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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Impossible Cube by Steven Harper

When I picked up this book and started reading a few pages, I started to wonder, "Do I really want to read another steampunk?" The answer was yes but for some reason, I had a hard time getting into this one. Since I thought Steven Harper had created a wonderful world in his first attempt at steampunk in THE DOOMSDAY VAULT, I think my expectations were too high and THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE kind of fell short. I was expecting more romance, more gadgets and more crazy ideas. Instead I got a decent story of the aftermath of the first book.

It's kind of by chance that I read this book right in the middle of an ebola outbreak since this steampunk world deals with a plague. It really makes you wonder about what would happen if a virus started spreading worldwide and the ramifications it would have on the population. In Steven Harper's steampunk fictional series, a plague is ravaging the whole world and causing most patients to become zombies. A selected few become clockworkers, geniuses with machines, inventions and the comprehension of time and space. (Obviously this is fiction and one should never try to catch a virus in hopes of becoming a genius.) A cure for the zombies has been found but unfortunately clockworkers are still infected and will inevitably die after going insane if nothing is done about it.

Since leaving England to find a cure for Clockworkers, Alice, Gavin and their crew are trying to make their way to China because of rumors they heard. In China, they call clockworkers The Dragon Men and apparently they have come up with a cure but are keeping it a secret. Alice is already a carrier of the zombie plague cure but unfortunately it doesn't cure the clockworkers. Which is sad, because Gavin is  a clockworker and she more or less turned her back on her baroness title to be with him.

So get this. In this book, they never make it to China. Only after departing London do they realize how far China is and how long it would take for them to get there in their airship. Instead, they make their way east by hiding within a circus because they are still being pursued by English authorities. A clockwork circus sounds great in theory but besides travelling with it and Gavin and Alice getting a weird card reading, it doesn't amount to much. In my opinion, the story is just about travelling east, Alice curing as many people as she can throughout Europe and dealing with crazy clockworkers in Kiev. Ok, that last part might be a major issue, especially to enforce the necessity for Gavin to find a cure to his condition.

To say the least, the story wasn't what I expected. THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE was sort of an interlude, a continuation to the first book but not really getting anywhere besides a little bit further east. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book, and I hope they make it to China this time. Another disappointment is the fact that I was expecting a little bit more romance between Alice and Gavin. Book one concentrated a lot on the developing romance between the two characters, and I expected to see more but maybe Steven Harper is saving that for the next book. Personally, I won't stop reading this series because of these minor setbacks because I truly think there's something special about this steampunk/clockwork world.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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