ARC Review: Timekeeper


Title: Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim

Series: Timekeeper, #1

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Release Date: November 1st, 2016


Four Stars

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.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

– Blurb courtesy of

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Sometimes clocks fell apart with age. It was to be expected when the towers had been maintaining time for hundreds of years.
But this was not the same thing. A numeral had been melted. A hand had been bent.
What was strong enough to tamper with time?”

Two o’clock is missing in Enfield. When Danny arrives at the clock tower, his first assignment after the bombing that nearly killed him and Stopped a town, he is terrified but the town is skipping an hour each day and if it is allowed to continue they could fall out of sync with the rest of the world. With the help of the apprentice, Brandon, who doesn’t really say much, Danny manages to fix the clock but it doesn’t stay that way for long.

Danny gets more calls for Enfield and when the Brandon shows up at the third job, and Danny realises he isn’t the same boy who helped him on the first two jobs, the clock spirit reveals himself. The two boys are drawn together, both lonely and desperate for some kind of connection. Colton is a clock spirit who is never seen trapped in a clock that has been mostly forgotten unless in need of repair, and Danny is almost a pariah after his accident. However Danny knows all too well, after Matthias, another mechanic, got too close to a clock spirit, how dangerous his growing relationship with Colton really is.

But he can’t stay away, though he tries. He finds more and more excuses to travel to Enfield, even taking the assignments away from another mechanic when he is moved off of the Enfield case, bringing small pieces of the world to show Colton who cannot leave his tower for long.

“I only know the names of what’s around Enfield—London, the towns. I know nothing about the world. Enfield is my world.
It was the saddest thing Danny had ever heard. “How about this: when I come next time, I’ll bring the world to you.”
Though he didn’t understand, Colton looked interested. “Is that possible?”
“Anything is possible.”

Meanwhile, in Maldon a Stopped town, a new clock tower is being built. The tower was commissioned in the hopes that it would restart time, freeing all the people trapped in the loop among whom is Danny’s father. Danny wants to be on the project, to be closer to his father, but after his accident and all the problems that are happening in Enfield he is kept far away from Maldon and the new tower.

Every day there are more and more protestors who don’t want the new tower to be built, who don’t want the mechanics playing god with time the way they have for so many years. Then the bombings start, putting more towns at risk of Stopping and risking the lives of the mechanics who are trying to fix them. There is something rotten going on and if Danny wants to save his father, and Colton whose own clock could be at risk, then he needs to work out what.

…The Characters

“He was Danny Hart, and he was a clock mechanic.
A clock mechanic who was now afraid of clocks.”

Danny barely survived a bomb that went off in a clock he was repairing a few months ago, he was left scarred and slightly terrified of the clocks and what could happen to him again. Add to that his father being trapped in Maldon, a town that has been Stopped for three years, and Danny doesn’t have many real friends. It’s his loneliness in the first place that brings Colton to him. When Danny realises that Colton is the clock spirit, and not the apprentice like he first assumed, he knows all too well he should stay away. No good can come of becoming too close to a clock spirit.

Ever since he was a boy Danny has been training to be a mechanic. He was the youngest ever to be granted that title and before the bomb he was one of the best. After, however, people seem to treat him like a baby, trying to cushion any strain they think rests on his shoulders.

“He was a boy of air and dust and sunlight. Everything that had gone into the making of the world.”

Colton, like Danny, was lonely. It’s why he started acting out to get the mechanics attention, and once he gets Danny’s he wants to keep it. There is something about Danny that led Colton to reveal himself for the first time and the two start becoming close. Colton doesn’t want to lose the connection to life he has found with Danny, he eagerly soaks up any and all information Danny brings him of the world outside though he knows he will never see it for himself. Ever since the tower was built Colton has been watching over the people of Enfield, seeing them grow up, and all he wants is to keep them safe and happy.

Though Colton and Danny’s relationship grew from their loneliness it quickly grew into much more than that. The two of them almost heal one another; Colton has Danny who becomes his window to the world, and Danny has Colton who helps him see past the mechanic injured in the explosion or the son who lost his father to a Stopped town.

“Your fault.
His mother’s words, pushed over her broken sobs, when she heard the news. The words that were now their foundation. He was the architect of their suffering.”

Ever since Maldon Stopped and Danny lost his father his relationship with his mother fractured. They were both unable to cope with losing someone who is still so close to them but at the same time so unreachable. The two never talk, and Danny’s mother seems to be working all the time to avoid her son. Both Danny and his mother make small attempts to reach out to one another, and some of their interactions were so full of heartache, longing and hope that it made me ache a little. The development the two of them go through together was an amazing aspect of the story to read.

…The Setting

“The clock tower hummed all around him, His hands were on the clockwork, admiring the design of the cogs, the punctuality of it all Every second tripped onwards, one after the other, each tick a breath of air. It filled his lungs, his chest. Seeped through muscle and bone until it fused with the beating core of him.
He was connected to time. It was the greatest feeling in the world.”

There were parts of the world building that I loved, but at the same time there were parts which I felt could have been developed a little more. The legend behind the Timekeepers existence, the fours Gods created from Cronus to keep the Earth in balance, was really well written. The myths were woven seamlessly into the plot and you could see the history behind them in the way the stories had become forgotten in places as they were retold over and over again, and the way the icons to the Gods had fallen into disrepair. The process to become a mechanic was again brilliantly written, and it gave us a much deeper understanding into Danny’s dedication to his job. However, and although this was touched on a little, I would have enjoyed learning more about the clocks and their spirits. It felt like it was brushed past and Colton was left a very mysterious figure. This could have just been because he was the clock spirit, and didn’t know much about his past or his life before the clock, but it just felt like something was missing.

Overall Timekeeper was a very enjoyable read, and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series. It’s going to be interesting seeing where the author goes with this series in the second book as I felt the ending for Timekeeper could have been a solid ending for the whole story, but I can’t dent I’m excited to read more about Danny and Colton.

What did you think of Timekeeper? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

35 thoughts on “ARC Review: Timekeeper

  1. I really enjoyed the Timekeeper. The whole clock spirit idea really interested me. I’m not usually a fan of steampunk but this book definitely won me over. I can’t wait to see what else Tara Sim has in store for us. Danny and Colton are just so darn cute together! Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steampunk can kind of be hit or miss for me. I enjoy reading books within that genre but it takes a lot for one to stick with me you know. Timekeeper was a massive success on that part. It’s a really enjoyable book and yes, I loved Colton and Danny together, I want the next book just so I can read more about the two of them!
      Thanks Jacquie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m wishing I had requested this on NetGalley now. The second I read the quote you included between Danny and Colton about him bringing Colton the world I was all “Awwwww. Okay, I have to read this.” and then all of the stuff about the setting and how clocks really control time sealed the deal. This sounds so interesting and unique. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m a huge Doctor Who fan but I always enjoy anything that remotely involves time and/or time travel in books. I’m definitely going to have to read this one. Great review, Beth! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only really requested this book on a whim because the cover looked amazing and blurb sounded amazing but I was glad I did because it’s a great book! Yeah the relationship between Danny and Colton was really sweet, Colton was just a brilliant character as well, and it’s a great world as well.
      Oh I am a huge fan of Doctor Who as well, and a huge fan of history in general so anything Steampunk or time travel related goes on my to-read list at one point or another.
      Thanks so much Melissa, I hope you enjoy this book! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw it floating around while I was browsing on there one day and nearly requested it but talked myself out it. 😂
        I’m the same with history. That was always one of my favorite classes in school. I always found it so fascinating. I have to admit I haven’t read a lot of things that could be considered steampunk though lol. You’re welcome, Beth! I hope I do too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahh that’s a shame. I was pretty much the opposite though; I saw it floating around and, even though I have a few other ARCs still outstanding, I talked myself into requesting it and I’m really glad I did! 😀
        I wish I’d carried on history as one of my GCSE’s. It’s something that has kind of developed over time, my love of history, but I’ll read anything that is set in the past, be it Steampunk or time travel. I haven’t read much Steampunk either but I’m finding some good books in that genre to get started on! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I haven’t read a lot of books set in the past but the few that I have I loved. I remember in English class in school one year we read this historical non-fiction type book and everyone was dreading it but I loved it so much. There’s just something about history that is really interesting. What Steampunk books have you found? I’m always looking for some good recommendations. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Historical fiction isn’t something I’ve read much of either but the books from that genre I have picked up I have loved. And the same with time travel books as well, Steampunk can be a bit fifty fifty depending on the book.
        I’ve always found history interesting but it’s only been recently that I’ve loved it, I wish I’d studied it more in school because that would have been amazing! 😀
        Off the top of my head all I can think of is The Girl in the Steel Corset, which is really good, it’s a new take on the Jekell and Hyde story set in Steampunk London, and Metaltown, which I haven’t read yet but it was in one of my latest subscription boxes and sounds really good! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I wish I had as well. I kind of wish I could do my minor in history for college but I’m only able to do half-time at the moment. Maybe later on. 😊
        I recently heard of Metaltown from seeing unboxings of that subscription box on Instagram. I’ll definitely have to look both of those up on Goodreads. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I sometimes think about going back to uni/college and doing a course in history. Maybe part-time so I can combine it with my job but it would be great to learn more about it. 🙂
        Yeah, hopefully I’ll be able to post my unboxing on Instagram soon. I wouldn’t say it’s a book I would have picked up on my own but it sounds interest! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Do you guys have online classes? If you ever do end up deciding to take a history course online courses are great for combining with jobs. That’s what I do and it’s really flexible schedule wise. 😊
        I’ll keep a look out for your unboxing! I’ve been so busy this week that I’ve been neglecting my Instagram. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Possibly somewhere, I’m not sure it’s not something I’ve really looked up just something I’ve thought of once or twice as a possibility you know. Yeah that would help with my job. What course do you do?
        I haven’t posted it yet, will probably post it tonight, but I’ve been neglecting my Instagram lately as well. It feels like something that needs as much time dedicated to it as WordPress and I just don’t have that time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I’m doing an English and Creative Writing program where I take a class every 9 weeks. Currently I’m taking one of my Humanities courses and it’s so interesting. It’s like History, Literature, and Sociology combined. 😊
        I completely agree! I don’t really have the time for it either. I try because I do enjoy taking book photos but it’s hard and I like blogging more. I knew when I choose to start my blog it would mean giving up my bookstagram in a way.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Ohh, they all sound really interesting. I took English at A Levels because I enjoyed the subject so much, and I love creative writing as well. One of my friends did that at uni and she had a lot of fun with it. 😀
        I’m never going to be one of those people who spends hours taking and editing photos just because I spend hours writing and editing posts for this site. I enjoy putting photos on bookstagram but it’s never going to be a priority for me when I have my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I’ve mainly been doing my basics at the moment but I can’t wait to get to my first creative writing class. Although I’m a bit scared of actually sharing my writing 😂.
        It’s the same for me. I do a bit of editing but I never spend more than ten minutes on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Well hopefully it turns into something you’ll really enjoy, and you’ll have to let me know how your first creative writing class goes as well. I’m sure everyone will be a little nervous about sharing their work but I reckon you’ll be fine. 🙂
        It’s just something for me to share pictures of books, I don’t want to spend hours on it every day, I get enough of that from WordPress! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Will do!
        I know right? 😂
        I’ve always wondered how so many others are able to juggle blogging, youtube, and instagram among whatever other social media accounts they have. I give them props for being able to do it because I never could.

        Liked by 1 person

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