Book Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

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Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published Date: November 2016
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy, Steampunk
Series: Timekeeper #1
My Source: ARC from netgalley
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

My Review

I really really wanted to love this book. Let me first say that I liked the idea of this story. A alternate Victorian England where everyday humans have the ability to keep time moving smoothly by working on clock towers with a mystery of a town coming to a halt while a young boy finds himself falling for a clock spirit. Sounds like my kind of story.

It starts out well enough. I learn about Danny and what he does as a mechanic. He’s the top of his class and the youngest mechanic, but after being in an accident where a clock tower explodes, he’s pretty shaken up. That’s why his boss (the Lead) assigns him to Enfield, a town with a tower with minor but never ending problems.

You learn about his father being missing, his strained relationship with his mother, his isolation and lack of friends (he does have one). So, I was happy to learn about Danny. It’s also cool to learn that he has told his mother and friend of his sexual orientation. In this England, homosexuality, while not a crime, is not fully accepted either.

The romance between Danny and Colton, the Enfield clock spirit, was okay. I like that it went from curiosity, friendship, to something romantic. It was more believable, and I’m glad it’s not a love at first sight type of story (Even though Colton seems to “love” Danny, I can understand this more because for Colton, time is different, so he may actually love Danny by the end of the book).

Still, while I liked the romance, the world, and the general plot, I found things that just didn’t work for me.

The Villain – I had a feeling this person was behind the bombings on the clock towers pretty early on in the story. The motivation behind this character is a bit strange after learning other things about their personality and their backstory. I don’t know if I can believe that this person would do everything that they did.

The Talking When There Is No Time For Talking – Yeah, this starts happening near the middle-endish of the book and onward. They clearly don’t have time to have this long conversations and discussions but they do. People’s lives are in danger but they want to rehash the entire book to what lead up to that point. It really brought me out of the story and leads to my next point:

Pretty Slow Start and Middle – While I liked that I learned more about Danny and what had been going on in his life, it made the beginning really slow. Things didn’t start to pick up until a little more than halfway through the book.

Overall, Timekeeper had a great idea but I don’t think it was executed well. And because of this, it doesn’t fit well in my rating scale. I want to give it a 3/5 stars but I don’t know about recommending it. Ah well, here it is:

Rating: 3 STARS ~ A good book. I would recommend this in certain circumstances.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley.

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