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The Impossible Cube (Clockwork Empire, #2)
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The Impossible Cube (Clockwork Empire #2)

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  35 reviews
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 d ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Roc
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Stéphanie
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 ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Adventurous steampunk following Gavin & Alice on the next step of their journey. Filled with cool gadgets and explosive toys, The Impossible Cube, is less of a love story and more about saving the world from the Clockwork Virus.

Opening Sentence: Gavin Ennock snapped awake.

The Review:

The Impossible Cube follows Alice and Gavin on the next step of their journey to cure the Clockwork Virus, a virus that turns people into mindless zombies or
...more
Scarlett Barnhill
Though a little slow to start, as soon as the momentum built, I couldn't put this book down. I loved the first in the series, and this one was no different. Harper's worldbuilding is excellent. It's easy to be utterly sucked in and enthralled -- but the world isn't the only strength. The characters, too, are compelling, and people that I've found myself attached to.

Definite recommendation to those that love steampunk, scifi or fantasy. I can't wait to move onto the next one!
Paranormal Haven
3.5 stars


Gavin and Alice were forced to flee from Britain. They are going to China to spread the cure for the Clockwork Plague, and find a cure for Gavin. The Clockwork plague does one of two things, turns its victims into zombies, or turns people into Clockworks. Though rare, Clockworkers become geniuses who build fantastic machines, but they also end up going crazy before they die. They have the cure for the zombies, but nothing for the Clockworkers. Chasing Gavin and Alice, determined to take
...more
Maya Bohnhoff
Well, darn. Now I'm ready for the next one!

When I finished reading the first book in this series (The Doomsday Vault), I was already hot to have the sequel and nagged the author (known to denizens of Book View Cafe as "Igor") on his Book View Cafe blog to hurry up and write it, already! This is what happens when a writer creates a story finale that ties up some things and cleverly leaves others for the next book.

Well, I just finished the impossible Cube, and it was worth the wait. I loooooove st
...more
Joseph Teller
The second book of the Clockwork Empire series begins a short time after the previous novel, with Alice and Gavin starting their grand expedition to China on board their small airship and having reached France, with their mad clockwork plague infected engineer Dr. Cleft and the Chinese Diplomat's son Feng.

It starts in media res and pretty much continues a mad pace through various places in Europe, with a very unhappy Lt. Phillips in pursuit armed with futuristic weapons and mecha-like constructs
...more
Beth Dawkins
3.5

Gavin and Alice were forced to flee from Britain. They are going to China to spread the cure for the Clockwork Plague, and find a cure for Gavin. The Clockwork plague does one of two things, turns its victims into zombies, or turns people into Clockworks. Though rare, Clockworkers become geniuses who build fantastic machines, but they also end up going crazy before they die. They have the cure for the zombies, but nothing for the Clockworkers. Chasing Gavin and Alice, determined to take them
...more
Kt
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

Releasing the cure for the clockwork plague was only the beginning despite all the sacrifices made to achieve that goal. Now Alice and Gavin must do everything they can to help it spread as quick as possible to ensure China does not get the upper hand in their quest to dominate the world. Meanwhile, members of the Ward want vengeance for their theft of the cure, and will relentlessly pursue them to the ends of the earth. But incrimination an
...more
Kathryn
I'm enjoying this series quite a bit. It effectively employs many of the usual steampunk tropes: an airship, zombies (who are, for a change, curable), automatons, and a mechanically gifted noblewoman who defies societal conventions. Refreshingly, she's not the only important female character--there are also a military woman (who reminds me somewhat of Angelina Jolie's character in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), a commoner who has struggled to build a career for herself and resents the n ...more
Kara-karina
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 p
...more
Just A. Bean
I can't tell if I would have liked this book if my expectations hadn't been so high from the first one, or if it just wasn't very good.

I felt very frustrated for the majority of it that all the clever shifts in gender dynamics were basically dropped. Gavin went from Manic Pixy Dream Boy to Tormented Hero Charged with Saving the World (with bonus domestic abuse), and also picked up better mechanical skills, thus making Alice somewhat redundant. Alice alternated between Worrying About Her Man and
...more
Jackie
Impossible Cube by Steven Harper
This book is 2nd in the Clockwork Empire series. After escaping from the Doomsday Vault by setting off the Impossible Cube, Gavin and Alice (with Fang, Dr. Clef & various mechanicals) head towards China to in the hope of finding a cure for the clockwork plague that will work on the individuals who become clockworkers. The cure that Alice’s aunt created works on those who catch the plague but will not work on clockworkers. They are pursued by Phelps and others
...more
Brandon
I still can't stand Alice. She seems not to have learned anything. But the story, the inventions and the other characters make me want to keep reading.
Natalee
I appreciated The Doomsday Vault, but felt this one had less of a human story and more focus on the inventions and technological side. It was distracting for me on a personal level. I know that there are many who would eat this aspect up, I just like a bit more of a balance. Also, I felt a lot of reptition in the plot pattern. Will she sacrifice Gavin? The answer is no over and over again. I thought there were lots of twists that were surprising but for some reason they felt disjointed. Overall, ...more
Brian
Second book in the series. Still like how the steam technology is being driven. This book throws you into the action from page 1, and it develops some of the character interactions a bit more than the first book. I like the conundrums that are placed in front of the characters and seeing how they develop to address them. Definitely made room for a follow-up book (or more.) Looking towards the next book.
William
I wish the primary opponent to our main character would have staid more in the background, making her more sinister. We do however, get a good insight into her motivation in the process, which we wouldn't have if she were at a remove. Other than that, Steven's latest was very well written with compelling descriptions, well articulated action and well thought out motivations for each of the characters.
John
Solid story with solid, enjoyable characters! The only drawback was the circus...I'm just not a fan of circuses so it's my shortcoming. The good news is that the circus wasn't the main focus and now I don't have to expect a circus in future novels! Seriously, circuses are to novels what the obligatory "fight club" episodes are to genre TV. Did I mention the novel was highly enjoyable in spite of this? :)
Chris
This is the sequel to The Doomsday Vault. It continued a good story and developed almost all of the characters that you've wanted to see again from the first book. Dr. Clef though was woefully underdeveloped as a character in my opinion though. That's a shame as it would have been a perfect way of letting us see what's in store for our main characters. I still liked the book though. Great steampunk.
Angus
Alice and Gavin flee across Europe from Lt Phipps' revenge. This second book of the series moves at a non-stop, breakneck pace, but at the same time it feels more perfunctory. Much of the human element that made "the Doomsday Vault" so enjoyable is missing. This is a common phenomenon in second books of series; one can only hope that books 3 and 4 will improve.
Evan
This was the first steampunk book I've ever read. I picked up this book without reading the first of the series and, alrhough It wasn't the most amazing book in the world, it was well worth the read. It's funny and the premise is pretty well thought out. Steampunk zombies and doomsday machines! What else could you want from a book?
Kaycee Looney
Another entertaining steampunk read to add to my growing obsession for the genre. :-)

Harper has a talent for creating interesting, quirky characters that draw you into the story. (Including an automaton who is reminiscent of C3PO and a crazy German genius.)

Looking forward to beginning the third book tonight.
Jeff Crosby
This novel begins shortly after the end of The Doomsday Vault. The characters are familiar. The pacing is fast. I would think this would be a difficult novel to pick up without having read the first volume. This volume doesn't have the vulgarity problems of Doomsday Vault. I liked it better on all levels.
Dr susan
The Impossible Cube has no dull moments; it has tragic, horrifying, comic, romantic and thrilling moments, but no dull ones. Harper's world is fascinating and terrifying. The apocalypse waits around every corner, and I look forward to turning those corners with Gavin and Alice.
David Campbell
3.5 stars...

Not as good as the first book. For some reason, I just couldn't get as invested in it. I still like the series, so I will read book 3, but I'm not sure that I would have if this had been book 1 instead of 2.
April
Lots of fun with gadgets and interesting mechanicals. I did have a little bit of trouble with certain things being too easy as well as the overly saccharine romantic bits. But all in all, a good read.
Say
I don't know if it's the book's fault or the fact that I have a really great video game to play, but this one didn't connect with me as well as the last....still decent steam punk fodder.
Vicki
I have really enjoyed this new world that Steven Harper has created. It's so fun and different from most other books! Give them a try!
Kimberly King
Not as good as "The Doomsday Device," but an enjoyable read. It more like a bridge to get to the next book. And I still want a Click!
Julianne
Good sequel to Doomsday Vault. Another excellent addition to Harper's Clockwork Empire series.
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