“The Home Office telegraphy department always smelled of tea.”First line in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Just a heads up: This is going to be a very pitiful wrap-up. And there aren’t any spooky books in it either, although those seem like mandatory reading in October. Truth be told, I don’t really care to read such books, and we also don’t really celebrate Halloween here in Denmark. It’s mainly the stores here that are desperately trying to make it a thing.
So about that pitiful reading, here are my stats for the month:
Yes, only 3 books, and I have to admit that one of those was a 20 pages long short story. That short story was Galatea by Madeline Miller, which I’m not going to review. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth as it usually is with Miller and mainly one I would recommend to those of you who, like me, are craving new content from this author.
Another of the 3 books I read was a reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I obviously rated 5 stars. It’s a book I always find good to read when you feel like your life is shit, just to remind yourself that at least it’s not that bad. But anyway, since it’s a reread, I’m not reviewing that one either.
That leaves only one book to review in this wrap-up. Before we get to that, though, I just want to mention the two books I’m currently reading. I’m halfway through The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss but have decided to take a short break from that one. I can only take a certain amount of Kvothe a the time 😅 I’m also a third of the way through The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, which I definitely plan on finishing in November. But those two books are the reason why I haven’t been able to finish more books in October. They took up quite a bit of my time. However, let’s get to that one review, which I took the opportunity to make a little bit longer than usual.
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #1)
Author: Natasha Pulley
Published: July 2nd 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism
Buzzwords: Victorian London, Japanese culture, magical science
Synopsis: 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.
Saying “I love this book” seems like such an inadequate description of my feelings towards this book that I almost gave up on writing this review. But I had such a good time reading it.
It’s the kind of book that’s difficult to talk about because, as its main character, it changes along the way. What it starts out as isn’t what it actually is in the end. I really love those kinds of books. It’s also helped along by a magnificent writing style that relies heavily on the reader to catch onto hints and figure things out for themselves. It’s my favorite kind of writing, so I was completely invested. However, it means that I won’t categorize this as an “easy, relaxing read”. It requires that you pay attention, and I actually think it would work great as a buddy read or book club book.
Since I rate books based on my enjoyment, I couldn’t give this one any less than 5 stars. However, if I were to attempt objectivity, I could probably find a few things that could have been done better. For example, one character’s motivations could have been explored further to make them a stronger character. But I didn’t mind that in the end because there was so much I loved about the book.
Finally, I saw someone on Goodreads call this an alternative version of Sherlock Holmes, and I can definitely see the similarities. So, if all of this sounds like something for you, I highly recommend The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.
That’s all I have for you. It was a weird month for me, but hey, I completed my Goodreads goal of 55 books! My unofficial goal is 66 because that would be a new record for me, but let’s see how it goes. I need to read some shorter books to make that happen. Let me know how your October went. What was your favorite book?