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Words cannot adequately express how much I truly enjoyed this audiobook. I started listening this morning on my day off and I couldn't stop listening to it until I was finished nine hours later! It has everything that I look for in a story -- part romance, part mystery, and part mystical fantasy.
Set during Victorian Era London, the story has several amazing characters. The heroine is the watchmaker's daughter, India Steele, who is smart and resourceful, but who has fallen on hard times after the death of her father. If that was not bad enough, her fiancé dumps her the following day after inheriting her father's business. The hero is American Matthew Glass who owns a home in Mayfair and who is the grandson of an Earl. Matthew hires India to help him find the watchmaker of his unique timepiece, which has special powers and emits a purple glow. And Mr. Glass's cousin Willie is a gun-toting gambler, as if she was Annie Oakley from America's Wild West. Not only are they trying to find the watchmaker, but they explore who tried to break into his home, and why the members of the watchmakers guild refuse to talk with India.
I listened to the Audible version of the story narrated by Emma Powell and enjoyed it tremendously. In fact, I felt like I was watching a movie and couldn't help but remember how I felt the first time I watched the Librarian or Warehouse 13, where objects possess special powers. Thankfully the Watchmaker's Daughter is the first book in a new historical fantasy series, Glass and Steele, so I can look forward to listening to other great adventures in this compelling new series!
36 of 36 people found this review helpful
This is a new exciting historical fiction series. It is an engrossing mystery with a little bit of magic and romance on the horizon. I was fascinated with India. She is intelligent, educated, strong, and unconventional. She is a survivor over her purported inferior circumstances imposed by the male Victorian society. She is a violent cannon in the watch maker’s guild, which is all male.
These Victorian characters are faced with the crude, rude and uncouth Americans. They are boorish with their familiar (using first names or casual touching) with their betters and they lack the veracity of the British.
When India is a young English woman who has been ostracized from the watcher maker community and had her birth right stolen. Her father died and left the family watch making business to India’s fiancé with the understanding that India has employment and a home. Unfortunately, her fiancé was not an honorable man. Penniless and homeless her options were going to the work house or take an offer from an American, Mathew Glass.
Glass needs help to navigate the watchmakers to locate the maker for his watch. Glass is mysterious about his past life, illness and the watch. Willie, his female cousin wears men cloths, carries a gun and gambles. Cyclops is a one-eyed carriage driver, and Duke, is the irascible butler/men’s servant.
Now there is a rumor of American outlaws being in England and a big reward is offered, enough to improve India’s living conditions. Are these the outlaws?
Glass and India play game of asking questions and providing little information. The story precedes with each character learning about each other through a set of questionable circumstances. There is the usual conflict between a strong independent woman and a chivalrous, according American standard, man. The mysterious illness of the American, and the wariness of the watchmakers to India.
If you have read many Victorian novels you are aware that family rank will determine the character of an individual. That factor and aide and hinder interactions with people. That fallacy moves within the plot and precipitates much of the action.
Much of the story centers around India snooping for answers about the intention of Glass and his posse. It is heighten with the declining health of Glass and their the departure in four days. I found the book to be very enjoyable. There is a lot of potential for a unique series. You will see that with the ending.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the original and interesting storyline, but I cringed at the really over-the-top heaving bosoms, smoldering eyes, Harlequinesque romance. It's such an engaging story, it deserved better.
What did you like best about this story?
I loved the guild framework. It's different but still recognisable.
What does Emma Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Her narration was good and it was easy to discern the different people.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Not sure. Maybe.
Any additional comments?
As I said. I wanted to love it (and there were parts I really, really enjoyed), but that whole 'draw in a sharp breath' and 'his smoldering eyes' bit really let it down. I'm not averse to a bit of romance, but the romantic bits felt as if they were written by another person than the rest of the book. A person who is about 14 years old.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Enough story to keep me interested. Characters interesting and like able and mystery was very good. Narrator added a lot to the story so looking forward to the next book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful