The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

9/10 A very readable novel that has dyslexia-friendly

Science fiction readers have got a real treat to look forward to over the coming months as award-winning novelist, Lauren James has penned her take on the Star Trek's Starfleet Academy and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

Hugo is an android watchmaker, used to working without interruption from humans, or aliens. He feels right at home doing his projects alone as it's quiet and undisturbed, though his quiet is soon broken by Dorian, the Duke of the Star System Hydrax. He has brought Hugo a broken watch he needs him to fix, but as he doesn't have the part to fix it. Dorian is at a loss as to where the yellow energy ball has gone that will have powered the timepiece to make it time travel.

Dorian thinks it might be sabotage and knows who could have taken the ball, but he needs Hugo to leave the comfort and peace of his room to help him find it. Hugo thinks Lady Ada de Winters is the one who sabotaged his time piece, and it couldn't come at a worse time when he needs it fully functioning for his exam, but when he discovers it's not her, he might be closer to failing his exam than he thinks.

The Starlight Watchmaker is a very readable novel that has dyslexia-friendly features such as a typeface that is kind to the eyes, text spacing and a font on an off-white page colour. At first, Hugo thinks Dorian is a pompous, rude and impatient sort, but as they get to know each other, he feels that Dorian is quite interesting and finds Dorian even envies him for being able to have moving tattoos as well as being able to speak many languages.

Hugo has been cooped up in his room for so long that he has forgotten what it is like to be around humans and aliens. The story is more about their friendship as a poor android and a rich student among many other students; it is the class divide that will make readers think about how we can better understand others who are less fortunate than us.

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