Author: Tara Sim
Series: (Timekeeper #1)
Pub. Date: November 8th, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT
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.
“He’d been eroding. Losing the things close to him. Sanded down to a pale, exposed nerve.” (147)
Timekeeper is a magical, slightly historical, all around engrossing read! Told in third person, we follow Danny Hart, a clock mechanic who is lost in his own mind after not only losing his father to a stopped town, but also getting into an accident that very well ruined his career as a mechanic for a few months. Attempting to get back to work and feel normal, Danny is assigned to the Enfield clock tower, where he not only finds love, but discovers a heartbreaking truth that changes everything.
Danny is seen as weak, easily overwhelmed, and strange to all those around him. Not only is he underestimated, he is bullied and blamed for things out of his control. From the beginning we can see why perhaps he is seen in such a way, as he acts in a way a mechanic shouldn’t when he has to go and fix the Enfield clock for the first time. Over time we learn why and we see Danny in a new light, realizing just how strong and determined he is. Being set around the 1800-1900s, it is lovely to see Danny so open about his preferences (males), also proving how brave and determined he is to live his life the way he sees fit. True to himself and always trying his best to be honest to others, Danny faces struggles that ring true to his fears. This is not just a story about overcoming fears, it’s also about what you would sacrifice for love, and doing the right thing even when it crushes your soul. All that pity and tip-toeing people did/felt around him changed as Danny developed, allowing him to no longer feel inspected and judged, but instead perhaps accepted.
“He imagined trapping the pity against his palms, crushing it like Aetas had crushed his own beating heart.” (156)
Danny’s love interest on the other hand, is pretty much unknown to everyone. Colton is a clock spirit, and that means he stays in the tower and watches life go by through the window, never talking to others or participating in activities such as celebrations. Being a clock spirit, Colton is actually pretty lonely, and to keep Danny around he does some pretty shady things. Honest and full of curiosity, Colton sees no wrong in anything he did until Danny shares his fears and thoughts. As they get to know each other, their love brightens and remains innocent with soft touches and light kisses, dancing together to the music outside as they lose themselves with each other. To Danny, Colton is everything, handsome and full of a life Danny wants to discover. I will admit however, that despite how cute the romance is, it wasn’t really built up, it was a bit more instant.
“He was a boy of air and dust and sunlight. Everything that had gone into the making of the world.” (153)
What I absolutely loved about this book however, is that not only is there a gay MC, there is a character that doesn’t see gender, not really (blanking out on what that’s called, sorry!). Colton falls in love with a personality, not someone with certain body parts, not appearances, but a person themself.
“I would have kissed you if you were a girl. I would have kissed you if you were purple.” (198)
The writing is lovely and flows well. There is a bit of mystery about the clock towers and issues involving destruction, but to be honest I found it all predictable. This did not affect my enjoyment of the story however. I still very much loved everything that occurred and how it was all written.
Overall, Timekeeper is a lovely tale full of mystery, romance, and overcoming obstacles.