Paperback: 400 pages
Released: November 1, 2011
Author's Website: Steven Harper
Buy it: Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Steampunk
Series: Clockwork Empire
1. The Doomsday Vault
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.
My Rating: DNF
Every now and then I stumble upon a book with a concept that makes me prematurely fall in love with it... and every now and then, something about said book makes me fall out-of-love with it. I want to enjoy the novel--because who actually enjoys rating someone's pride and joy poorly?--but I simply cannot.
In THE DOOMSDAY VAULT (TDV), the voice was what ultimately made me give up. While it has an interesting concept, and while I enjoy both steampunk and zombies, I could not become immersed within this world.
There is no way that I can eloquently describe what I took issue with, so I'll be blunt: TDV was too monotone for my tastes. I felt that this title gets lost in a lot of unimportant details at times, which makes the world seem somewhat lifeless (as opposed to being vibrant). The tone was the same for both characters, thus making it difficult to differentiate between the two. Thankfully, Steven does not shy away from using the character names quite often throughout the pages, so there is no possible way to mix up the two.
Intricate details regarding the technical aspects of fights--as opposed to delving further into character thoughts and emotions--added to my lack of enjoyment. What were awesome fights in theory became labor intensive to read about. The chunky paragraphs also added to my disenchantment with this book.
Too much telling and not enough showing was another culprit. Info dumping way too early on, combined with the telling, made me wonder why I should care about the characters and world.
I read roughly 50 pages before calling it quits. I hate that I did not enjoy this, but it's bound to happen every so often. Perhaps others will enjoy this title and find the voice engaging. I suggest that you do not base your decision on whether to read (or avoid) this book based on my review alone. Take my review with a grain of salt, and read a preview first. As for me, I think it's time to give zombies a temporary break.