.   Anyway, I loved it and I very highly recommend it!
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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  1. Fantabulous is totes a word! LOL

    Yeah, I have the same worries about steampunk, so I’m glad to know none of the aspects of the steampunk world were overwhelming here.

    Sounds like a great series. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. It was absolutely fantabulous! {Yes, I know that’s not a word.} lol I did something like this just the other day. Johnny swears I go through word phases, sometimes they aren’t even real words.

    I love the sound of this one and I love that it doesn’t have descriptions that are too long because that can bore me too.
    I’m glad you loved this one and I will have to add it to my ever growing with list. Sadly, I have never read Steampunk though.

  3. Okay, that’s it. I’m getting this one. I love Steampunk, when it’s done right and this one sounds right up my alley. Awesome review — I’m drooling!

  4. I’ve never actually read a steampunk book! At least not yet… I’m not even sure if they’re my style, but I didn’t think dystopian would be my style and now I’m in love with them! 😉 This sounds really good though based on your review! Definitely is going on my wishlist!

    Liza @ Book Crook Liza

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