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.
**** Big thank you to Sky Pony Press for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review****
This is one cute and intriguing book although it took me a while to get into it which is why I feel like I can’t give it a full 4 stars, but I do think “Timekeeper” is very much worth your time. (See what I did there?)
“Timekeeper” is essentially a story all about how a young clock mechanic falls in love with a tower’s clock spirit and it is adorable. While the romance does play a big part in the book it is not the main focus of the story, and thank goodness for that! There’s an added mystery involving bombs, clock towers, and towns whose time has stopped, that adds a lot to propel the story forward and damn was it good as well as unpredictable.
The setting is also something we don’t see too often in YA and that would be steampunk. Of course this is an alternate reality England mixed in with steampunk and while I liked the setting I also didn’t at the same time. This is a steampunk book but I thought it definitely could have used MORE, all we get in the story that even makes this feel like steampunk is the clock towers (which are essentially JUST clock towers) and the occasional mention of automatons. That’s it. I just felt like we could have used more mention of the gadgets and machines that make steampunk what it is.
As you can obviously tell this book is about clocks and time and since Danny, the MC, is a clock mechanic we do get quite a bit of information on how the clocks function and such. While this could potentially bore some people I thought it was actually quite interesting and it’s definitely not info-dumping, we don’t get overloaded with so many mechanics that you’ll get insanely bored.
While the mechanics of the clock towers themselves are interesting there is nothing in this book more intriguing than the clock spirits. The minute clock spirits are mentioned I wanted to know more about them, which of course I did slowly throughout the book and was not disappointed. I think they are the most creative part of this story and add so much magic to it.
There’s also a bit of added Greek mythology with Chronos and Aetas the god of time who gave people the ability to weave time into the clock towers. While it didn’t necessarily add a lot to the central story I thought it was a nice touch and helped build on the universe Tara Sim created.
While I really loved the story overall I will say that it really dragged in some parts, especially in the beginning. The story didn’t grab my attention until about 30-35% of the way in where we got introduced to the mystery.
The characters were just kind of okay, I didn’t absolutely adore them but I didn’t hate them either. They weren’t as developed as I would have liked and overall they felt a little too young…..they’re supposed to be teenagers and they seemed like middle school age which is probably because of the writing.
I liked Danny as a main character and Colton is the sweetest thing ever. I also liked a lot of the secondary characters although I wish they would have been a little more fleshed out.
As I said they’re just okay, nothing too special.
Usually it takes quite a bit of convincing to make me enjoy any YA romances but let me tell you Danny and Colton are the cutest couple ever, seriously they’re downright adorable. I really enjoyed their romance, it’s so sweet and heart-warming. There is a degree of insta-love between them but it isn’t extreme and it was easy to look past.
As I mentioned earlier their romance plays a big part in the book but it isn’t the sole focus at all. I love having a wonderfully written romance that doesn’t take up the entire story.
Also if you couldn’t tell it’s a LGTB romance which adds to the diversity!
Overall I was really impressed and happy with this book but I had a few “meh” issues with it which is why it didn’t receive a full 4 stars. I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel though.
What I Liked:
- The story was unique and interesting
- The romance didn’t take over the entire plot
- World-building was pretty spot-on
- The added mythology was intriguing
- The romance was SO FREAKING ADORABLE
What I Didn’t Like:
- The characters were just sort of “meh” and not developed enough
- The steampunk setting didn’t seem steampunk-y enough
- The pacing dragged throughout the book
Yes I recommend reading “Timekeeper” it’s a very original, charming story. If you’re looking for diverse books this also fits the bill!