Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper takes place in an alternate steampunk timeline where a zombie plague occasionally has the opposite effect and creates mad clockwork geniuses instead of the zombies. They still die soon after, but they have plenty of time to invent a new clockwork culture.
We follow the story of two possible new recruits for a secret branch of the British government which captures the geniuses (called clockworkers) and gives them the tools to make their inventions for use by the empire.
Our female protagonist, Alice, has the more complicated position. She's traditional nobility and doesn't want to ruin her family's name any more than it already has been. Joining the organization would do that, associating with the male protagonist would do that. Technically, if she thinks, she's doing it, but none of the clockworkers have invented telepathy yet, so she's safe.
Before the end she has to make a decision of which direction to go, even though she doesn't realize that not all the decisions are in her control.
I strongly suggest you read this if you have interest in the steampunk genre. It's fast paced and fun and the internal struggles don't drag on for too long (which they could have). Also giant mecha. One's shaped like a tree.