The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
In Victorian London, a Home Office telegraph clerk, a physics student and a Japanese watchmaker — who can remember the future — become embroiled in the hunt for a master bomb maker, who has blown up Scotland Yard. Oh, and there is a clockwork octopus named Katsu, who steals socks.
With a plot like that, this novel should have been a fun romp. Unfortunately it turned out a bit flat. The plot was too slow moving and the characters rather two dimensional. With a faster pace and a bit more fleshing out of the characters, the story would have been greatly improved. The only character I came away wishing to read more about was the endearing Katsu the octopus, and he didn’t even have any dialogue.
The writing style didn’t quite flow smoothly either — I found myself having to re-read passages on more than one occasion to figure out which character was speaking.
The cover is a work of art in itself, though.
Overall, a competent first novel, which could have been improved by tighter editing.