India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who'll accept her - an enigmatic and mysterious man from America, a man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he's ill. Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won't tell India why any old one won't do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London's best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she's certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she'll find herself unemployed and homeless again - and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life. With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, The Watchmaker's Daughter is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series from the author of the best-selling Ministry of Curiosities, Freak House, and the Emily Chambers Spirit Medium books.
©2016 C.J. Archer (P)2016 C.J. Archer
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!
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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.
I listened to the audio version of this book, which I found Ms. Powell's voice excellent to listen to. Just her accent really carried the Victorian England across very well--I'm an American and I think we're all hypnotized by English accents!--but when it came to the American voices in the book, it was less... good. Not bad, mind you, but definitely not American accents.
For the book itself? It started out with a lot of promise, throwing us right into the action! I enjoyed that as we got to meet the protagonist India Steele, showing us her fire! However, as the book went on... but I get ahead of myself.
We open in the Watchmaker's Daughter with Ms. Steele confronting her ex fiance Eddie who did her wrong... he convinced her to marry him and had her father sign over his shop to him after a promise that he would marry India. The father died, and Eddie broke the engagement. My modern sensibilities were like, "Wouldn't you want to put that in a contract, dad?" but perhaps it wasn't' done that was in Victorian England. India was kicked out of her own home, left with nothing. It was during this confrontation that we also met Mr. Glass, who was inquiring about a watch at Eddie's shop when India stormed in. After it was over, Mr. Glass offered to hire Ms. Steele to help him track down a certain watchmaker to repair his watch. Only that particular watchmaker would do, but he has no idea where to go looking. She accepts, and that's the premise of the book.
It's inferred in quite a few places that the watch is special, and that something is special about India, but nothing is said right out until the very end. We meet a fair large cast of characters, including Mr. Glass' cousin Willie, a regular rough and tumble frontier woman, and ... really that was about the only other character who interested me. Mr. Glass' aunt is potentially crazy, but could potentially be a source of answers. Duke is pretty much interchangeable with Willie in attitude, but that attitude on a woman is far more interesting. Cyclops might have an interesting story, but we never get to hear it, and so on and so on. The plot... moves... like... a.... glacier. It was so slow. I have no idea what the word count of the book is as I listened to the audio version, but I bet at least three hours of material could have been cut out easily to make a stronger story which moved along more quickly. This is not to say I dislike long books. I love long books... just not when it feels like a chore to read them.
That being said, I did very much enjoy the chemistry with Ms. Steele and Mr. Glass. I also enjoyed the... well the reveal, when it *finally* came at the end, and the explanation thereof. There's potential in the book and the series, and I think this could be a historical fantasy done right... if it wasn't filled with so much unneeded details and filler. I get so frustrated when I see shining gems like that surrounded by dross because I really think there's a story here I want to know.
Victorian romance is not necessarily my thing, but I DO love historical romance/stories, though most of them that I've read have been based in America. I don't think the setting detracted, but perhaps this is how Victorian English romances are--slow moving and slow building over multiple books--and I'm not quite... a perfect fit for that particular genre. Overall, I give the audio book 3 stars--the audio really was quite wonderful but those American accents need work--with a recommendation to give it a try if you enjoy slow building romances.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Although not a young adult genre, my teenage son loved this book, and so did I. Contains actions, suspense, and character development.
PROFANITY AND SEX: None. Appropriate for all ages. Thank you.
STORY: Set in Victorian England, the story is that of the daughter of a Watchmaker, who’s fiancé dumps here unceremoniously after conning her father into giving him the watchmaking business. She hooks up with an American who is returning home to England looking for the watchmaker who made his failing watch. We soon find that this is not a typical watch! This is the first in a fantasy series and I can’t wait to listen to the rest of them.
NARRATOR: Amazing narration. Emma Powell did a wonderful job narrating this book
OVERALL: Absolutely loved it and am looking forward to additional books in the series.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
This novel is enchanting with many mysteries. The flirtations between Mr. Glass and Ms. Steele makes the heart flutter with the romance of it, while maintaining the sense of propriety. The narration by Emma Powell was a wonderful performance, with just the right pacing and tone. It was addicting to listen to from both the writing and the narration perspectives and I purchased the second novel right away, but was admittedly disappointed it wasn't narrated by the same person. I'm hoping the third book in the series is narrated by Emma Powell!
very high up I really love this book and audio
omg her voice is awesome Emma has a talent that makes me love audio books even more than I already did she brings everyword to life
This is a fabulous book series and C.J. pick a great narrator to bring The Watchmaker's Daughter to audio I cant wait to here the next book
The two main protagonists, India Steele and Matthew Glass were wonderful. They suit each other well. I like Matt's character and India Steele was a very strong young lady. Faced with poverty, losing her father and betrayed by her fiancé who stole her inheritance, she did not lost hope but determined to help herself. The secondary character were also good and all together they make a good team. I hope there will be more books in this series. It will be good if the same narrator continue the series.
Yes, this was a great listen, the narrator did a superb job with all the voices and accents.
I truly never considered the art of watchmaking all that fascinating. However, this book incorporated history, craftsmanship and enough mystery to keep you guessing.
The author left a little bit too much of a cliff hanger for me. I have quite a few unanswered questions that I feel could have been acknowledged prior to the conclusion, rather than waiting for the following installment.
Nothing, it was great!
"The Watchmaker's Daughter"
I was hooked from the first sentence!Loved it!It is full of old timey mentality with a dash of modernism tossed in.India is a watchmakers daughter engaged to the man who would inherit her fathers shop.Women can not be watchmakers.After her dad dies her future is up in the air until a mysterious man and his entourage enter the scene.Emma Powell is the perfect narrator.I was given this book free by the author, narrator or publisher.I can not wait to get book 2!
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