The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

The Starlight Watchmaker cover on an iPad surrounded by 5 watches and white paper hearts.

Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.

This is a novella so it comes in at a little over a hundred pages but it is the cutest story and I loved it. It is a YA aimed at struggling or dyslexic readers so the writing is easy to follow and I zipped through it in one sitting.

Hugo is a loveable character to follow as a narrator. He knows how androids are viewed so he stays tucked away in his attic, fixing watches and convinces himself he prefers to be by himself, that is until Dorian crashes into his life and pulls him out of his attic to help him find the part to fix his watch. He slowly realises he actually enjoys being around people and making conversation and it turns into one of the best days he has ever had. The mystery running throughout is just enough to grip you too and I loved the adventure they went on. It was also great to see interaction between an android, a human and well, a planet who is currently a wall. They are all curious about each other but not to the point of rudeness and it is a great lesson on appreciating everyone’s differences.

I think this story is so relevant to today and Covid times. I am an introvert so staying home has been my actual dream. As the World was opening back up, I figured I would be happy to stay home and continue the way I have been but I’ve found recently that I am craving that social interaction. This book is a reminder that no matter who you are, everyone needs that connection.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Trigger Warnings: I don’t think this book has any, but please let me know if you find some.

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