The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley ⁠⁠- Book Review


Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Steampunk

The Plot

⁠It’s 1883, and Thaniel works as a telegraphist in the Home Office. It’s a tough year: the Irish nationalists’ threats end in a blast that blows up Scotland Yard. On the day of the bombing, Thaniel escapes certain death, thanks to a strange watch left in his apartment months before. A watch that he cannot open, and that sets off an alarm moments before the bomb goes off. Thaniel wants to know how and decides to go to the watchmaker. His name is Keita Mori, and he looks a bit suspicious both to Thaniel and the police because his watch knew when the bomb would go off. Thaniel decides to rent a room in Mori’s shop to keep an eye on him. And this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ⁠

❤️ What I liked about The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

🦹‍♂️ The atmosphere of Victorian-era London. The descriptions are lovely, and the dark and mysterious atmosphere is recreated to perfection. It really feels like the book comes from another time and place.⁠

🤩 The characters. They are complex and charming. I appreciated Grace, clever and full of ideas. She loves researching and experimenting, she has a beautiful mathematical mind, but she’s held back by her gender. Thaniel seems a simple guy with an ordinary life that will never change. But he trusts Mori, and he can see colours. Mori is probably my favourite (human) character: gentle, cool, whimsical… He loves tea and has got a big secret.⁠

🐙 Katsu. He is the cleverest loveliest reproduction of a steampunk pet: a clockwork octopus that likes hiding in drawers and stealing clothing items.

I wasn’t so sure about

Everything happens in the last pages of the book. I am not saying that the first part is boring, but there is not as much action as in the first half of the book.⁠

To the score

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a unique book. A mixture between steampunk, historical fiction, fantasy and mystery. I’ve seen it compared to Erin Morgenstern’s books, but I have to say, to me, those are still the best!⁠

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