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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Published by Bloomsbury on July 14th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Literary
Page Length: 318 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

3.5 Stars


My experience with this book was really weird and so I’m trying to balance the reactions that are due to my complete misunderstanding of what this story would be and the actual text. There are going to be a couple of small spoilers but they are spoilers that I think should be hinted at in the blurb but aren’t and therefore led to my confusion. If you want to go into this book without any prior knowledge, stop now and trust me when I call it ‘literary historical mystery with a dash of speculative fiction’.

Many reviews say this is a slow burn romance, which is correct, but I was getting really frustrated because I thought it was a slow burn romance between the main female character and one of the male characters. I was very wrong and if I had realized it was a slow burn romance between two of the male characters, I would have enjoyed this much more. As it was, I didn’t realize that until waaaaay close to the ending, making me feel like it wasn’t set up all that well in the first place.

The genre of this book is really hard to pin down. It is a cross of literary historical mystery with a bit of a speculative element revolving around a character that can remember all possible futures until one of them becomes the present. I loved the elements of this timey-wimey premise, but it doesn’t play a large role until about halfway. I have to emphasize the literary fiction feel of the writing because that was another place where I think I would have enjoyed it if I had been expecting slow and meandering pacing and therefore was in the mood for it. I still finished the book in only a few days, but that was partly due to the luck of the mood that I was in.

I had thought that the main female character would be a heroine, but she actually is painted as one of the main antagonists because she is responsible for holding back the romance. I was pretty sad that the strong female scientist was cast as the villain in the end.

I will definitely still be reading the companion book that is coming out this year now that I know that this author is prone to writing romance between two male characters, plus the second book looks like it has more speculative elements!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.

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