• Timekeeper

  • The Timekeeper Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Tara Sim
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,375 ratings)

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Timekeeper  By  cover art

Timekeeper

By: Tara Sim
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
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Publisher's Summary

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

Featured Article: The 25 Best Time Travel Listens to Take You on an Unforgettable Journey


Time travel is one of science fiction's most popular subgenres. Fans are drawn to its infinite possibilities, offering a glimpse into past cultures, societies, and pivotal events while exploring big what if? questions. What if you knew what would happen next in your life? What if you could go back and change history? What if you did change history? With this guide, you're sure to find an exciting audiobook to transport you to the perfect place in another time.

What listeners say about Timekeeper

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting premise; dull main character

Premise was good. Lead character was dumb and naive as a stump. He kept stopping in the middle of a crisis to make dumb statements. I just got tired of it.

21 people found this helpful

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A top shelf book!

Set in a Victorian England, the clock towers keep time from fracturing and the Timekeepers keep the clocks ticking along smoothly. Danny Hart is a time mechanic like his father and he hopes to one day free his father and citizens of a Stopped town where a clock tower broke 3 years ago. Meanwhile, he has been assigned temporarily to the clock tower in the little town of Enfield where small things keep going wrong. Danny begins to suspect sabotage even as he learns an unsettling yet still intriguing truth about the clock tower – it does indeed have a clock spirit. Colton seems equally intrigued by Danny and the two share a spark of romance that may or may not go anywhere.

This book was so much more than I was expecting. First, I was sucked in by the mythos of Chronos and how time was shattered but brought back under control by the clock towers and their spirits. Through out the book, we get little snippets of this mythology – never enough to bore and they always intrigued me. Then we learn more about the clock mechanics, their rigorous training, and how it’s more than just sprogs and bolts. There’s also this slightly mystical ability to feel the flow of time coupled with intuition of knowing just what the clock needs to run smoothly.

Danny Hart enters the picture and he has plenty going on in his life. He’s the youngest mechanic to graduate from the training program. His dad has been absent for the past 3 years trapped in the stopped city of Malden and no one has figured out how to free the city yet. Also, the lad survived a nasty accident himself and he’s suffering from PTSD. Lastly, he has finally come out of the closet, now that being gay is no longer a hanging offense. Few people are understanding, including his mom. Luckily, he has a stalwart friend in Cassie, a lass who has been his friend since childhood. As you can see, I was totally caught up in Danny’s character and definitely wanted to follow him around and see what he could accomplish in this book.

When Colton, the clock spirit in Enfield, first appears, he doesn’t tell Danny what he is. Danny guesses early on in their friendship but this presented yet another problem. Few people believed that the clock spirits were real so it wasn’t something he could readily explain to folks. Then as their romance begins, he finds it even more difficult to chat about Colton to folks. The romance is light, sweet, fumbling, and has a few misunderstandings between the two. I look forward to seeing where the author takes their relationship in the next book.

Danny becomes convinced that someone is sabotaging the tower in Enfield and so the hunt for clues begins. I enjoyed this little mystery and I only began to suspect the culprit late into the story. I was delighted that the tale hid the true nature of this person for so long. That made the reveal that much more delicious to me as the reader and it hit a hard punch to Danny when he figured it out.

As for side characters, I felt they were nicely developed and weren’t simple stand ins. Mrs. Hart is obviously grieving for her lost husband and is ready to move on. I think she’s a bit afraid to care too deeply as her son is in the same line of work and has already escaped one nasty accident. Cassie is a mechanic herself, though she tends to enjoy automobiles most. Daphne greatly intrigued me. She has a facial tattoo, wears men’s work clothes, and is rumored to have a parent from India. I hope there is more about her in the next book. I was charmed by Matthias, an older friend of Danny’s who went through a hardship and now is a teacher instead of a mechanic. He often took Danny under his wing in a paternal uncle-ish sort of way.

All together, it’s a great start to the trilogy. I saw that some folks stuck this book in the steampunk genre but I wouldn’t call it steampunk. I don’t recall a single thing being steam-driven. Regardless of what genre you place this book in, it’s going on my top shelf.

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration: Gary Furlong was a great pick for this book. I loved his rich, older voice for Matthias. He had the perfect on-the-cusp-of-manhood voice for Danny. His female voices were believable and varied (the ladies didn’t all sound the same).

18 people found this helpful

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Don’t Bother

I really tried to listen and wanted to like it. I like time travel stories, but this didn’t seem to be that. I just couldn’t stick with it long enough to get the theme. And the gay aspect seemed to be gratuitous and forced.

11 people found this helpful

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What time is it Mr. Wolf?

I had a difficult time getting into this story but once I did it flowed nicely. There is something mysterious about the timekeeper, watchmaker etc. The premise of the book was totally awesome and I did really enjoy the ability to manipulate time. I have to admit this was my first trip into a Victorian time period so I was not sure what to expect. All the way through this story it definitely made me watch time more closely and time seemed to move more slowly. I did enjoy the characters for the most part but sometimes had a hard time rooting for them. I was always surprised when the author threw a curveball and switched POV. I always like duel POV but I am not sure if I could call this a duel POV seeming as it was almost 95% one POV. I did really enjoy the old Victorian England descriptions as it differs greatly from what I typically listen to. I also typically don’t read much romance but that part of the story did keep my interest as well and might have even convinced me to try another adventure in this genre. I also really liked the idea of people being trapped in towns without time, so cool. There was not a lot of “time” (no pun intended) spent on explainations except for in the middle of the book which I liked but at times did seem to drag on. I did appreciate the explainations of things too which helped me understand and ultimately enjoy the book more. So, the middle of the book is not a deal breaker, not even close. The narration was done quite nicely. I have to admit there would be somedifficult passages/ scenes to get just right in this story and I felt like the narrator did just that. The voices and tones used were pleasant and brought scenes more to life. All in all a breakout title for me that just might get me into other genres in the future. I received this book free of charge from Audiobook Worm Promotions and this in no way affected my opinion of this book.

8 people found this helpful

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Great Alternate History with romance on the side

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.

6 people found this helpful

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Gag me

Don't read unless you want a lame love story between a guy and his clock tower spirit.

5 people found this helpful

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Adorable love created.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the magic of the clock towers. They are what keeps time moving at a regulated pace. If anything happens to the clock, time is skewed. We see this happen with a few different troubles with clock towers. Time can even stop in a time zone for a clock tower. Very interesting!

The romance is a sweet draw that I really enjoyed. This story is the first I've read of that's two boys falling in love. The way this is written, I didn't even think twice on the idea. I believed the relationship growth and thought there were innocent moments that were touching as they happen. I loved the romance, the love that grows. It's well written and innocent.

We get a mystery as well. There are a few elements that make us curious. There is the mystery of who's bombing the towers. We know of one bomb coming into the story and see a few more happen. Then there's a town that stopped working, stopping time in that city. Then theirs the thinking of how new clock towers are made. They can make a tower but to create the connection to time is a secret unknown. We learn about the spirits as we go, something that's not really known among the citizens and not always believed.

Any additional comments?

*I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions.


Gary is a new narrator for me. And I found I liked his voice from the moment he read the title. His slight accent was lovely and felt to fit the book style for me. I got a feel for different characters when they spoke, the feel that fit their stations in life. While listening, early in the book (in chapter 2) there is a moment a word is cut short and a pause, like this was done in editing. But that was the only flaw I heard, and forgot about it quickly.

Within the first 5 chapters I got a strong feel for where the story is going with Danny and the clock tower. And I liked the idea. We got the brickwork for what's to come, and I looked forward to seeing Danny experience it all.

The story here is concluded, but there is a thought and worry left for the future. I'm curious where the story will go next with Danny and what we can learn of the clock towers and their spirits.

4 people found this helpful

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A Unique and Stunning London Controlled by Time.

Would you consider the audio edition of Timekeeper to be better than the print version?

If you don't have the time, or simply want to multitask, the audio version is better.

What other book might you compare Timekeeper to and why?

It's hard to say since there isn't anything that comes to mind that's like Timekeeper. I can't think of another story that has such a reliance on time manipulations and steampunk elements.

What does Gary Furlong bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His accent, honestly that's all I can think of, it's not that he's a bad narrator, in fact, his voice and presentation is very compelling, it's just not overly remarkable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, there was, but since I like to shy away from spoilers and it's a particularly spoilery moment, I'll keep that moment to myself.

3 people found this helpful

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Total winner

Omfg I loved everything this! Full review to come with the tour! My first completed audio book 💙😁

2 people found this helpful

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Not my cup of tea.

Just not what I expected. It was a little difficult to follow the narrator. I also saw very little plot. I definitely will be skipping the the other two in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ChloeInBooksland
  • 06-18-22

Good but not totally meeting my expectations

I liked it well enough. It was a cute romance and it felt like a fast read. The main problem came from my expactations: I was expecting more from the book, something more complexe. So I ended up finding the story "too" simple and a bit disappointing.

I don't know if I'll read the sequel. Having finished the book, I don't feel like I have to read the next book. I might one day though

2 people found this helpful

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  • Abdallah Salem
  • 11-29-21

brilliant

i'll be honest here since my experience with audio books is rather thin.

this has been a thrill, joy and a tear in the eye at the end.

thank you for your work both the writer and the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-26-21

Not well narrated

The story seemed interesting, but unfortunately couldn't get through the first bit of the book. The narrator makes every sentence sound litterally the same, which makes it quite boring to listen to. Except for when people are talking, that is done quite well. Unfortunately there is a lot of story where people aren't talking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stefanie Hesse
  • 05-19-22

Nice and shiny

The story is sweet, the characters authentic, and the atmosphere sparkling.
A teenage romance with a nice portion of feeling without the excessive 'he is sooooo beautiful there isn't anything else going for him' part. Maybe a wee bit heavy on the lovey-dovey side of romance for those who fancy more explicit content *cough* but this is entirely age-appropriate.
Only downside: the plot diverts a bit towards the climax of the story including some unnecessary elements.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M.C. Wapenaar
  • 11-23-22

Loved it!

If you love urban fantasy in a historical fiction setting, this is a must read! The location is Victorian era England and this book revolves around clocks and their mechanics. Don't want to tell too much as I am afraid I will spoil it. All I can say is that I couldn't stop listening.

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  • Danielle
  • 10-08-22

Very enjoyable

Great book, and very well read. Interesting new fantasy world that pulls you right in and makes you want to learn more about it. A little bit predictable, but that's not a bad thing in my opinion as it is a very easy book to listen to and follow. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-29-22

Dull

An intriguing central conceit about the nature of time fizzled out into an insipid love story - all fluttering hearts and softly stroked hands - set in a ho-hum steam punk world peopled by two-dimensional characters. Very much for lovers of lightweight YA romantic fiction rather than grittier adult fantasy.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-22

omg

what a load of rubbish slow pompous and a complete waste of money and time and ,how did it get published, beware

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Drdzim
  • 08-25-22

Didn't finish

I really wanted to like this book. The premise is interesting. The author had put much effort into crafting an original world. The book is also well-written, and I enjoyed its descriptive narration. I'd been looking for a quality story with lgb-romance, so it felt like a good match.
Despite all that, the book didn't work for me. It dragged on way too slowly. I couldn't understand why it felt so hard to get into the story, so I tried several times to make myself listen further. I think, the problem for me may be the tone. It's ever so gloomy, with no levity, even during romance scenes. At each event, big or small, the protagonist is reminded of his tragic past. At first, I was intrigued, but then I realized it was the one and only note the protagonist has, His eyes water, he faints, he smells fire and sees things from the past throughout various dialogues and events. This constant reliving of trauma left no space for the story to breathe. Kissing someone and falling in love felt rushed and out of place. With these constant trips to the past inside his mind, I don't know how Danny didn't have a heart attack. Maybe, he needed a few more notes to his character, to make it easier to listen to, It didn't work for me, unfortunately.

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  • Niya
  • 08-21-22

Beautifully woven tale

It took me a little while to get my head around the presentation of time but that’s part of the charm of this tale.

Great narration, really felt the characters.

Can’t wait to move on to book 2

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-24-22

Amazing premise and writinf

The world was so interesting and engaging and it was so nice to see homosexual characters that are actual people and not walking stereotypes. The characters are so easy to get attatched to because of how well they are developed so quickly. easy 5 stars from me.

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  • Renee
  • 06-12-22

You have no right to be a pregidous poo head

Write reviews on content, not your brainless notions on how others should act you thoughtless troll.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Renae
  • 10-16-21

loved it

Loved it!!! Story and world was completely unexpected, I absolutely adored the premise!!! Some cliche plot holes but isn't there always? Truly a good read/listen, highly recommend

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Glen Biggs
  • 12-15-20

Homosexual relationship with a spirit...

I enjoy fantasy and scifi, but I don't like the homosexual relationships with a spirit in this book.