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.
Historical novel set in the Victorian era, with fantastic elements and Japanese ties, great reviews from people I follow, how could I not read it ?
And at the beginning, I liked it. I wasn't enthralled, but I liked the pace, the atmosphere, the presentation of the characters, the original Katsu, and once everything was set, I waited for something to happen. And I waited a long time !
I think it was her first novel, maybe it shouldn't have been this long ? Things were happening that kind of bore me, other things were happening that people of the Victorian era weren't even surprised about ? A clockwork octopus ? Animated objects acting like animals ? People were afraid of Mori, but it was all for that (that spoilery thing I won't tell you about) ? People were obviously about to explode, but nobody cared ? Things were hinted at but were not developed ? But mostly, I was bored and tempted to skip the pages to find out what the ending was and be done with it. I didn't, but I probably should have. I really liked Matsumoto, however, I would have liked to see him more.
Anyway, big disappointment.