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Timekeeper #1


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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.

414 pages, Hardcover

First published November 8, 2016

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About the author

Tara Sim

18 books1,250 followers
Tara Sim is a YA and adult fantasy author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she's not writing about magic, murder, and mayhem, she drinks tea and wrangles cats.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,418 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
November 14, 2016
Meh. I am obviously just not that interested in clocks and mechanics.

Timekeeper has an ambitious premise. It's a Victorian steampunk universe where the ties between physical clock towers and actual time are inextricable - when two o'clock goes missing from Colton Tower, time itself is disrupted.

Danny Hart is a clock mechanic, a timekeeper, someone with the ability to feel and manipulate time. Suffering from anxiety and haunted by the memory of his father who was trapped in a time-Stopped city, Danny tries to fulfill his job at Colton Tower. Of course, it's not going to be simple. Danny soon finds himself falling for the spirit of the tower in a whirlwind LGBT romance.

The world is creative, for sure, but I just couldn't find interest in it. The prose is forgettable and the plot wanders aimlessly for a lot of the book, making it really hard to keep turning pages. As I said, mechanics are not really my thing. Cogs and gears do not float my boat. The manipulation and fracturing of time is interesting, and yet the book actually spent very little time on that.

What the book does focus on is a lot of protests from the general public against clock towers and clock mechanics. But the whole thing seemed like an ill-conceived plot point used to throw some drama into the mix. The protesters regularly cause trouble throughout the novel, but their reasons for protesting are... what? The "monopolization of time"? As Danny points out, the towers and mechanics are crucial to keep the world functioning. The citizens seem to be unaware of this, but the "they wouldn't understand" excuse seems like a shitty reason to keep them in the dark.

There's also very little atmosphere. This is a steampunk Victorian London FFS, how is there no atmosphere? I think perhaps its because the author opts for a generic portrait of Victorian London with the addition of clock mechanics, instead of developing details to make this world one which is truly unique and memorable. Mechanics/machines themselves are a key feature of the steampunk genre, so this in itself is not interesting and/or different enough.

Worst of all, the romance was so disappointing. LGBT steampunk romance makes for a shiny selling point, but it is marred by instalove and lack of development. There's no slow flirtation and chemistry, just instant sparks flying. Danny meets the spirit and literally five pages later they kiss. I did not have time to care about their relationship. So boring.

Also: The DEUS EX MACHINA is strong with this one. Seriously.

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Profile Image for Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿.
143 reviews56 followers
February 4, 2018
This book came out of nowhere and hit me over the head with its awesome!

Danny is the youngest clock mechanic in a alternative-world Victorian England where clock towers like Big Ben literally control time. Each city has its clock tower that safeguards its "time zone." If the clock tower stops working, so does time in the town, and the people in it become frozen and unable to escape - which is exactly what happened to Danny's father three years ago. He has worked so hard to become a good enough mechanic to save the city of Malden. The last thing he ever expected was to meet a spirit that controls time itself - or to fall in love with him.

I'm absolutely loving this new trend in YA fiction to make a world so detailed that the plot doesn't feel recycled. Clock towers that control time, backed by an entire detailed mythos of deities? Count me in! From first picking up this book, I hoped and hoped that such an amazing premise would not disappoint, and trust me, Ms. Sim did not let us down!

The best part of the world building was that the characters themselves didn't know everything about the physics of their world. Danny knows how clocks work, but he only believes the gods and clock spirits to be legends until he meets them. Even the clock spirits themselves don't have all the answers to how they operate or how they came to be. As a reader who was piecing it all together, it was perfectly paced that we were learning the world alongside Danny himself.

Speaking of whom, I loved him as a protagonist! He is just plain grumpy, but given his difficult life, why wouldn't he be? Since losing his father, he has entirely dedicated himself to work, at the cost of most friendships and his relationship with his mother. When he meets a boy who begins to crack his shell of self-loathing, it really means something.

And Colton? P r e c i o u s. He was simultaneously ancient and wise while having a complete naivety about humans and their emotions.

I won't go into too much detail with the rest of the characters, but generally speaking, there was a lot of delicious moral ambiguity that I love. The "good guys" had their own motivations and the "bad guy" had an understandable motivation behind his actions.

In terms of Danny's sexuality: I almost wouldn't count this as a queer book. It's one of those few LGBTQ romances that is not defined by the protagonist's sexuality. There are so many times that characters have conversations with Danny along the lines of, "Do you not want to introduce me to him because he's a guy? Because it's okay," and Danny just simmers and thinks, "I don't care that I'm gay. I care that he's not a human dammit!" So if what you're looking for is a gung-ho queerpositive love story, this may not be entirely it, but if you're looking for an awesome story with a queer character, look no farther!

As I'm sure you guessed from the four-stars, there was one major irk that kept this down a star: the setting. Ms. Sim is insistent that this takes place in 1875, but one that is so technologically progressive (cars, phones, etc.) that society (feminism, gay rights) are also drastically progressive. I know the genre is steampunk, but I think she was too married to the idea that steampunk has to be Victorian. Because so much was different, there was actually nothing left that made it Victorian aside from the constant date references. Since this takes place in an altogether different world, I wish she had made it in its own time without tying it to our history line. As it stands, I was just confused until I read her author's note at the end.

Thank you immensely to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book. It was an unexpected new favorite and one heck of a debut!


"You're...everything. You're...You're chaos and order and everything in between. Like sunshine kept back by the 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. [...] I hear it all the time. Your music."

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Profile Image for Emily.
Author 11 books985 followers
June 20, 2015
I read an early draft of this book, and trust me—it's something you want. It has clocktowers that control time. And impish clock spirit boys. And maybe the most real teenage boy protagonist I have ever read. I absolutely can't wait until it's on shelves.

Get hype.
Profile Image for Snjez.
765 reviews468 followers
June 11, 2023
3.5 stars

I think this story has a great concept and a very strong beginning. It pulled me in right away and made me very intrigued. I'm really glad I didn't read the blurb before starting it, because it's kind of spoilery. It would have definitely ruined my favourite part of the story.

The reasons I'm not giving it a higher rating:
- after an interesting beginning, the story started dragging a bit
- there were a lot of plot holes - the characters' actions often seemed naive, didn't make sense or didn't feel believable, but were convenient
- I expected more atmosphere from a book set in the alternate steampunky Victorian London, but it often felt like reading a contemporary
- the romance was kind of cute, but very surface level

I really enjoyed the audiobook. Great narration by Gary Furlong.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
849 reviews3,877 followers
February 15, 2021

I'm so happy I've finally decided to read Timekeeper ! Indeed after side-eyeing this novel for the past couple of years, the glowing reviews for the sequel convinced me and I couldn't be happier they did : I really, really liked this. But let's start with what I loved the most about it, shall we ?

There comes a moment when time seems to slip faster, running long then short, shadows shrinking as the sun climbs. It's the moment, he decided, when you're no longer a child. When the concept of time and the need for more of it come together and make you powerless. Make you yearn for the longer days, the lazy days, before you knew what time passing actually meant.

I won't beat around the bush : Tara Sim created an imaginative and thoroughly fascinating world in which Time needs magical towers to flow smoothly, and whose mechanics are given a highly important task, that is to say : repair and take care of the towers of time. I won't lie, but my biggest fear starting Timekeeper was my usual... distaste... for steampunk. I know, I know. Who hates steampunk?? Well. Me? I'm not sure if I was very unlucky, but almost all of these kinds of books left me utterly bored and uninterested. No such thing with Timekeeper : from the beginning I was enchanted by all the details Tara Sim incorporated into her world , and I cannot wait to learn more about it in the sequel (I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS OKAY?).

I was in an accident. I got out. I'm safe now.
Was he really ?

First of all : I really liked Danny. A lot . Once again, because somehow I love being wrong, or something, I had convinced myself I wouldn't enjoy him after reading reviews saying he was one-dimensional. I strongly disagree. On the contrary I was pleasantly surprised by all the layers his character slowly showed, and I really appreciated the representation on PTSD and anxiety. Indeed Danny, the youngest mechanic of London, has been struggling to handle the aftermaths of both a working accident and his father's disappearance. He starts so sad and withdrawn, so riddled with guilt that I couldn't help but cherish every one of his smiles. Truly, I did not expect to care so much about him, but by the end I wanted to hug and protect that boy.

Moreover, in my opinion the dynamics between the characters were really well-done, especially when it comes to friendships and family (I'll talk about the romance later). His special bond with Cassie, his best-friend, and his complicated relationship with his mother were well explored and seemed genuine. And what can I say about his father, for whom I felt so strongly despite his absence ?

Several secondary characters could have benefited from gaining more layers, though, and did appear a bit stereotypical . However, I've heard that the sequel took care of this flaw, and it makes me even eager to read it (when the kindle version will be cheaper, though /sad face/).

Time is the language of all things. It is everything you see, hear, touch. Treat it carefully.

I enjoyed the way the story enfolded for the most part : thanks to the simple but compelling writing, I was easily engrossed and never felt the need to put away my book. That's rare these days, alright ? The plot managed to surprise me when I thought I knew where the story was going, especially in the second half. I don't quite know what I expected, but "being hooked and breathless all of a sudden" wasn't it . Good job, Tara Sim. You definitely got me here. *bows*

My only complain through the book was the (m/m) romance that I found rushed and a bit unconvincing. Nevertheless, I wouldn't say that Danny and Colton's relationship resorts to instalove either, and I won't say why because that's a spoiler *winks*. All the same, it took me a lot of pages to actually care about them as a couple but in the end, it didn't matter. The emotions I felt in the end - they baffled me. Truly. I might not have been the number one stan of their romance, but they convinced me and I cannot wait to see them grow together in the next book.

Finally, I did feel like Timekeeper relied a little too-much on Deus ex-machina, especially in the end, but... the possibilities, friends!  That particular development created so many interesting opportunities for the sequel that I can't be bitter about it. It's been so long since I've read about such refreshing world-building that I really couldn't care less if some actions seemed guided. I enjoyed it all the same.

Bottom word : albeit not flawless, Timekeeper was fun and offered me a few hours of escape so if it looks like your thing, please give it a chance. 4 stars out of 5 .  

TW - PTSD, anxiety

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Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
678 reviews3,945 followers
May 1, 2018
TIMEKEEPER is set in an alternate victorian england where clock towers & time is essentially alive and people are subject to the whims of time. Clock mechanics are hired to maintain the clocks, otherwise they can become damaged and throw off time in towns - potentially even Stop towns so that time no longer moves.

Danny is a mechanic who is sent to Enfield to repair a clock, and when he does some really weird things start happening. Clocks are getting sabotaged and Danny is unsure who to trust. There is also a really cute m/m romance between Danny and another boy that I loved. It was so cute.

This book was so fun and unique. The way time worked was so interesting and I loved the thought that had gone into this book and it's worlbuilding. The mythology and lore around time was so well developed. At first this book is a bit confusing but once you get a grasp on how time works, it is fast paced and thrilling with an awesome mystery. I also loved that typography was used to visually depict how time was working, for example, lines would be flipped around or repeated as time became distorted in the world. And that was really fun

Full review to come for this book!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,093 reviews17.7k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-coverporn-etc'
January 9, 2023
things that happened in the hour before I bought this beautiful paperback:
→ I met my friend [now girlfriend] who I'd been following on Twitter for months and months
→ I overheard a girl telling her friend that a book had "surprise lesbians"
an author that I'm obsessed with recognized me and guessed my fucking blog name
Profile Image for Jessica Cluess.
Author 8 books1,392 followers
June 8, 2016
I'm a sucker for a good Victorian London fantasy clockpunk LGBT romance, and boy does this ever deliver. Danny Hart is the type of brooding boy YA fantasy fans love, but his pain comes from a very complex and deep place. Colton, the perfect cinnamon roll of a love interest, is...I'm not going to spoil it. The romance between the two boys is toe-curlingly wonderful, but the mythology of the world is also fascinating. Time is controlled by clock towers, and mechanics take care of the clocks. If the clock should break, catastrophe occurs. Anyone looking for a solid fantasy world, interesting mythology, mystery, and a fantastic LGBT romance needs this book now.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,473 followers
October 22, 2016
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Tara Sim, and the publisher, Sky Pony Press, for this opportunity.

Alternative historical fiction? Mythological retelling? LGBTQIA main character and prominent theme? Check, check and check!

This book is a thrilling journey into a Victorian-era world, where time is magic and the clock towers that measure it are under threat from a mysterious source. Without the steady beat of time, life will stall and entire communities of people will cease to exist. This is the daily anxiety that clock mechanic, Danny Hart, finds himself under.

This was an utterly thrilling and original story that had great individuality, world-building and plot. The characters, especially main character Danny Hart, felt real and were memorable, and the twists and turns the story took the reader on were unprecedented.

Despite this, there was a little too much focus paid to the romantic aspects of the plot, and I felt these sections elongated with declarations of romantic intent and descriptions of burgeoning feelings. I found the budding relationship incredibley sweet, but I would have preferred the primary focus of the plot to eventually shift away from these aspects and back onto the plight of the people. The plot lines did converge and the romance had a place in the story, but, for me, I didn't fully gel with the prominence of it.

This was the only negative I could muster concerning this innovative book, but, alas, it was a major one for me, making this not exactly suited to my preferences.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews842 followers
October 11, 2016
5 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Genre: AU, fantasy, YA, queers
Stuff: clock towers and their spirits, mechanics, time itself, gays
Fail: rushed romance, weak logic
WOW: main idea, Danny's character
POV: 3rd person, male
Love-Geometry: none

"Time is the language of all things."

Maybe my expectations were too high, but the story did disappoint me.

We have a world which is literally running on time. There are clock-towers, each creates its own time area, and if the tower is broken or something its area gets stopped, and people who were within are trapped forever or until the mechanism is fixed, which is impossible 'cause no one can enter the stopped zone. We also have mechanics aka Timekeepers, people who try to prevent time from stopping, people who repair clock-towers 'cause they can feel the time itself and manipulate it a bit.

Our MC's name is Danny or Daniel Hart, he's living in London and already not an apprentice but a full mechanic. His father is trapped in one of the Stopped cities, he himself has been in an accident not a long time ago, but has managed to get out and save another town from being frozen. The Lead is worrying about Danny and try not to push him hard. Instead, he sends him in Enfield to fix its tower which had to be easy and smooth. And it was, even with Daniel being under pressure and afraid of repeating his recent experience again. But the thing is, the tower keeps having problems and Danny is going there way to often. Why? The clock spirit fell for the new mechanic and wants him around. This is how our story starts.

You're up to mysterious bombing, people's protests, first and forbidden love, gay cuteness and stuff. And an alternative Victorian London with telephones, cars and queers being free to be themselves. Alas, it didn't work for me. At all.

First of all, I couldn't grasp the soul of the picture, couldn't feel the atmosphere. There were to many liberties for the world to stay true to Victorian era and too little unique details to become something more and alive. That could be any epoch with the same nuances the author explained in the end of the book.

The world-building is interesting, but raw. I like the idea of time being very essential for people to live and the live itself to be normal, but there are weird threads in this network. When cities are Stopped they supposed to be frozen in time and at first it seem like that, but then we see that people can chat, move and do something inside a damaged territory. For them time flows differently, but it flows. But what about the meaning of the word 'stopped'? These areas called Stopped, not Slowed. So this circumstances look like a plot-tool. It was handy for the final.

I have no idea why people were protesting against mechanics and clock-towers. They wanted to get rid of both and time to be free, but how did they imagine the process? They knew that without towers their time-zones would just stop, they knew that mechanics just fix the towers and not try to change the pacing of time. Why rocking the boat everyone's in?

The romance was very rushed. It's not a slow-burn, it's not a well-developed and nicely warmed-up thing. It's instalove with a few anticlimactic love-interactions. As if the author had no patience and lost it every time her MCs were around each other. Even the forbidden vibe couldn't help the deal. I didn't felt nothing.

Clock spirits are interesting creatures, but we know nothing about their appearance. Why do they look like humans? And feel like them? And have the same desires? Why do they have almost real bodies?

The characters weren't fleshed-out properly. Only Danny as the teller of the story had something on his pockets, but that's not enough.

There were things I did like, though. Otherwise, I would'd give the book 5 stars.

The detective line was nice. Canonical, but reasonable. I liked how the author represented Danial's relationship with his mother, her grief and their problems. Same about Danny's post-traumatic syndrome. It looked believable.

Yeah, unfortunately, that's it.

All in all, I don't even know whether I'll continue with the series or not. The final was good enough to consider the book as a standalone with a happy ending.

*** Thanks to NetGalley and Sky Pony Press for opportunity to read this book early! ***

Timekeeper (Хранитель времени):
Timekeeper (Хранитель времени) #1/3
— Untitled (Без названия) 2/3
— Untitled (Без названия) #3/3
Profile Image for ✦BookishlyRichie✦.
641 reviews1,036 followers
November 24, 2016
2 STARS!!!

I’m feeling really disappointed as I’m writing this review. I was really hoping that I would love the hell out of this book. It’s LGBT, it takes place in an alternate Victorian era, and it had a sliver of a mystery thrown into it. But sadly it was B-O-R-I-N-G. I enjoyed the romance between Danny and Colton, but the story kept dragging on and on and on and nothing seemed to be picking up until about 300 pages in and that is not a good thing. I liked the story surrounding clock spirits and there were tiny bits of this book that I did like, I will say that. I’d also never read anything to do with steampunk before and so this was my introduction to that too and I’m now more interested in that sub-genre and will be checking it out.

I was truly hoping that the “mystery” in this would save it for me (because you all know I love my Victorian era mysteries) mysterious clock tower bombings in an alternate Victorian era? It sounded awesome as hell but in the end it fell flat and though I really wanted to, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the entire book and sadly I won’t be carrying on with the trilogy. If you’ve been wanting to check it out I’d say borrow it from the library and then decide if you want to buy a copy or not.

I was sent a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Sky Pony Press. All thoughts are my damn own. :-) - Richard
Profile Image for Sara (sarawithoutanH).
512 reviews3,459 followers
May 1, 2019
Actual Rating: 3.5/5

This concept of this book was extremely interesting! The first half definitely had me hooked. The writing in the second half seemed to get a bit more frantic and disconnected so I lost interest a bit, but overall I'd say this was a very creative and unique YA book. I'm not sure what genre I'd classify it as because it's not really fantasy and it kind of has a Victorian steampunk vibe but doesn't really fit into any genre entirely. I'm not sure if I'll keep reading this series but it's definitely a possibility.
Profile Image for Andrea Belfiori.
125 reviews968 followers
August 19, 2020
Un fantasy originale e con una storia d'amore estremamente tenera. L'atmosfera e l'ambientazione vittoriana del romanzo è affascinante ma non mi ha convinto al 100% perché la storia è un po' lenta, si concentra troppo sulla storia d'amore e mi aspettavo un po' di più dalla soluzione delle varie vicende.

Livello di inglese: intermedio.
Profile Image for Heidi Heilig.
Author 9 books1,324 followers
June 21, 2016
TIMEKEEPER is rich with mystery, myth, and magic, not to mention a glorious romance.

The characters carry broken hearts and broken promises as they try to solve the central mystery: who has been trying to destroy time itself? Each character is lovingly crafted, leaping off the page. And again, the pacing is masterful, with deep meaning to the piece. I adored this book!
Profile Image for Marianne Moresco.
Author 1 book158 followers
November 17, 2017
4.5 / 5 stars.

One of the best lgbtqai+ books I've ever read. Why? Because TimeKeeper is complete .
Too often lgbtqai+ books feel like they're just scratching the surface, underlining too much the romance side and giving barely a thought about everything else | plot-wise, secondary characters-wise and worldbuilding-wise |. Tara Sim touches everyhing here: world, friendship, family problems, and weaves a great plotline that keeps you engaged from the start til the end.
Lgbtqai+ characters and people are real, therefore they deserve, they're owed full, rich, deep and complete stories, and this is one of those cases.
So happy I finally read it.

Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,725 reviews865 followers
December 20, 2016
Timekeeper was one of those books that is just so much fun and so easy to fall in love with that you don’t want to have to actually think about dissecting it for a review. I know that if I were to put on my more critical eyes and reread this story I would be able to pluck out a few things to complain about but, at this moment, I’m sitting here and beaming because I fell in love with these characters and this world too much to complain.

The characters were just so perfect. Danny, our protagonist, was written so incredibly well. His anxiety and PTSD - following an accident which nearly caused his death - was portrayed perfectly. He was raw and rough at the edges but it made him such a real character in my eyes. I loved that he had a hidden strength inside him that we got to see develop across the story and that his struggles (especially because he was also grieving the loss of his father) were also given proper attention. He really came to believe in himself by the end of the story and well-written character growth/development is my favourite thing of all time (so that made me super happy)! Danny’s short fuse did irritate me a little at times though. He made some impulsive decisions on a few occasion that made me shake my head but I was simultaneously pleased that he flawed enough to give him depth as a character.

Colton was such a little cinnamon roll. If you love August from This Savage Song, you’ll love Colton all the same! They both have this magical quality to them - after all, Colton is a clock spirit - but he still managed to have this wholesome human side to him as well. I loved that Colton was a little naive and uncertain at times. It was realistic that he didn’t have a big, vibrant or dominating personality seeing that he had lived by himself for a very long time and had never even left his tower before/experienced life beyond its borders. I love his thirst for knowledge and stories and that that he also had this slightly alarming, primal side to him as well (like we saw when he got jealous). It reminded us that we could never quite forget that he wasn’t quite human.

Both the platonic and romantic relationships in this book were handled so well. Danny’s relationship with Cassie was on point. I always love seeing a believable f/m best friendship with no hints of romance. Cassie was so supportive of Danny and, as a whole, she was quite a lovely addition to the story’s cast. I hope she gets even more of a spotlight in the sequel. The romance was also just…

Colton and Danny were literally the most adorable little things! The development of the relationship was perfectly paced but I also loved seeing their struggles, as cruel as that sounds. Colton’s nature as a clock spirit came with a lot of difficulties and they both had to compromise to make their relationship work. It was nice to see them both work through their problems and I cannot wait to see how it is going to fair in the sequel.

The storyline was just fascinating. It's based on the premise that time itself is tied to physical clock towers. Time can be fractured, twisted, manipulated and even Stopped if you tamper with your local clock tower, meaning that if you were to steal a numeral from a clock face that hour would actually go ‘missing’ in time too - as in, time would skip from one o’clock to three o’clock if you stole the two. I don’t know about you but I have never read a concept like this before. I found it absolutely fascinating! I loved that it intertwined with this new mythological lore and that, as a result, time always played a monumental role in shaping English culture. Exploring this world was so illuminating and enthralling. I was hungry for answers so the fact that our protagonist, Danny, was a clock mechanic (which allowed us to explore the clocks further) worked perfectly. There was never a moment where I was bored or lost. I was completely glued to my seat, flipping through this story with ease. It was a definite page-turner.

The one thing that I think could have been improved upon is the time setting. The Victorian era is a rich period of history and somehow this story didn’t quite capture its atmosphere like I would have hoped. What the author said in the author's note was perfect and solved so many queries I had but at the same time, I think this story may have worked better if it had been set in a fantasy world that drew inspiration from the Victorian era instead. Some of the liberties the author had to take were just a little too far-fetched and combined with the fact that this story had magical creatures of a sort - clock spirits - it just would have made more sense for the story to have a unique world as its setting.


This was such a fun and delightful read. It was gritty and raw at the same time as being entertaining and feel-inducing. I loved all of the characters and the plotline. I struggled with some aspects of the world-building but as a whole, I’m thoroughly impressed with Sim’s storytelling. For a debut author, she has so much potential and I hope to see more works of her out soon - both within this world and outside.

Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
October 30, 2016
I'm on a great book roll.



Imagine an alternate history where every Victorian city and town have clocktowers to regulate the flow of time. Now add a hefty dollop of adorable and heart-wrenching romance, lots of explosions, and a badass lady mechanic. THERE YOU GO. THAT'S THIS.

Danny is broody and moody and kinda prickly and Colton is a cinnamon roll ghost and I did lots of *squishy-hands* and bosom-clutching. There are A LOT of collarbone shout-outs and as a huge fan of collarbones, this was a major bonus. (They're super erotic and adorable and vulnerable all at the same time, leave me alone.)

I'm curious as to where the rest of the trilogy will go.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,736 reviews710 followers
October 23, 2016
I had heard about this on Twitter and loved the premise, so I was quite excited to start.

I loved Danny and Colton. Their relationship was adorable and I really enjoyed the scenes with the two of them. Cassie was also quite awesome and I hope we get to see more of her.

Hands down, the best part of this story is the world building. I love the idea of clock spirits and London is my favorite place in the world, so I was half in love with the book before I even started.

There were a couple of sections that were a bit slow and some scenes that felt repetitive, but overall it was intriguing and captivating. I'll definitely be reading the next book.

**Huge thanks to Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Aleksandra.
1,458 reviews
January 15, 2017
Unfortunately, this book and I couldn't get along. I was bored and annoyed with the story. I was indifferent to both the characters and the plot, I couldn't relate to anyone and, honestly, I didn't care about them. I'm relieved to be done with the book.

The only reason I'm not giving this book 2 star rating is because I support genre novels with lgbt+ protagonists where the story isn't focused on their sexuality. Timekeeper is steam-punk novel set in alternative Victorian England and our main buddy Danny is gay. I support this and thus 3 star rating.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,221 reviews1,559 followers
November 7, 2016
Seventeen year old Danny Hart is the youngest clock mechanic and he knows all too well what is at stake when he's sent to repair a clock tower that has been damaged. Danny's father has been trapped for the last three years in a town with a clock tower that was destroyed stopping the time within the town so that no one can cross in or out.

When Danny is sent to Enfield to fix the tower he finds that it seems to be forever plagued by more and more problems. What Danny finds is that the boy that he thought was his new apprentice has actually been the spirit of the clock tower that likes having Danny around so he's been causing his own problems with his tower. Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden but he finds himself more and more drawn to Enfield and when a series of bombings start happening at other towers Danny vows to protect Enfield's tower.

The first book in the new Timekeeper series takes place in a sort of alternate Victorian era London and surrounding cities where these clock towers control the cities and time. One of the things I found with this book is I had a bit of trouble grasping the world in which the author was trying to create. This is taking place in the late 1800's in and near London but the characters have access to things like automobiles and telephones which seemed a bit weird to me. For me I think I would have preferred a new fantasy city/world being created instead of a known city and time so that it didn't seem that things weren't fitting the era. While I understood the idea it just kept seeming a bit off to try to remember the time and setting and mix it into a fantasy.

I did however enjoy the plot and the characters in this one with one exception. The idea of a stopped city was also a bit off with the description given when the characters actually encountered one themselves. Supposedly time stops within which would seem like nothing could occur but that wasn't what was actually happening so that seemed an odd term to me. I kept thinking shouldn't we just be referring to it as a broken city or something along that line where time is off and the characters can't escape.

In the end I decided on 3.5 stars for this first book of the series. Even with the little details I've mentioned though this was still an interesting start to this series and I would continue to see what happens in the later books.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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Profile Image for JohnnyBoy.
141 reviews64 followers
January 3, 2017
4 fabulous stars!

This was such a unique and original story-line; it was cute, charming, fabulous and refreshing. What a great way to start off my reading year! Throughout the 408 pages there wasn't a single dull moment which kept me soo engaged! The plot was fast paced and the writing style flowed really well and was very light and easy to understand. Regarding character development i am a bit unsatisfied :/ if it had more it would have def been one of those character driven books (like the TRC series which omg my love!) but nevertheless it was great! The romance was nice and subtle not rushed whatsoever and soo cute! I soo loved that; there were moments i was soo endeared <3 and the theme of friendship was strong which i also love in stories! I am really hoping we get to see more of that in the next books! The end was indeed satisfying not a huge cliffhanger but still leaves you wondering which is good! I went into this book thinking there was time travel involved but nope unfortunately.. I recommend this to everyone even the non fantasy readers coz the fantasy elements are very light and not overwhelming! Also - if you're in a reading slump this story will take you out of it ;)
Big happy sigh you guys! :)
Profile Image for Max Francis.
Author 9 books299 followers
Want to read
March 22, 2016

Profile Image for Kerri.
Author 14 books25.3k followers
August 9, 2016
Holy wow. This has become one of my new favorites in historical fiction. Fantastic romance, thrilling mystery, and infinitely readable. Tara Sim has come out with Victorian clockwork-guns blazing in this marvelous 2016 debut. I loved it so much that I pre-ordered a copy! I cannot wait for it to sit permanently on my shelves. Add this TIMEKEEPER immediately! I promise you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Shan( Shans_Shelves) &#x1f49c;.
949 reviews82 followers
November 2, 2017
It honestly hurts to write this review because I actually liked our main character Danny and I loved his love interest Colton. However their romance wasn't enough to keep me entertained. With 414 pages this shouldn't have been Insta love. Even though I didn't mind their interactions they didn't get nearly enough page time.

This book was just so boring. I read 76% and then skimmed to the end because I just couldn't do it.

I'm sad because I hate to rate LGBTQIAP+ books lower. Especially ones with good representation and healthy relationships. I honestly loved Danny and Colton. I loved that Danny was gay and Colton Pansexual but it just wasn't enough. I was bored to tears.

The idea that the Victorian era meets Greek mythology was good and I liked the sort of happy ending. I may or may not read the sequel. I'm gonna wait for reviews and see if the second one has more action!
Profile Image for CW ✨.
669 reviews1,712 followers
June 11, 2020
One of the most unique stories I've read! The romance was adorable and I loved the fresh spin on Time.

- The worldbuilding was fantastic - something I had never read or seen before, and I loved it. I LOVED the idea of clock spirits and how towns are so dependent on Time. It was magical.
- I really loved Danny and Cassie; they were such lovely characters. I liked Colton too - he was such a precious boy but I felt like his characterization was lacking a wee bit.
- The story was fascinating and I was hooked! When it transformed into a mystery, I was compelled and engaged.
- The audiobook was fantastic. The British accents were so fun, and the narrator did a fantastic job at capturing the era.
Profile Image for Cody Roecker.
843 reviews
Want to read
March 13, 2016
Profile Image for Maria.
588 reviews131 followers
December 17, 2018
Yet again, a good concept ruined by a mediocre execution. What a shame.

This book is set in an alternate version of Victorian London, blurbed by Victoria Schwab and is a favorite of someone whom I trust. Here we go.
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