Author: Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper, #1
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: November 1st, 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.
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 goodreads.com
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.