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 17-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 lose not only his father but the boy he loves - forever.
This is the stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim.
©2016 Tara Sim (P)2016 Forever Young Audiobooks
I haven't read a good steampunk novel in awhile and this was a beautiful introduction back into that intricate, amazing world. It was also a relatively new experience because I rarely review audiobooks and was given this chance by Jess from Audiobookworm Promotions and Forever Young Audiobooks. I am very thankful to both individual and group because it was a fun, grand, wild ride.
I really liked not only the time period that the story of Timekeeper was set in, but the characters that made up the world I as a reader was introduced to. The romance was beautiful and yet tragic, but not in a cheesy or comical way, which can be a problem at times. Oftentimes I find books that try for a tragic romance overdo it and make a mockery of the characters. Danny and Colton were a strange couple, what with one being a human and one being a clock spirit. Their relationship never felt forced nor instantaneous. It felt cultivated from a friendly beginning, challenged by their circumstance, and concluding with an ending that, if not a fairy tale happily-ever-after one, is at least happily-for-the-foreseeable-future.
The embrace of steampunk technology in this book was very well done. It wasn't used as an accessory or simple set dressing. The gears and cog-work in a Victorian setting had a true purpose and an extraordinarily important one, considering the way that the author set up how time and the clock towers support human life in individual towns.
Tara Sim had an unique way of presenting the concept of time and how it can be controlled and manipulated. The very fact that a town can be dependent upon its clock tower for its very life was aw inspiring. That wasn't the only part that got me to thinking, though. I was a bit confused by Danny's use of the very fibers of time toward the end of the novel. There were hints about it throughout the novel, but when he actually got around to using the threads of time to stop and start time in order to stop a villain, I wasn't 100% sure how he was doing it. It sounds a complicated process that Danny will have to explore more; hopefully he will do so in a future book, if only so that we can understand his abilities rather than leaving them a bit of a mystery.
Gary Furlong was a very good choice for the narrator. His voice had a mellow, easy quality to it that melded well with the flow of the story. If I were to say something were "wrong" with it, then I might say that he didn't place much emphasis on different characters. There wasn't much of a difference in pitch or tone between a male or female character, though he did manage to get the emotion of the characters right when they were on the verge of tears or anger, for example.
This easily could have been a standalone novel, but it looks like there are to be at least two more novels in the Timekeeper series: Chainbreaker (November 2017) and Untitled (2018). Considering the letter than is shoved into Danny's letterbox at the end of the book, seemingly out of nowhere, I'm not sure where the story is going to go from here. It felt rather out of the blue, but it may all make sense in the next book. Time will tell, it seems, and for all the drama and heavy emotion packed into the first book, one can only imagine what the characters will face in the future.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Forever Young Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
One of the best books I've ever read. Fantastic piece of LGBT+ fiction, but that isn't the main focus. It's a romance, it's fantasy, and it's so much more than that. I couldn't put it down. I still can't, and I'm done with it. I'm making all my friends read this. It's thrilling, and wonderful, and perhaps most importantly, it has a happy ending. Thank you Tara Sim!
Timekeeper is a combination alternate history, mystery, and romance. It’s also labeled as steampunk, though, I have a difficult time seeing how the novel fits into that category. Maybe because of the gears and clocks? And yes, there are automatons and dirigibles. But, that’s not really the focus of the story. The focus of the story, for me at least, is the characters.
Danny is a mechanic, tasked with keeping the clocks in his area of London working. While working on one particular tower, he meets Colton, who just happens to be the clock spirit. It takes Danny a bit of time to figure out that Colton is the spirit, and not an apprentice mechanic. Colton goes so far as to damage his clock to get Danny’s attention. Danny puts his career in danger to be near Colton. It turns out that falling in love with a clock spirit is not a good career move. I really enjoyed the scenes with Danny and Colton flirting and getting to know each other. Danny teaches Colton to read and tells him stories like Rapunzel. These scenes are very sweet and adorable. Now I know what you are thinking. How will falling in love with a clock spirit work out? Danny asks that same question a couple of times during the novel. And it was definitely on my mind as I listened to the novel. I’m ok with the concept of falling in love with a spirit. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is one of my favorite movies! But I did wonder if everything would work out for these two.
In addition to Colton, we meet some other clock spirits, including Big Ben. I really delighted in meeting the different clock spirits, especially learning how what happens to the clocks manifests on their physical bodies of the spirits. Big Ben’s spirit has the same exact plaque tattooed on his arm that is on the tower. Colton has a cut on his face when the clock face is damaged. I found the connection between the clocks and their spirits very clever.
I enjoyed the writing in Timekeeper. It is imaginative and quick-witted. The aspect of the story that I didn’t really follow, however, was the story-building behind how or why time works in this alternate world. There is some interspersed mythology of Aetas who invited the magical clocks. I really had a difficult time following these chapters and I might have enjoyed the novel better without them.
I appreciated the narration by Gary Furlong. It enhanced my reading experience considerably. The narration was smooth and concise and the characters were distinctive. The added bonus of Mr. Furlog’s Irish accent has me looking into other books he’s narrated.
Overall, Timekeeper easily earns my recommendation. Especially if you are a fan of alternate history.
Love to read, love talking about what I read.
A story that keeps you hanging till the end! I could not wait to see the outcome for Danny and his clock. The legend of the creation of time is also very nicely created. I do believe this is a story that well deserves at least 4 stars – in my humble opinion. The narration was great as well. I could feel Danny ’s hesitations, his fears, his guilt throughout Gary Furlong’s voice.
The story is quite captivating, as it combines bits of history, with legends and an unconventional love. While Danny is doing his best to fill in for his father and carry the guilt of his captivity in a city beyond time, he falls for the subject of his work – the clock tower spirit. There are twists and turns, there are decisions that need to be taken, there are emotional struggles. So from plot perspective, I believe it has all that can be requested. Though I must admit I would have wanted a more spectacular ending.
Danny and Colton develop a relationship beyond friendship. However, I had the impression that maybe he takes advantage of Colton’s naivety, taking into account he has not had many visitors and does not know much about love. While one learns how to take advantage of his skills as a mechanic, the other learns about the world, life, love.
Not only our main characters are well developed, but as well the other figures present in the book. All have complex issues and daemons to face, but in the same time, all act to the best of their abilities. Here we can clearly see the weaker side of humanity, but as well the strengths.
The bits and pieces of legend, about time creation and gods have captured me as well. They have flaws and demons of their own, which brings them closer to humanity.
As I was mentioning, the narration was great! I loved the calm voice, the accent, the way Gary Furlong expressed even the exasperation that the characters feel at times. I cannot imagine a better voice for Danny, really! With a clear pronunciation, this audiobook can be listen to very easily. And did I mention the English accent?
All in all, I did enjoy it very much and I cannot wait for the next book in the series! Hopefully, also narrated by the same person!
Strangely enough, I think this might have been the first steampunk book I’ve read! If I’ve read one before, I can’t recall it. I was fascinated by the world of clock towers, mechanics, and clock spirits. Clock spirits made the clocks and time come alive. When a clock malfunctioned, the clock spirits developed a paralleling injury, and when a clock spirit’s adrenaline shot up, time sped up and jumped forward. The towns rely on clock mechanics to keep their clocks in working order and free of malfunctions, as their ability to exist and go about their normal day is dependent on the clocks keeping perfect time.
The interwoven mythology surrounding time and the clocks often left me confused, but mythology has always been hard for me to understand, so I don’t fault the book for this. I really liked the mystery of Danny’s father being stuck in a town with a broken clock. It kept an eery feel to most of the story that I enjoyed a lot. The beginning was quite slow for me, but I think that was a good thing since it was my first experience with steampunk and I really needed all the background and world building that comprised the first third of the book. The second half of the story went by very quickly for me, and I ended up listening to the last 150ish pages in one sitting. Tara did a great job of almost completely wrapping up the story, but leaving just a hint of the story unanswered to make you intrigued for the next book in the series.
I always listen to audiobooks on 2x speed, but I found myself enjoying Timekeeper more at 1.5x. It allowed me to appreciate Gary Furlong’s accent and a bit more time to digest the complex world building and mythology. This was my first experience with Gary’s narration, and I’m planning to look up more of the books he’s worked on. The character voices were distinct enough to easily tell them apart, and the tonal range between all the various characters was excellent.
I listened to the audiobook on Audible and the sound quality was excellent. I didn’t experience any muffled audio, or scratchiness. The sound levels were consistent throughout the book, and there were no long silences between chapters. This audio did not have any sound effects or music, but Tara’s world was so complex and detailed that I don’t think it was necessary, and I think it might have event taken away from the experience if they had been used.
I thought the story translated great into audio. My only struggle with the audiobook was that the mythology was hard for me to understand, and if I’d had a physical book, I would have been able to go back and reread those passages to digest them better. With that said, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the book as much if I’d read it in physical form. Gary’s performance really added to the story for me, and the character voices helped me feel immersed in the world better than if I’d read it myself. I recommend checking out the audiobook if you haven’t read this one yet.
I enjoyed the female characters, although there weren't many. I hope we'll hear more from them in future books in the series.
All of them.
The first half was slow for me, but I ended up listening to the last 150 pages in one sitting.
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