The Doomsday Vault is the first book in the Clockwork Empire series by Steven Harper and a ROC Fantasy.
In a Britannia of clockwork automatons and airships, Alice Michaels’s prospects are looking grim.
The Honorable Alice B. Michaels is in a life-or-death struggle for survival - socially speaking, that is. At age twenty-one, her unladylike interest in automation, and the unfortunate deaths of most of her family from the clockwork plague, have sealed her fate as a less than desirable marriage prospect. But a series of strange occurrences is about to lead Alice in a direction quite beyond the pale.
High above the earth on the American airship USS Uniper, Gavin Ennock lives for the wind and the sky and his fiddle. After privateers attack the Juniper, he is stranded on the dank, dirty, merciless streets of London. When Alice’s estranged aunt leaves her a peculiar inheritance, she encounters Gavin under most unusual - even shocking - circumstances.
Then Alice’s inheritance attracts the attention of the Third Ward, a clandestine organization that seizes the inventions of mad geniuses the plague leaves behind - all for the good of the Empire. But even the Third Ward has secrets. And when Alice and Gavin discover them, a choice must be made between the world and the Empire, no matter the risk to all they hold dear.
Alice Michaels is a Baron’s daughter - an almost penniless Baron’s daughter. She has been shunned by polite society and her future is not secure.
Preferring the company of the small automatons she assembles secretly in the modest house she shares with her aging father, Alice is surprised to find that her father has gone to extraordinary measures to secure her an invitation to the Greenfellows’ party.
More surprising is the knowledge that her father has arranged a meeting with a potential husband.
On her way home from the party Alice is trapped by plague zombies and rescued by strangers she later finds out is from a group known as the Third Ward.
Alice now finds her predictable - if boring, life - turned upside down. And when she meets Gavin Ennoch, the two of them are thrown head first into a world they never imagined - but must rush to save.
The Doomsday Vault is enjoyable. If you are a fan of Steam Punk - this is a must read.
I give The Doomsday Vault 3 out of 5 stars.
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Roc (November 1, 2011)