The Impossible Cube, second book in the Clockwork Empire series, picks up where The Doomsday Vault left off. Gavin and Alice are traveling as fast as they can to China to find a cure for the clockwork plague that is slowly killing Gavin. Along the way they are releasing the fireflies that Alice’s aunt engineered to prevent the plague. Unfortunately, they are wanted by the Crown for breaking into the vault to retrieve the cure to the plague. Lt. Susan Phipps, their former boss, is in hot pursuit of the pair and she will stop at nothing to bring them to justice. Traveling with them is their friend Feng and another clockworker Dr. Clef. Will they outrun Lt. Phipps and arrive in time to save Gavin or will Alice have to watch her love descend into madness before her very eyes?
Action, adventure, dirigibles, and mad scientists, oh my! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Doomsday Vault and looked forward to continuing the adventures of Alice and Gavin in The Impossible Cube. I wasn’t disappointed. All of the characters, Gavin and Alice especially are incredibly three-dimensional, wonderfully human in their love and in their mistakes. The steampunk world-building is inventive and interesting, little surprises to be discovered along the way. Trouble follows our crew as former boss Lt Phipps and two other agents from the Third Ward are determined to track them down. They are quite single-minded in their pursuit of Gavin and Alice and that got a bit tiresome. I wanted them to realize that stopping the plague was the right and just thing to do. The ending was a bit of a shock but in a good way. I like authors who are willing to do what they feel serves the story instead of making everything fit into a nice little package with a perfect happy ending. The couple now face China and what might await them there in the third book, The Dragon Men, to be released in November of 2012. 4 stars for The Impossible Cube!
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 driving him quite mad. Distressed by her beloved's unfortunate condition. Alice Michaels sought a cure rumored to be inside the Doomsday Vault-and brought the wrath of the British Empire down on them.
Declared enemies of the Crown, Alice and Gavin have little choice but to flee to China in search of cure.