Book Review: The Lost Future of Pepperharrow

Natasha Pulley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 3rd March 2020
spoilers? no


Step back into the enchanting world of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. This extraordinary sequel takes readers to Japan, where time, destiny and love collide to electrifying effect.

For Thaniel Steepleton, an unexpected posting to Tokyo can’t come at a better moment. The London fog has made him ill and doctor’s orders are to get out.

His brief is strange: the staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts, and his first task is to find out what’s going on. But staying with his closest friend Keita Mori in Yokohama, Thaniel starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. For reasons he won’t say, Mori is frightened. Then he vanishes.

Meanwhile, something strange is happening in a frozen labour camp in northern Japan. Takiko Pepperharrow, an old friend of Mori’s, must investigate.

As ghosts appear across Tokyo and the weather turns bizarrely electrical, Thaniel grows convinced that it all has something to do with Mori’s disappearance – and that Mori might be in far more trouble than any of them first thought.

I don’t tolerate you. I can’t breathe when you’re not here, I can’t think, I can’t write music properly, I spend my whole bloody life waiting for the post. I never said because I thought you didn’t want to hear it. We don’t talk about – any of that.

Galley provided by publisher

Hubris is thinking you are ready to write a review of a book that absolutely gutted you mere days after reading it. You are not ready. Honestly, you will probably never be ready. So, hubris it is.

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow takes us out of England and all the way to Japan, where the Prime Minister is conducting some highly suspicious research that requires Mori for some reason. Furthermore, Thaniel finds himself investigating a number of hauntings reported by staff at the British Legation.

Natasha Pulley has pretty much cornered the market on quietly magical books. She did it in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and The Bedlam Stacks, and she’s done it again here. It’s a combination of the utter gorgeousness of her writing, and the magic and mystery evoked by it. It’s the sort of writing that makes you want to go back and read the whole thing over again, just to catch a little more of that magic. Actually, it makes you want to go back and read every single thing written by the author.

Second to the magic as my favourite thing (but very very close second) are the characters. If you loved them in Watchmaker, you will love them immeasurably more in this book, while also having your heart shattered into a million pieces by them. I know because that’s exactly what happened to me reading this. Not to mention the characters you want to see together are actually separated for a good chunk of the book. It’s basically a recipe for having your heart ripped out your chest.

And then the end happens and all you’re left with is the desperate need to go back and live in that world all over again.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lost Future of Pepperharrow

  1. I’ve read THE BEDLAM STACKS and loved the quiet beauty of everything. I still need to read WATCHMAKER though, especially as PEPPERHARROW sounds so incredible.


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