Author: Tara Sim
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fantasy | M/M | Romance
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Two o’clock was missing.
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 (goodreads).
Timekeeper was a wildly imaginative ride that I didn't want to end.
Plot: For some odd reason, this book kept reminding me of the puzzle game series, Professor Layton. Maybe that's why I loved it so much. Anywho, I dare you not to be sucked into this book based on the first line alone, "two o'clock was missing." Timekeeper was a slower paced novel with a mystery that took its time unraveling. I can attest, the journey was just as sweet as the resolution. I was surprised by how Sim effortlessly added these characters to her world and everything just fit together. I never felt removed from the story and that stems from the fact that I believed in her world.
Characters: This book's central theme is "impossible," and I can't wait to see how Sim cleverly works her magic in the next novels. Timekeeper is filled with wondrously complex characters and I loved that Sim never focused on "right versus wrong." Everyone in the novel has a reason for their actions, despite the consequences, Sim never lets you identify someone as "evil."
On the complete flipside, the romance in Timekeeper was sweet and hopeful. While our two main characters seemed to fall in love rather quickly, I grew to love their interactions and how much they came to mean to each other.
Worldbuilding: It's the world that puts this icing on this complex and diverse cake. I mentioned earlier that Timekeeper was such a win for me because I believed in the characters and in the world. Sim took Victorian England and spun it on its head, but she was still respectful of the time period and clearly had done her research. Victorian London was thrilling to read about and I was so pleased how she incorporated marginalized characters.
Short N Sweet: Timekeeper is a fun mix of innocence and complexity, you don't want to miss this one!