Monday 28 January 2019

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Just finished The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley on Audible.

Liked it a lot. Reminiscent of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke.

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.

It's a charming tale, with nightingale floors, mystical ether and little mechanical creatures.
Very big to have outwitted a little mechanical octopus whose only ambition was the acquisition of socks.
Without giving too much away, it's based around a character who remembers the future. As the future shifts, so do his memories. The implications of that are very interesting and a smidge sinister.

He wished then that he could go back and that the ball had landed on another number. He would be none the wiser and he would be staying at Filigree Street, probably for years, still happy, and he wouldn't have stolen those years from a lonely man who was too decent to mention that they were missing.
Nice twists and turns, and a very good ending.

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