Review: Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1) by Tara Sim

25760792Timekeeper by Tara Sim

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, LGBT, Mystery, Family, Historical Fiction

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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 was a boy of air and dust and sunlight. Everything that had gone into the making of the world.

Timekeeper is a mysterious tale of magical clocks controlling time in a Victorian London where mechanics are revered…

And a forbidden love story involving a clock spirit and his keeper.

Danny & Colton won Lola’s award of the cutest young adult gay couple of 2016. Their love is so pure and sweet… maybe a little too much. We get half of a page of sexish content between them, but otherwise, they stick to gentle but brief kissing and that’s it, that’s all.

It’s true that I wanted more passion between them, but that can come in time (after all, this is a trilogy) and it didn’t bother me as much I may make it sound right now, because I was focused on many other things.

‘‘You’re chaos and order and everything in between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music.” His smile was gentle. “I hear it all the time. Your music.”

Such as the mystery. What’s great about Timekeeper is that it doesn’t let the romance overshadow the fantasy elements. In fact, the mystery surrounding the clocks is relatively more important. Which is rare with gay romance… Normally, it’s the main focus of a story. But not in this case.

I truly, truly adored the world-building Miss Sim introduced us to. It’s really, really interesting. Steampunk is not a very popular theme in literature, but it should be. There is so much that can be done with it and this author developed it in an interesting way. I especially found the idea of linking mythology to this Victorian world clever.

“Have you ever kissed anyone before?”

Colton thought, then shook his head. “I don’t think so. I’ve thought about it, though. There used to be a girl down the street who was very pretty. But that was a long time ago.”

Danny, who hadn’t anticipated this answer, took a moment to reorganize his thoughts. “So you would have kissed me if I was a girl?”

“I would have kissed you if you were a girl. I would have kissed you if you were purple.”

There is so much potential in this series. I can see the world-building expanding and revealing many new secrets and characters and danger and hope and love and mystery.

I will have to say, however, that I was not impressed with the characters themselves, which gave the impression that this was written for a young audience—twelve, thirteen-year-olds.

The world-building is great, the story is good, the writing fine… but the characters? Just okay. With the exception of Colton who is nothing short of an angel (and I cannot resist them), they are all rather common… banal… unsurprising. At one point I could guess what each one of them would say next, which made the dialogs a tiny bit dull… and tame.

He touched his chest, then touched Danny’s. When he felt Danny’s heartbeat, he pressed his palm against it, mesmerized. “You’re a marvel.”

But, overall, I am happy with this book. I was extremely excited to get my hands on it—so, so excited—and when I was finally able to read it, I immediately jumped on it. I’m looking darn forward to some more action, mystery, romance (sexy scenes, please!) and steampunkness.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1) by Tara Sim

  1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH gosh darn it, this book wasn’t on my list until now but I just love how this sounds, Victorian England with Steam Punk, a cute romance, AND mythology?! Sign me up :). I prefer cute romances over passion/steamy ones, so maybe I’ll enjoy it? And this is a trilogy? That’s exciting! Can’t wait to read it 🙂
    Nice review!


  2. I’ve been looking forward to this one all year! It sounds like a joy, though I can understand why it misses the mark a little bit if it’s aimed toward the middle grade genre. Hopefully we’ll be able to watch the characters develop more as the trilogy continues. Awesome review!


  3. Pingback: Author Interview: Tara Sim (Timekeeper) ❤ | Hit or Miss Books

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