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The Starlight Watchmaker

(The Watchmaker and the Duke #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  94 reviews
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 th ...more
Paperback, 119 pages
Published July 15th 2019 by Barrington Stoke
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  294 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Caz (littlebookowl)
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, owned
Rating: 3.75 stars
Delightful and sweet!
Alice Oseman
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is SUCH an adorable and fun short story about aliens, androids, and a university mystery. You're in for a treat.
Emer (A Little Haze)
The Starlight Watchmaker is a junior YA / Middle Grade novella that has been written to be particularly accessible for readers with dyslexia. I had wondered if this would make the book feel somewhat boring due to limitations on prose...
But it was exactly the opposite.
In just 119 pages Lauren James has crammed in the most heart warming story about androids, acceptance and the importance of friendship.

The story is set in an elite academy and follows the tale of Hugo, an old model of android who
Lauren James
Mar 21, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

The Starlight Watchmaker is a novella about a lonely android watchmaker at an alien academy, and the pompous Duke who drags him out of his attic workshop. It's coming out in paperback in July with Barrington Stoke, and it's designed to be really readable for struggling readers.

I had so much fun writing this, as I basically combined all of my favourite things into one story. There are hints of Binti, Starfleet Academy from Star Trek, Saga and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. It's
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

First thing - Can we all take time to admire this cover!
I love a good book promotion so when I want to YALC I saw that if you bought this book you got a free little cog-necklace, which is super cute.

This book is only 100 or so pages which is great if you fancy reading something a bit different without needing to know a load of pretext and spending the first half of a book scene setting.
I was transported into the world of Hugo the Watchmaker instantly and learnt about the world in whic
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fantastic, accessible novella. The main character, Hugo, is an android who works as a watchmaker, and when Dorian comes into his shop, his life is turned upside down. They have to solve a mystery together, but mainly, Hugo realizes that he's been very lonely and that it would be wonderful to be friends with Dorian. Lauren James captures loneliness really well, and it made this story into such a heartwarming read. Combined with the fun worldbuilding, I absolutely adored this book. ...more
Apr 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
Just sayin’... what a beaut of a freakin’ cover!
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I absolutely love Lauren James’s The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, so I was naturally thrilled to pick up a copy of her latest book, The Starlight Watchmaker. A novella from Barrington Stoke, a publisher that focuses on readable books for dyslexic and reluctant young readers, I couldn’t wait to get my paws on this little book. I did enjoy it, but I found that I couldn’t quite turn off my detail-obsessed adult sci-fi brain!

There is a lot to love in The Sta
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
The Starlight Watchmaker was is an incredible read. You would not believe the size of this book when you think of how rich the world building was, and all the incredible characters that live within it. Everything was thorough and complex, and so easy to visualise - therefore, making it so easy to become invested in the story being told. I would 100% buy and support a full length novel set within this world.

Hugo and Dorian were the cutest characters, and I just adored their relationship and them
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ahhh i love it!!
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For such a short story, the characters were expertly crafted, unique and had depth, and the world building was astonishing. This is why Lauren James is one of my favourite authors, even with a story as short as this, she made it come alive off the page, and made me feel for the the characters.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This title from Lauren James is an original, surprising science fiction story that has strong themes of equality and social justice – albeit for androids in this case. Android watchmaker Hugo doesn’t think he could ever form a friendship with a human but when he meets Dorian, a duke no less, he begins to change his opinion and is drawn into an adventure that gives him the opportunity to break out of his self-imposed solitude and help his fellow androids. A good read that would hopefully tempt te ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is definitely for younger readers, with a very simple ending, but I love anything Lauren James writes
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire Booksnink
Absolutely loved this book, the only thing that stopped me from giving it 5 stars was that I felt it was cut far too short and the book could have been made a lot longer.
First they make a great discover, then solve a problem for lots of things and before you know it that was the end of the book.
I think this could have been made so much more especially including the second adventure discussed and it really could have been made an epic book. It was well written though for what was there and for
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super short and sweet but had so many little gems.
There were so many times when I thought I knew the plot but it never happened (🏳️‍🌈😞)
This has been nominated for the Carnegie medal 2020 and I'm so excited to see how far it goes!
Would recommend. This would be accessible to anyone except those picky readers. The idea of multiple galaxies is something I always loved. For me I think it just ticked all the right boxes but what did you think of it? (Tell me in the comments)
Definitely a solid 4.9 ju
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In just over 100 pages Lauren James manages to not only build a vivid incredible world but also make you fall in love with a brand new cast of characters who are varied and beautiful in their own ways. I adored this and I really really hope there is more to come because I refuse to accept this is all I will see of Hugo and Dorian.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved „The Loneliest Girl in the Universe“ and „The Quiet End of the World“. „The Starlight Watchmaker“? Not so much. There were great ideas and likeable characters. But the pieces of the story didn‘t connect seamless. It is a nice children story, missing the layers to be a fantastic story for adults too. So I recommend the story for kids.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A gorgeous tale of friendship, acceptance, celebrating difference and a lush chunk of science. What happens when a biological meets an android and they discover someone is stealing power?! I really enjoyed this!
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘The cogs in Hugo’s chest whirred into motion. He felt like he was filled to the brim with glowing starlight.’

It’s been a good few years since I’ve picked up a YA short story or novella, and this was such a lovely change of pace.

The Starlight Watchmaker is the story of an Android, a Duke and a threat to an elite intergalactic academy. Barrington Stoke books are written and published with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind, and I love that accessible stories need not be dull or lacking heart
Kirsty Stanley
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
Alex Peachman
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an unusual sci-fi story about an android is little more than a slave and how he makes friends with a student who is some kind of lobster creature, and his friend who is a rock formation. Together they solve a mystery around what they think is a terrorist plot. It sounds weird but it's really fun, has some sad parts and packs a lot into quite a quick read.
✨ kathryn ✨
A very cute, feel-good story featuring aliens, mystery, and friendship. Sweet!
Jamie Rose
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adorable! A quick & easy read but full of heart. ...more
Beth Knight
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent read with a neat story that aptly explores a variety of themes whilst being wonderfully accessible to teens who find reading difficult!
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a sweet and wonderfully vivid little story about acceptance, friendship and the value of knowledge. It has certainly captured my heart!
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hugo is surprised to find a friend in Dorian. Android and student become unexpected friends as they try to solve a mystery and in the process find something they never would have imagined.
A lovely book, particularly for those who don't find reading so easy. Also teaches about kindness and diversity but in a completely un-preachy way.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Starlight Watchmaker is a delightful middle grade sci-fi short story. The book is set at an academy on it's own planet, where wealthy families from planets across the star system send their children to learn diplomacy, languages and other skills vital for running their planet. The paths of our two main characters, Hugo and Dorian, cross when Dorian, a student at the academy, visits Hugo, an android watchmaker, to fix his broken time travel watch. However, Hugo and Dorian quickly uncover that ...more
H. Taylor
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The age old story of a watchmaker and a high born student. Except the watchmaker is a robot and the high born student has antenna…and its a short story.

Things you need to know:

I was provided a copy by Allen & Unwin
Published by Faber Factory Plus Ffp and Allen and Unwin
Publication date: 5th august 2019
Recommended retail price: $14.99

So what did i love about this book? THAT COVER for starters. Honestly, it’s one of my favourite covers, probably ever. Well done publishers, well done. I wasn’t expec
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Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Quiet at the End of the World. She is also a Creative Writing lecturer, freelance editor and screenwriter. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide, been translated in

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The Watchmaker and the Duke (2 books)
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