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.Read more...
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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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Pulley’s electrifying debut is a triumph of speculative fiction. It captures the frenetic energy of a world undergoing extraordinary changes: London in the time of new electrical devices, Gilbert and Sullivan’s theater, and the terror of Irish nationalist bombings. Nathaniel Steepleton is a telegraph clerk in the Home Office, trapped in a life as regular as clockwork. Grace Carrow is a scientist seeking out the mysteries of ether. Their lives are brought together and into peril by association with Keita Mori, a genius watchmaker who can “remember” the future. When Steepleton receives word of a clockwork bombing and an anonymous gift of a pocket watch on the same day, he begins investigating Mori, who has been accused of building the explosive device—but those accusations are rooted in English xenophobia and exploitation of Japanese immigrants. Carrow is determined to prove Mori’s guilt, and driven to make a scientific discovery that will free her from the limits society has placed on women. Pulley expertly employs the tools of mystery and fantasy to examine the social pressures faced by the marginalized. The plot revolves around finding the bomber, but the heart of the story is the universal human quest for acceptance, understanding, and love. Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates (U.K.). (July)