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The Watchmaker's Daughter: A Strong Start to an Incredibly Predictable Tale

Updated on April 27, 2018

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by CJ Archer

Its summer of sales when it comes to kindle lately, so I have been getting a few deals. One being the “His Dark Materials” trilogy which are by far some of my favorite books of all time. And because I bought them, Amazon has been offering free samples of odd Victorian slightly steampunk fantasies I never heard of. Clearly they are trying offer me something with crazy fantasy pseudo-science driven tales similar to Philip Pullman and I’m glad that they are. I am always looking for something different. So I read a few of these samples but one got my attention with a great set up and an interesting lead character. This book is called The Watchmaker’s Daughter by CJ Archer and this is the review.

The book follows young English woman India Steel, who is down on her luck. She is smart, witty, and has mechanical brilliance about her. Her father is a watchmaker and owns a shop and she grew up taking apart and putting together clockwork her whole life. Then she fell in love and became engaged within a couple months’ time and right before the wedding her father dies leaving everything to her fiancé. That man she thought she loved turns on her like a rattle snake kicking her to the street leaving her without a home or a penny to her name. She cannot challenge it either. She lives in a time when women cannot own businesses, property, or even hold a license for the very work she did her whole life. And as she’s struggling to survive, an American man named Mr. Glass comes to hire her. He needs someone who knows all the watchmakers to help him find the only one who can fix a very special watch. She soon learns, Mr. Glass is full of mysteries. He or may not be a criminal called The Dark Rider. She also witnesses that the watch and its owner seem to have some magical properties about them. Her work in the end turns out to be not as routine as she thought.

The good? Its different short little fluff read that’s fun. The main character is interesting. And that’s about it.

The bad? It’s not much of a story. It’s a three hundred page book that presents itself as a mystery but the moment there’s twist involving magic at page thirty, the reader instantly knows the end game in their head. Which would be alright if something really interesting or original happened on the way there. But sadly the rainbow is just as dull as the pot of gold here. It’s not bad, but not good either. It’s just very predictable fluffy meh. Honestly if the fluff was taken out, this book could easily be a forty page short story, which is a shame because I felt the opening chapter of the book gave such a wonderful setup. I really wanted this to be good.

Overall, this book is fine. There’s nothing bad about it, but not that great either. It’s just there. So if you stumble across it and have not read a lot of fantasies then you may like it. But I can not recommend that anyone should go out of their way to read it. I'll give it a middle of the road rating.

2 smoothies out of four

Overall Rating: A strong start to an incredibly predictable tale.

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