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The Lost Future of Pepperharrow: Natasha Pulley (Watchmaker/Filigree Street 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 497 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Phenomenal ... Pulley's intricate plot, vibrant setting, entrancing magic, and dynamic ensemble of characters make for an un-put-downable historical fantasy. New readers will be pulled in and series fans will be delighted by this tour de force." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review"This latest book marks another grand whirl of magical realism, playful oddities, and deep humanity." --Library Journal "Atmospheric and compelling. I wept multiple times and resented every moment I wasn't reading it." --Mary Robinette Kowal, author of THE CALCULATING STARS "Pulley's witty writing and enthusiastically deployed steampunk motifs-clockwork, owls, a mechanical pet, Tesla-inspired electrical drama-enliven." --Kirkus Reviews "Again Pulley mixes supernatural intrigue, politics, and romance to create an absorbing adventure." --Booklist "Combining a wondrous romp through the world of magical clockwork mechanisms and octopus automatons with an environmental thriller that fascinates and shocks in equal measure, this is an adventure not be missed." --Historical Novels Review [I]t is difficult to put the book down. At times, it is a love story, a story about a family doing their best, a ghost story, and a science experiment gone awry. Pulley has created an amazing world in THE LOST FUTURE OF PEPPERHARROW. - Bookreporter engrossing... Rich descriptions of Japan and intriguing character development shine in this intricately wrought fantasy of history making. - Shelf Awareness, Starred Review The magical atmosphere of Watchmaker continues to delight in its sequel as Pulley's world matures into a sprawling exploration of morality during political and personal upheaval. Grounded in the reality of marginalized experiences in the nineteenth century, Pepperharrow, like Watchmaker, offers a heightened version of our own history in which fantasy elucidates the human capacity for love, acceptance, and sacrifice. In its examination of goodness amid the evils of nationalism, The Lost Future of Pepperharrow is an electrifying page-turner that proves that the nineteenth century, even imagined as a steampunk past, is closer to our current moment than we thought. - World Literature Today --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B07XYBWY4Z
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (18 February 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 1352 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 497 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 41,976 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Far from the mundane in this modern world we are transported to Japan in the last days of the nineteenth and early twentieth century and the characters that inhabit it. They are clearly defined and interesting.
War is threatened between Japan and Russia that eventuated in 1904/05. It is the depth of winter and cold beyond what most of us have ever experienced.
There is drama as Keita Mori is missing and Thaniel learns of a connection between his friend and Pepperharrow..
Serious misunderstandings occur and when Keita vanishes Thaniel wonders if he chose to do so, rather than by accident or some one else's design.
This book is more crowded than the first and verges on the more mystical, but as we have already experiences Keita's abilities I think we adjust quickly. Interesting events will draw you in as you learn more of the characters who live here.
Definitely an escape from today :)
Thaniel Steepleton receives an unexpected posting to Tokyo. This is fortuitous: the London smog is making him ill. But what on earth is happening in Tokyo? The staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts. And then Thaniel starts to experience strange things, and clearly Keita Mori (with whom he is staying in Yokohama) is unsettled. Then Keita Mori vanishes.
‘He can’t predict random things.’
I don’t want to write more about the story: it might spoil what is an absolutely fantastic read. Besides, what more do you need to know about a tale of magical realism, set mainly in late nineteenth century Japan, with a clairvoyant samurai, a clockwork octopus and a child named Six? You’ll need to pay attention because details are important.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a direct sequel to Pulley’s delightful 2015 debut novel ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’. Having read and adored this in 2017, I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review this in advance. I do feel that it is best to read ‘Watchmaker’ first to better appreciate the characters’ backgrounds and relationships as well as to explore Pulley’s slightly steampunkish Victorian London setting.
In order to avoid spoilers I won’t say too much about the plot. It opens in late 1888 and Thaniel Steepleton finds himself unexpectedly posted to Tokyo in order to investigate reports that the staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts. His close friend Keita Mori is also returning to Japan after a stay in Russia.
There follows all kinds of adventures, intrigues and revelations. While her main characters are fictional, Pulley cleverly weaves in historical events and personages. Her writing is beautiful and I found myself very immersed in her narrative.
This was an amazing book. As with ‘Watchmaker’ it is rich in imagery with a strong multi-strand plot that has moments of humour as well as warmth. There is also high tension and heartbreak. Pulley develops her existing characters and adds Takiko Pepperharrow to the mix, though her role is one that I won’t detail again in order to avoid spoilers.
The cover art features Mori’s clockwork octopus, Katsu, whose antics continue to charm.
On publication, I purchased both its ebook and upcoming audiobook as I plan to return and reread both books as well as her second novel, ‘The Bedlam Stacks’, set in the same fictional universe.
Overall, an enchanting, quirky tale that I just adored from start to finish. It is a novel and series that I recommend without reservation.
I look forward to Natasha Pulley’s future projects.
<i>The Lost Future of Pepperharrow</i> is a direct sequel to <i>The Watchmaker of Filigree Street</i>. (I am still wondering how the events of <i>The Bedlam Stacks</i> will affect, or have affected, this version of the world. Something should have changed by now ...) In <i>Watchmaker</i>, Pulley introduced Keita Mori, who remembers possible futures, and telegraph clerk -- later, Foreign Office translator -- Thaniel Steepleton, who becomes Mori's friend and lover. These two , together with workhouse orphan Six and physicist Grace Carrow (both also featured in the earlier novel), are the focus of <i>The Lost Future of Pepperharrow</i>: there are new characters too, including the redoubtable Mrs Pepperharrow and bellicose Count Kuroda, Prime Minister of Japan.
For the majority of the novel does take place in Japan, where Grace Carrow is teaching, and Thaniel is engaged by the British Legation to uncover the reason for the Japanese staff's complaints of ghosts, and Mori is returning to the life of wealth and privilege he abandoned. Meanwhile, Russian warships are 'exercising' off Nagasaki, and the new Japanese Navy -- forty ironclads from Liverpool -- is due to arrive any day. Mori is constructing a delicate edifice of coincidence and causality that will change the future, but he won't (or can't) say why.
I found a great deal to love in this novel. Pulley's prose is inventive and evocative: Thaniel's narratives are especially rich in novel metaphor ('the room hammocked around him') and his synaesthesia is almost like an additional sense. I liked Grace much more in this novel, and Mori -- 'the king of useful deaths' -- becomes a grandly tragic figure, a world-shaper with a burden of grief and guilt rather than just someone who might bring about a convenient coincidence. Six, who may be 'on the spectrum', is a remarkably vivid character for a nine-year-old girl, and her sidelong observations are astute and sometimes unsettling. Takiko Pepperharrow, working-class, half-English, actress and theatre-owner, is marvellous: intelligent and fierce, with a dramatic arc that I found enormously affecting. (Her choices are her own, not forced upon her.)
It took me some time to articulate what I liked most about Pulley's Japan: despite the ghosts and the tea ceremonies, it is neither mystical nor exoticised. These are people living ordinary lives, no stranger than Thaniel's fellow Londoners.
I found the glimpses of lost futures especially poignant. Mori stops remembering a future when it becomes impossible: this affects his language, his actions, his thoughts. He is at once in control of possibilities, or fates, and at their mercy. Imagine how a clairvoyant grieves, when someone hasn't yet died ...
Random observation: Pulley doesn't often describe physical appearance, and never in any detail. We get Thaniel's perception of someone as 'short and plain', or Takiko noticing that her husband's bones are more prominent. Nobody <u>looks</u> at anybody, except sometimes at their clothes: and even then it's more to do with quality and style than with physical detail. I still don't know what colour Thaniel's hair is: and it doesn't matter.
I am still wondering about several aspects of the novel. Spoilers in white! <font color="#FFFFFF">Why the dragon? Why just that one? Will anyone in this universe disprove the existence of luminiferous ether, as Einstein did in our timeline? (My guess is no, because here it is literal.) Why did Mori get ill in Paris? And how does he remember radio? And what about Merrick's plantation?</font> And do owls really have chins?
I would also like to add that this is, in part, a wholly satisfactory love story. And, separately, a truly tragic story of unrequited love.
This lady can certainly write, and I look forward to whatever she does next.