Author- Tara Sim
Series- The sequel is “Chainbreaker,” and the third is “Firestarter.”
Genre- Historical fiction mixed with whimsical fantasy
POV- third person, past tense, mostly in Danny’s POV but there were a few random, short inserts from secondary characters
Trope- MM romance, forbidden love
Steam level- 1/5
Cover– The cover definitely shows the clock/time aspect however the design made it look darker than the story is. I also couldn’t tell if it was historical fiction or fantasy or other, but the book is a blend so I guess that makes sense. I didn’t expect the whimsical component based on the cover
“I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.” An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.
The first book in a dazzling new steampunk-fantasy trilogy, Timekeeper introduces a magical world of mythology and innovation that readers will never want to leave.
First chapter- I quickly gained a good sense of Danny, a 17-year-old mechanic who was nervous to jump back into his career of fixing clocks after an accident occurred prior in his life. The setting was established in England in the 1800s yet only some of the vocabulary felt representative of that time period. I actually prefer the prose to feel more contemporary despite it being historical fiction. Hints were given that this will be a MM romance but it’s too soon to tell. The descriptions of the time concepts and inner workings/sounds of the clocks were my favorite part.
Cassie- Danny’s childhood friend who helps with his auto
Leila- Danny’s mother, apparently a heavy smoker who doesn’t seem to accept that he is gay
Daphne Richards- a rare female clock mechanic whom is also half Indian
Lucas- bully. We don’t like him.
Matthias- an “uncle” type mentor for Danny
The Lead- boss man/project manager
Brandon- no spoilers
Colton- wait and see
Character Development- Danny learns that it wasn’t his fault
Best part- The last 80 pages!
What I would change- Prose- there were too many filtering words but I could try to ignore them because I loved the premise
Character goals/motivations- Sometime it felt like the character was avoiding possible solutions for too long just for the author to fill pages, when it became frustrating that if Danny TRULY wanted to free his dad, he wasn’t working hard enough to achieve it
Theme- time is valuable
Vivid sensory descriptions- Yes, especially inside the clocks
Dialogue- nothing stuck out as problematic
Diversity- LGBTQ romance representation
Ethics/morals- selfishness vs. selflessness for the sake of a community
Conflict/tension/obstacles- not enough
Pacing- slow in the middle, fast in the beginning and end
Thoughts while reading-
Page 30- I desperately want to know what happens when time Stopped and how Danny is connected.
Page 47- I love the mini cliffhangers ending each chapter – “What was strong enough to tamper with time?”
Page 55- Brandon makes his second mysterious appearance. Will he be the romantic interest? Will he be the one responsible for stealing the clock parts?
Page 78- OMG! How was I so dumb to not realize it before. The shut eye. The mangled hand. The scar on his face…. Omg. This is awesome.
Page 92- this clock spirit concept is super captivating and I love how ancient gods are brought in- Aetas and the brief historical story
Page 110- I feel like I’m missing a piece of info more than the obvious reason of why they’d be upset with this info
Page 120- so I need to suspect Matthias? I love the tiny tidbits that create doubt
Page 202- I hit the halfway point. This section is a little slow with Colton and Danny sneaking off getting to know each other but it feels as if something bigger is about to happen. Hopefully to change things up.
Page 219- so many scene breaks are making the transitions jolty. Oh wait and now we just head hopped to a new POV at page 219 for the first time? And in the middle of a chapter? I dont like that at all
Page 262- I wish I had a better grasp of who the antagonist is. But maybe that’s the point?
Page 273- now Daphne’s random POV? I don’t like the switch
Page 288- uh oh , everything’s falling apart
Page 303- oh shit! I had a feeling that would be it!!
Page 315- the interior formatting to depict what is happening is brilliant. I’ve never seen anything like it in a book before.
Page 324- were getting to the frustrating trope of “just communicate you moron!”
Quote- “Time itself is the answer. You can’t force something to occur in the future because you’d like it to, just as you can’t go back and force the past to change. There are many branches of time reaching from your bodies. I can see them attached to one another. Humans call it fate, but it’s nothing so poetic as that. It’s simply time. Time, and the decision you make as it passes, which in turn make history. When one decision becomes impossible, the thread snaps, leaving you fewer and fewer choices.”
Ending- Page 404- love the happy ending and just enough of a hint for the sequel