Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

I will confess that the reason I knew anything about this book was due to its aesthetics. This book is beautiful in person! I was so intrigued by its outside design that I decided to pick it up, then the story seemed interesting so I decided to check it out from the library. So if you judge books by their covers, this one will certainly pull you in - I'm proof of that.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street follows the story of Thaniel Steepleton, a twenty-something Londoner from the 1890s. Thaniel works as a telegraph operator in the Home Office and takes messages concerning bomb threats in the city to come months in the future. He goes home that night and finds a beautiful gold pocket watch laid on his bed. Mysterious though it was, the watch was very beautiful and Thaniel carries it around even though the watch won't open. When the day of the threatened attack comes, the watch ends up saving Thaniel's life, prompting him to finally track down the watch's origin. The inner workings opened then, and he found the maker's mark and went to the shop to meet Mr. Mori. Mori is a middle-aged Japanese man who makes the most amazing clockwork mechanisms anyone has ever seen. Mori seems a bit strange, but Thaniel ends up renting a spare room in his house to keep an eye on his whereabouts in an effort to help the police see if Mori is the bomber. The two develop a great friendship, and Thaniel notices little moments where Mori seems to already know something that is about to happen. The story grows from there, but I don't want to giveaway too much.

I enjoyed this story greatly for the first 3/4 of the books, but it left me feeling a little let down. I had high hopes, and it just didn't quite deliver. Unrelated to that, the story is touted as a romance, but it's not quite in the way you would think - I read a review that compared this to The Night Circus (which I loved), and I think that its lack of living up to that estimation is what disappointed me. The story was still fine enough, but might not be for everyone. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

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