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The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (English…
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The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (English Edition) (edição: 2020)

de Natasha Pulley (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
19711108,710 (3.93)16
Natasha Pulley's Watchmaker of Filigree Street captivated readers with its charming blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and steampunk. Now, Pulley revisits her beloved characters in a sequel that sweeps readers off to Japan in the 1880s, where nationalism is on the rise and ghosts roam the streets. 1888. Five years after they met in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Thaniel Steepleton, an unassuming translator, and Keita Mori, the watchmaker who remembers the future, are traveling to Japan. Thaniel has received an unexpected posting to the British legation in Tokyo, and Mori has business that is taking him to Yokohama. Thaniel's brief is odd: the legation staff have been seeing ghosts, and Thaniel's first task is to find out what's really going on. But while staying with Mori, he starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. For reasons Mori won't--or can't--share, he is frightened. Then he vanishes. Meanwhile, something strange is happening in a frozen labor camp in Northern Japan. Takiko Pepperharrow, an old friend of Mori's, must investigate. As the weather turns bizarrely electrical and ghosts haunt the country from Tokyo to Aokigahara forest, Thaniel grows convinced that it all has something to do with Mori's disappearance--and that Mori may be in serious danger.… (mais)
Membro:MakamuFW
Título:The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (English Edition)
Autores:Natasha Pulley (Autor)
Informação:Bloomsbury Publishing (2020), Edition: 1, 497 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:currently-reading

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The Lost Future of Pepperharrow de Natasha Pulley

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After reading Natasha Pulley's first book (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street) and loved it, I dove in hard to this book, the sequel in that series. It was a good book and fun to read, but just a little less than Watchmaker was. I felt the plot wasn't as tightly woven as in the first one, as if she planned the first novel to the nth degree but for this one came up with a basic outline and then let it go where it took her. The characters weren't as impressive, either. Thaniel begins and ends this book mostly the same, very little growth or development. Mori ends quite different, but more on that later. Six was probably the most interesting of them all, but she was barely utilized. Most of the new characters introduced in this novel were formulaic.

Also, I struggled with the concept of the future ghost "images" in the clouds of dust. It's meant to be a clever way to expand Mori's own clairvoyance and make it a useful tool for others as well. I get that. But it just doesn't work. I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept that a man walking around with precognitive abilities can see into many possible futures, and I like what she did with that. But this ghost business, I mean seriously, if that was something discovered in late 19th century Japan, the entire course of human history would have been radically changed and our own modern landscape today would be vastly different. Although maybe I'm overthinking that.

Ultimately I liked the book. I did. I'm nitpicking in here, but it's a good one. Well written, and if she ever writes a third in this series, I'll jump at the chance to learn what adventures Thaniel and Mori (and hopefully Six as well) go on next. It's just not quite the same caliber as the first.

That said, let me lay out a theory that I've been working on since I finished this book. I feel like Pulley fell into a common trap when writing about superheroes. And I do feel that's what this is. Mori is not that far off from one of the heros in any of the current spate of Marvel or DC movies. He's a man with a gift that allows him to do great things that nobody else could do, pure and simple: super. And he saves people: hero. Q.E.D.

Anyway, in the first book, you get something of an introduction. Sometimes in comics this comes in the form of an "origin story" but we don't get that in Watchmaker, per se. We get an introduction to Mori as seen through the eyes of an ordinary man, Thaniel, who represents us (the readers) learning about this super person along with Thaniel. This is a common enough trope in superhero fiction. In the first book, we learned what Mori can do and we got a good tale of something great he does. So where can Pulley go after that? This is the trap. Once you've done that, you have to increase the stakes, up the ante. Give Mori some kryptonite. Put him in a situation where his "powers" cannot help him. If he can always see the future, he should never be able to get hurt, so do something to take that way. And make the "great" thing he does even greater than the first. You can't do the exact same things the second time around. The reader will get bored.

Now, whether or not she did this on purpose (based on a personal study of superhero fiction?) is irrelevant. This is where she found herself. And when you increase the stakes and add new elements, you have to work harder to make the plot weave around those in believable ways. And if you want your characters to be beloved (or at least draw on the reader's compassion), you have to build them better, too. Instead I feel she took some shortcuts. Stock characters. Loosely threaded plot lines. (Is that fair? "Loosely?" Let's back off on that and just say, "Not as tightly woven as in the first book.") In short: I think Mori could have easily accomplished what he set out to accomplish without nearly dying and losing his powers while doing it.

But if she is borrowing from common themes in modern cinema, let me lay one more out there. Too many spoilers in here, so I'll hide the whole thing. Leaving Mori without his "powers" at the end of this book is akin to leaving Han Solo encased in carbonite and Luke with his hand cut off at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. And the briefest hint that his powers might be returning is reminiscent of Magneto moving the chess piece at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand. Either way, both are signs of a possible third book coming. Which I'm excited about. ( )
1 vote invisiblelizard | Jun 10, 2021 |
Back in the steampunk world of Thaniel and Mori but this time we are headed to Japan. A sequel where we discover lots of Keita Mori's backstory and his ancestral home. I found this book pretty slow to get into and the middle was fairly confusing, but it does all come together at the end and all makes sense. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Feb 1, 2021 |
I feel like I'll be thinking about this one for a long time and will definitely have to reread. The storyline was complex but beautiful woven together. At the end I was like, "He told us! He told us all along and we didn't know it!" and that's just brilliant. ( )
  RachellErnst | Jan 5, 2021 |
'Chocolate?' Mori said to her.
'Yes!' she squeaked, full of joy. He didn't usually let her have anything sweet. There was a reason, he said, that white people were all fat and short-lived. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Oct 30, 2020 |
I don’t know whether this book was genuinely weaker than The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, whether I read it at the wrong time, or whether I fell so hard for Watchmaker that no sequel would ever hold up, but I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as I thought I was going to. Which is to say this is a perfectly entertaining story and a lovely return to the world, and has some marvelously inventive bits, but I wasn’t swooning.

People who like Thaniel, Mori, Thaniel-and-Mori, Pulley’s plotting, her asides and general quirkiness, or who want to see more of Six, will close the book happy. So will the people who liked the aether and steampunk stuff from Watchmaker, or want more timey-wimeyness and precognitive and/or gay angst. There are some very tense sequences, some painfully sad moments, a lot of wondering what is going on, and enough sweet, cute moments to balance things out. It is, basically, a fitting sequel and a good cap to Thaniel and Mori’s tale. (At least, I assume it’s the end.)

I also liked that Pulley doesn’t truly lean into the idea that 1880s Japan was somehow better than either modern Japan or the rest of the 1880s world. Yes, there are scenes and settings that are beautiful, gentle, and feel distinctly … Miyazaki, shall we say, but there are also grimier, working class settings, and discontent and inequality on several levels. That’s another continuation from Watchmaker, by the way, but done on a wider scale simply because Japan is larger than London and so Pulley has more scope to work with.

Also: the stuff with the ghosts was very cool, even if/because it was kind of weird and creepy, and the final reveals were great. Six, who’s basically confirmed here as autistic, was an absolute delight, as was watching Thaniel and Mori be her dads. A lot of stuff about Mori’s personality makes much more sense now too. So lots of wonderful things! Yes!

But, I don’t know…. I think I was meant to like one of the main Japanese characters more than I did, and I remember connecting to Thaniel more in Watchmaker, and I feel like some of the foreshadowing was overdone and I could have stood to know less about what was coming. Overall, the reading experience didn’t feel as rich in general, either, for all that there’s still plenty of detail and Pulley’s style hasn’t really changed—but maybe that just means it’s been a few years, my taste have changed, I’ve forgotten things, it might be time to mount a reread, etc.

Still, this is a solidly plotted novel, a good sequel, and an enjoyable read with a lot of lightness and humour as well as tension and tragedy. It’s definitely a Pulley novel and I’m glad I picked it up. I just can’t shake the feeling it could have, somehow, been better.

To bear in mind: Contains depictions of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, jail, riots, and people who think they’re justified treating others as less-than.
7/10 ( )
2 vote NinjaMuse | Sep 4, 2020 |
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Natasha Pulley's Watchmaker of Filigree Street captivated readers with its charming blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and steampunk. Now, Pulley revisits her beloved characters in a sequel that sweeps readers off to Japan in the 1880s, where nationalism is on the rise and ghosts roam the streets. 1888. Five years after they met in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Thaniel Steepleton, an unassuming translator, and Keita Mori, the watchmaker who remembers the future, are traveling to Japan. Thaniel has received an unexpected posting to the British legation in Tokyo, and Mori has business that is taking him to Yokohama. Thaniel's brief is odd: the legation staff have been seeing ghosts, and Thaniel's first task is to find out what's really going on. But while staying with Mori, he starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. For reasons Mori won't--or can't--share, he is frightened. Then he vanishes. Meanwhile, something strange is happening in a frozen labor camp in Northern Japan. Takiko Pepperharrow, an old friend of Mori's, must investigate. As the weather turns bizarrely electrical and ghosts haunt the country from Tokyo to Aokigahara forest, Thaniel grows convinced that it all has something to do with Mori's disappearance--and that Mori may be in serious danger.

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