Title: The Lost Future of Pepperharrow
Series: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2
Author: Natasha Pulley
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Hardback, 512 pages
Goodreads / Amazon / Waterstones
For Thaniel Steepleton, an unexpected posting to Tokyo can’t come at a better moment. The London fog has made him ill and doctor’s orders are to get out.
His brief is strange: the staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts, and his first task is to find out what’s going on. But staying with his closest friend Keita Mori in Yokohama, Thaniel starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. For reasons he won’t say, Mori is frightened. Then he vanishes.
Meanwhile, something strange is happening in a frozen labour camp in northern Japan. Takiko Pepperharrow, an old friend of Mori’s, must investigate.
As ghosts appear across Tokyo and the weather turns bizarrely electrical, Thaniel grows convinced that it all has something to do with Mori’s disappearance – and that Mori might be in far more trouble than any of them first thought.
‣ POV: 3rd person
‣ Summary in Emojis: ⏱️💡⚡👻👨❤️👨
‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: violence, torture, murder of a friend, mentions of suicide, allusions to rape, gender inequality
Even thinking about this book still makes me a little teary. My gosh does this one pack an emotional punch!
Okay, so this is the official sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and I knew even from the first page that I was going to love it just as much as the first book. The main characters are all so endearing. From Thaniel, our oblivious civil servant who only wants to do what’s best for his family, to Six, their adopted little girl who is just the most adorable little thing. And then finally to the mysterious Mori, who is always at the centre of impossible things, always accused of doing evil things when in reality…well, you’ll have to read it to find out!
It’s hard to talk about Pulley’s books without spoiling anything. There are so many twists and turns, and the way she uses the past to show glimpses of the true plot, and then you finally get to the reveal at the end and it all becomes clear, you finally make sense of all those little pieces of information you picked up along the way. It all just shows how masterful Pulley is at plotting out her novels.
There is a lot more romance in this one that Pulley’s previous books. The L word is even used! And the book is so much better for it, the gut wrenching emotions that characters go through in this one will put your own emotions through the wringer! I just wanted to give everyone a hug and tell them it would all get better but you never know for sure if it will. There is so much intrigue and plotting at work that you never quite know what will happen next.
As with Watchmaker and The Bedlam Stacks this novel is full of rich imagery, you really get the essence of Japan coming through the page, and the bewilderment Thaniel feels at being in a foreign country. Her description of the places they go to, each grounded in actual fact and feeling very time appropriate, were amazing.
There is a lot of emotional turmoil in this book, a lot of heartbreak, but it’s also filled with warmth and dashed with moments of humour. There are a couple of new characters added to the mix and they are all fully realised and delightful.
One of the only issues I have with Pulley’s books is her treatment of who I think of as the ‘main’ female character. Her books don’t feature many females in the beginning, but the ones who are present are never portrayed as well as they could be. I will say the Pepperharrow is an improvement on Grace, her fears are very justified within the book and her character is one that many will root for. Even Thaniel admits, beyond his jealousy, that she’s actually a pretty nice person.
Overall this was another charming story that I absolutely loved from start to finish. Even with the doubts I had I can’t bring myself to give this book any lower than a 5 star rating because I truly enjoyed it that much. The Lost Future of Pepperharrow is a novel and a series that I can wholeheartedly recommend without reservation.
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