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Timekeeper #2


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Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he's being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn't Stopped yet. He'd hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he'd have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he's asked to investigate the attacks.

After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path--one from which they may never return.

473 pages, Hardcover

First published January 2, 2018

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About the author

Tara Sim

19 books1,205 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 393 reviews
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
905 reviews275 followers
January 19, 2019
Be prepared, I'm about to gush. This is probably the most underrated Young Adult/Teen series of the last 5 years. I am so disappointed every time I see how few people have read Tara Sim's Timekeeper series. Not only does this series have a cool time premise, but it also features a male hero who is gay. And oh my goodness is his boyfriend just the best!

No Second Book Syndrome
Generally in most trilogy series (especially fantasy) there is second book syndrome that happens. It's when the book is really just a stepping stone from book 1 to book 3. Second books tend to have little real action, no true climax curve and end on a cliffhanger. And while there is a cliffhanger in Chainbreaker, there is no way you can say nothing happens or that there isn't enough action. In fact there might be more action and events happening in Chainbreaker than in Timekeeper.

NOTE: Spoilers for book 1 are below! You're been warned!

Diverse Depth
There are so many topics Sim tackles in Chainbreaker; the most prevalent being the relationship between our lead hero Danny and his yummy (if I do say so myself) time spirit boyfriend. We are lucky enough in Chainbreaker to see the world from multiple points of view including that of the time spirits and other stakeholders around Danny.
Chainbreaker takes on politics (not unlike London's political climate today), racism (towards India's population), homosexuality and even the dynamic of having a best friend or colleague that are the opposite gender of you. For an easy to read, fairly fun series, it really does tackle a lot of every day realities that teens are living and breathing. The average adult reader might find there's nothing special about some of these comments or moments; but if I imagine myself as a teen I feel there is a lot of nuggets of information to be gained just by reading the story. Most important is these tidbits of social culture and tactics to use are not lectured but subtly placed in a way that people will consume them without even realizing they've consumed an ideal or perspective. It helps that more than half the book takes place in India (which our author knows well and portrays honestly).

I know my book 1 review rants and raves about the time construct in this series but I just have to bring it up again. As Sim progresses in the story of book 2 we learn a lot more about how time got set-up the way it is and why. Without giving away any spoilers let me just say that it's beautifully constructed and I adore the worldly span that we are given in regards to how time passes on Earth.

Male Lead
A lot of young adult books these days are female leads who went from being no one to being a 'chosen one'. This past holiday I was searching for a new series for my 13-year-old nephew and I realized how few teen books have a male lead AND aren't just about a boy falling in love with some fancy girl. It's so refreshing to have our lead boy in love with another boy in the Timekeeper series. Additionally there isn't a lot of macho crap (like Maze Runner) or wooing the 'princess' type concepts here. Instead Sim gives us an average boy who is good at his job and falls in love with a spirit that complicates his life. There's such a genuineness to the core story that I can easily relate to and I feel will reverberate down the age groups. I also like that because we jump perspectives enough (and Danny isn't an annoying macho hero) this is a book that both girls and boys, men and women will equally enjoy because it has enough diversity and changing points of view. But even if we stayed with Danny 80% of the time he's such a well-built, realistic character that I believe anyone could find a way to relate to him.

I won't hide that there is a good chunk of romance and yearning in this middle book; but I wasn't annoyed by it and so I can confidently say there is a lot of action and plot that happens throughout so I don't think it's overwhelming (like some recent teen books).
Truly this is an underrated series that I'd love to see get a lot more attention!
Profile Image for Emily.
Author 10 books974 followers
September 29, 2017
Tara is the devil, and this book is DEVILISHLY GOOD. 😈😈😈
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews701 followers
December 2, 2017
I was super excited about this book. I had really enjoyed the previous one, so I couldn’t wait to get back into this world.

One of the best parts of the first book for me was the relationship between Danny and Colton. This story has them separated for nearly the entire book. And while we get to learn about Colton’s backstory {which was super awesome}, I wasn’t captivated by either of the separate threads.

Plot wise, there’s a lot going on and yet it felt like nothing was happening at the same time. I was bored for a while and honestly thought about DNFing. When it got to about 80%, it really started to pick up and I was intrigued to see what was going to happen.

Overall, it was an interesting enough story to keep me reading and it had a good ending, but I didn’t see the spark that everyone else did. However, I’m definitely interested in the next book.

**Huge thanks to Sky Pony Press for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Sandra (LadyGrey Reads).
591 reviews91 followers
July 15, 2018
Magic, he thought, conjuring the image of Colton wreathed in golden threads, is not rational.

After the events of Timekeeper, Danny Hart has become the permanent Mechanic for the Enfield Tower - which allows him to spend most of his time with Colton, who has now become an individual that all of Enfield know and love. Soon, however, black clouds appear on the horizon - both at home and at work. Danny has no idea how he's going to tell his newly returned father that he is gay and finds a way to escape that; by accepting an assignment in India, where clock towers have been bombed but time has not stopped. The assignment does, however, mean leaving Colton behind - and once in India, it slowly becomes apparent that things are not as simple as Danny and co-worker Daphne hoped they would be.

Danny acts as an individual that constantly questions right and wrong, such as the British treatment of the Indian population (there are a lot of realism here, so if you do not know a lot about the colonial history of Britain-India, this book will teach you some stuff), as well as the right and wrong of his own relationship with a clock spirit. And it is brilliant, because as a reader you find yourself pondering the same things - and it pulls you deeper into the story. Adding the perspective of Daphne, you get even more complications as she has Indian blood but is too pale to be considered Indian by the soldiers the two mechanics end up living with.

At the same time you also get to find out more about Colton's past as he starts to have strange flashbacks of his life before he became a clock spirit - and you realize there's a lot of things that have been covered up and forgotten. Something that Danny also figures out when he encounters the people responsible for blowing up the clock towers. A lot of things that need to be explained in the next book in this regard!

I did feel that there were quite a few segments that stretched and lagged a bit, which is why I cannot give this a full 5 stars, but at the same time the more action packed chapters were brilliant - and THAT ENDING!
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,240 reviews385 followers
March 31, 2021

I loved the choice to move the setting to India; it's a beautiful country and the examination of colonialism brought the historical aspect into a stronger light than in the first book. Daphne's storyline was brilliantly handled, and the longing between Colton and Danny... ugh <3 Gary Furlong's narration was stellar once again; I swear he was reading in slow motion by the end.

The world-building and overall plot continue to annihilate my expectations; I thought I had a decent grip on things after the first book, but this took it to a whole new level in terms of what's possible with regard to the clock towers. Mind blown.
Profile Image for Christy.
1,505 reviews258 followers
September 11, 2018
I loved:
1. The rich & diverse set of characters & settings
2. Colton, being so brave!
3. “Time shivered”
4. Getting answers in book 2! (Like for real why can’t this happen more often)
5. Everything go buy this book right now
Profile Image for K. Wolf.
Author 3 books28 followers
November 22, 2017
(When does the next one come out again?!? DAMN THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK.)
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,033 reviews206 followers
January 28, 2020
I’m giving it a 4 and I really wish it was, but I think it’s more of a 3.5.

I only recently finished Timekeeper and while I was sure I wanted to continue the trilogy, I didn’t know when I was gonna read the rest. But my dearest friend Dini started reading this sequel and I couldn’t resist either.

I thought Timekeeper was a bit on the slow paced but this one felt a bit faster, with things happening a little more quickly. There are a few scenes in between when things slow down and I felt like I might be getting bored, but the writing quickly picked up and something exciting happened to pull me back into it. The author using multiple POVs and each arc having its own bit of mystery also helped in keeping me very engaged in the story and wanting to know what was going to happen next. I could definitely see a lot of improvement in the author’s writing from her debut and that’s awesome. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn the turn this story took, expanding its mythology in a way that promises to be even more vast in the finale and I did not see that coming.

I was actually very excited for this sequel before I even started the trilogy because I knew this was going to take place in colonial India and I wanted to know how the author captures that period in a fantasy. I have to say she really was very successful in bringing the world to life, showing us a bit about the life during those times and also exploring multiple cities like Meerut, Agra and Lucknow which I usually don’t find in many books, even those by authors living in India. We also get to see how intertwined the lives of the Brits and Indians, a result of more than a century of occupation - the locals loathe the British administration for their callousness and racism and every other atrocity that is committed, but they also depend on them for all basic amenities because that’s where the control lies; so the ordinary people have no option but to make the best out of a bad situation. I thought the author captured this dichotomy quite well.

Danny was a very sympathetic protagonist in Timekeeper but I seemed to have lost a little bit of love for him this time around. I still like him for wanting to protect the clock towers and save thousands of people from violence, but him taking almost every decision keeping Colton in mind infuriated me a little. I guess his almost obsessive love is understandable as a teenager but he is also responsible for a very important task, and I think he let his personal feelings affect his job much more this time around. Another point I had mixed feelings about was him trying to explain to an Indian boy that the occupation was wrong but rebels shouldn’t plan another mutiny because there were bad people on both sides and it would lead to more violence - I understand the sentiment and his good intentions, but I felt very uncomfortable with the way that whole arc played out in the story.

I loved that we got Colton’s POV in this book. He is also quite obsessive in his feelings for Danny, but I could understand that because he is a spirit and he really has no else he cares about. I was quite in awe of the kind of lengths he went to to get to Danny. But the best part of the book was definitely getting to know his origin story - that was a complete surprise and I’m still reeling from the implications of it all.

Daphne is another wonderful character and I loved getting to know her better. She is part Indian like the author herself and it was so interesting to see Daphne finally come to the country that her father belonged to, feeling different because she doesn’t look like any of the people around but still feeling some sort of connection to the land through her father. I also liked how determined she was in her job despite so much sexism (in various different forms) thrown her way - she is good at what she does and she won’t let anyone stop her. She is also such a kind soul, always having her friend’s back when they need her support.

Akash and Meena are siblings who are assigned to help Danny and Daphne and it was a joy meeting them. Meena is subjected to quite similar sexist attitudes because she is a mechanic as well, but she holds her head high and never backs down from any fight. Akash is a much more cheerful guy, always happy to help and maybe even flirt and just overall bring some light to the story. There are also a few British and Indian soldiers we meet and I liked that the author managed to give each of them a distinct voice and personality.

To conclude, I thought this sequel was a lot of fun and I definitely read it with much more enthusiasm than the previous book. The writing and plot is definitely more interesting this time around but there were just a few things that made me uncomfortable. However, if you liked Timekeeper, you should totally pick this up and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it a lot. If you haven’t read this series but would like to try a YA fantasy set in alternate Victorian England and colonial India with quite a bit of angsty forbidden romance thrown in, you should totally check this out. This sequel is the kind of book that despite my little mixed feelings, ends in such a wow cliffhanger that I know I can’t read anything else until I read the finale.
Profile Image for Pauline Fireheart.
337 reviews140 followers
March 11, 2018
3,5/5 stars

✮ Summary ✮

This is the second installment in the Timekeeper trilogy. Danny is now leaving in Enfield with Colton. The threat he received a few months back is still fresh on his mind when he’s asked to fly to India to investigate on fallen clock towers. Little does he know how dangerous this trip will be for him.

✮ Writing ✮

The writing style is eloquent and gripping. But I have one huge issue with this book: it is written from a third person limited point of view. This results in an annoying lack of depths to the characters. I can’t really care about them when they are so flat. They have so much potential especially Colton who’s a clock spirit. I would enjoy this books a lot more if it were written from an omniscient point of view.

✮ Characters ✮

I enjoy the development of the friendship between Daphné and Danny. I wish we could have gotten more about their relationship in this book.
The relationship between Danny and Colton has so much potential as well but it really needs more substance.
Colton is truly the highlight of this book. I am so happy that he got dedicated chapters. He took matters into his own hands and lived quite the adventure in this book. Plus, his ignorance of human ways is adorable.

✮ Plot ✮

The steampunk aspect of the story is less prominent in this book than it was in the first one. I love the Indian setting. I am not very well-versed in Indian culture so I really enjoy the few glimpses I got throughout this book. I also enjoyed the Greek Mythology element in the story.
The whole terrorist attacks intrigue is interesting and while reading the book I never knew who to trust or not. I was kept guessing, true, but at the same time the storyline didn’t feel really cohesive and I was often wondering where the author intended her story to go. There are still a lot of question that needs to be answered. Hopefully, everything will wrap-up nicely in the third book.

✮ Overall ✮

This is a good book but I wasn’t satisfied while reading it. Like I said many times in this short review, I kept wishing for more. Even the cliffhanger, in the end, left me unimpressed.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
707 reviews78 followers
July 28, 2018
Profile Image for Brigi.
662 reviews56 followers
November 10, 2022
Oh no, that ending was terrible... ufff I guess I need to start book 3 tomorrow.

I think this sequel really gave so much more depth to the story: the world building around time, Colton's backstory (horrifying), discussions on racism and colonialism and so on. I really enjoyed reading Daphne's pov and I like the new characters.

Rep: gay mc, mlm love interest, biracial British-Indian side character, Indian side characters, mlm side characters
Profile Image for Nicole M. Hewitt.
1,420 reviews283 followers
January 11, 2018
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Chainbreaker brings Sim’s magical steampunk worldbuilding to India, giving us a wider perspective on her imaginative world and sending us on a new and even more complicated adventure!

What Fed My Addiction:

Somehow I started 2018 with two books set in India, a locale I haven’t read much about before. I’ll sadly admit that I knew nothing about India’s history going into this book, so I loved getting some background on the difficult relationship between England and India at that time in history and social norms at the time. (Sim talks in her notes about the historical basis of the book and how she deviates from it for her own alternate steampunk version, which I really appreciated). The book doesn’t delve deeply into this history because that’s not the main thrust of the story, but it’s a great introduction to the subject.

Conflict that isn’t black and white.
Speaking of India, I especially loved how Danny ponders and questions the right and wrong of it all—who are the villains in his life story and who are the heroes? He asks himself this in relation to the rebellion and also in terms of the clock spirits. Danny has had to question his relationship with Colton all along—he knows that they could be putting a town in danger with their love and he has to live with that every day. There are people who are trying to “fix” time (and the situation in India), but are they truly helping? At what cost? Morality is complicated, and Danny has to figure out where he stands.

Colton’s backstory.
We get to learn about Colton’s backstory and origins in this book, and these scenes are fabulous!
Daphne’s cultural voice. In this second book, we get Daphne’s POV (in addition to Colton and Danny’s). Her biggest struggle is the fact that she feels both connected and disconnected to India. She has a deep curiosity about the country because of her Indian heritage, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs there or that she could be accepted there. Knowing that Tara Sim is, herself, half-Indian makes this aspect of the story all the more engaging an realistic.

What Left Me Hungry for More:
Less Colton and Danny (together).
Since Danny and Colton are separated for pretty much this entire book, we miss out on some of the magic of the romance between them. This book wasn’t quite as emotionally compelling for me as the first one was, and I can’t help but think that this might have had something to do with it. (Though it could also be because the “villains” in this story are less personal as well.) I never quite connected to Daphne the way I did Danny and Colton, so her chapters didn’t pull me in as much.

So, while this second installment didn’t quite live up to my adoration of the first, it was still definitely an engaging and exciting story. And Sim set us up for the next book so well that I’m itching to know where it’s all headed! I give this book 4/5 Stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~.
1,579 reviews103 followers
May 4, 2019
3.5 stars

This suffers from middle book syndrome. It takes awhile to get going and doesn't have the same sense of tension as the first book, and mostly exists to set up the last book. It does pick up in the last half, though.

Time needs to be managed in this world, because if it's not, it'll stop and towns trapped in these stopped zones all but seize to exist for those outside them. For hundreds of years, the clocktowers have managed time, but the secret of how has been lost. But now a clock tower has fallen in India - and time didn't stop.

I really liked seeing Daphne become a full fleshed-out character, but I did miss spending more time with Dany. Colton's POV was also quite refreshing and interesting. I can't quite decide if his decisions were convenient to the plot or in character though - perhaps it's both.

There are various threads going on here, and they're weaved liked the Fates at their loom. Things that happened in the previous book are expanded on here, and we get more info on how the clock spirits came to be and why. Even the villains aren't quite what they might seem at first - though their methods certainly leave a lot to be desired. The social commentary on England's occupation of India was interesting also.
Profile Image for Ekollon.
475 reviews44 followers
December 3, 2018
So, I don't have time to do a more complete review of this book that I will later, but I have two points that I'll leave right now:

1) Massive, overwhelming cliffhanger alert! Oh my wowzers! Cliffhanger!

2) I still really liked this book, despite the cliffhanger. I just wish that I'd known it was a cliffhanger so I could have waited until book 3 came out and I could have had it ready to read right after. CLIFFHANGER!


I'm getting so behind on my reviews it's absurd!

Ok, so I intensely liked this book. A lot. Despite the fact that it's a cliffhanger, which I would have kind of expected if I'd known it was the second book of three (I did not know this). I thought it was a lot better in quality than the first book and I adored the fact that we had steampunk going on in somewhere other than England (woot woot!). The romance factor of this book took a steep decline because Colton and Danny spent the overwhelming majority of the book separated doing their own things, but hopefully that will change again in the third book. Speaking of Colton, I liked him way better as a person in this book; he and I had issues in the first book. The supporting cast was also supper neat, and I loved that there was a lot of moral ambiguity going. Because I'm a pretty loyal person, I felt a strong pull to side with one...side...but I know it wasn't that simple, so I tried not to go with that. I'm hoping the third book can continue on with the shades of moral grey and not just dump us with "Oh, yes, one side was right all along and there was only the illusion of grey." I hate it when books do that. We shall see!
Profile Image for Mo.
620 reviews15 followers
January 23, 2019
I listened to the audiobook version of Timekeeper not that long ago, but decided to read it before starting Chainbreaker because the plot and characters were wonderfully complex and I didn't want to miss anything. Ha ha, the first book was just set-up! This series is brilliant, and I am completely in awe.
Profile Image for Christina (christinareads_).
101 reviews9 followers
December 22, 2017
Review also on Christina Reads and Blogs

I am so excited with this book! I loved Timekeeper, and I'm glad I was able to read Chainbreaker. There's so much more action, and we get to see a closer look into the lives of those in Danny's life. The plot is quick; I was racing at some parts to see what would happen next or who was behind everything. After becoming the permanent mechanic for Enfield, Danny Hart is able to spend more time with the clock spirit, Colton, and explore their relationship more. However, sudden attacks on the clock towers in India cut their time together short as Danny is sent off to investigate with Daphne, due to their experience with Stopped clocks. As Danny learns more, it seems that these attacks are leading up to something bigger and time is in danger. 

The action is non-stop! I think there were moments in Timekeeper where things went slow and you just kind of wanted the story to pick up. I find that happens a lot in the first book of a series, where the author is getting everyone in place. Well, here is where everyone is in that place and then runs around. The twists and surprises made me really want to know what would happen next. That ending... man, I'm going to be racing for the third book to see how it all plays out.

Danny and Colton are split up for a good part of this book. When Danny travels to India to assist with their clock towers, Colton is attacked and needs to figure out what to do. While I wasn't too keen on them not being together for a good part of the book, I did like the opportunity that the split gave in terms of learning about different characters. We got to see more Daphne! I didn't really like her in the last book, so seeing her history and getting to know more about her really helped me empathize with her. We also get to meet more characters in India, like Meena and Akash.

The change in scenery is awesome. We move away from London and get to see more of India, a country part of the British Empire but not without bad history. I like that the author explores this side and gives us a look into life here during this time. What if, as a British citizen, you started to sympathize with those who started a rebellion? I didn't know much about this country or the history before, but now I really need to pick up a book on it!

I love that we got to learn more about Colton's past. Yes, he has a past! We also got to learn more about clock spirits and their origins. As the story progressed, and as you basically took the information as Colton did, with uncertainty then clarity, you got to see how it all comes together. I still have a lot of questions I'm hoping the third book will explain in terms of time and how it is controlled, but this one really helped me understand more.

I'm a sucker for author's notes where they explain the history or the mythology they used. Tara Sim did this in Timekeeper, and she does it again with Chainbreaker. She includes the history of India during the time her story takes place and where she took liberties. I love it when authors do this, because it really shows how much they care about the history. Rather than just planting a plot in a random time period, she had obvious reasons for this and explained why. Great job!

There was a part near the end where I didn't really understand how time was moving. It wasn't because something was up with the clock tower or anything like that. It was just that events were happening, and suddenly two weeks had passed. It's hard to get a handle on the time span in this book. Maybe that's because of how much action is in it, and at some points I didn't even notice how long things were taking. I was only bothered when the author brought up the actual passage of time.

Chainbreaker is an interesting sequel to Timekeeper. After the note was sent to Danny at the end of Timekeeper, I assumed another book would be written, but I also thought it might have been a standalone. Chainbreaker adds so much to the plot and develops the idea of time and clock spirits so much more. Which is fantastic, because I think this idea is very creative. I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy. If you enjoyed Timekeeper, get ready for the fast-paced sequel.


ARC provided via Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for David .
622 reviews7 followers
February 17, 2020

There are so many aspects that this book has that didn't work for me at all. For intance, characters' choices (most of the decisions were kind of silly), environment, and the setting. The fact that the book was set in India was super cool; it became interesting to see this particular world set in such country, but what came to be was a tour around India. It focused a lot on the gastronomy, currency, locations, languages and religions, but not the Indian Timekeeper world as I wanted to.
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
885 reviews123 followers
October 14, 2021
4 Stars

This was another great book in the series!

I felt so bad for Danny, with everything he'd already been through and then also went through in this book. I also felt bad for Colton, whose backstory was interesting but sad. We got more about Daphne this time too (and her feelings about being in India as someone who is part Indian but disconnected from the culture), as well as a couple new characters, and I liked them all.

The most notable differences between this book and the first were that it was set mostly in India instead of England, Danny and Colton were separated (physically in distance, not broken up), and this one had more action and high-stakes conflict. Conflict that (as Nicole's review points out) wasn't black and white and had no easy right or wrong answer. I missed seeing Danny and Colton's sweet relationship and moments together, but I understood why the separation was part of the story, and I enjoyed Daphne's small bit of romance.

And of course I also liked the creativity of the time magic and clock spirits.

The audiobook narration by Gary Furlong was great again, natural with some emotion and different voices and accents that suited the characters.

Overall, this one had a little less romance, more action and conflict, and the same unique take on time, and I enjoyed it!

Trigger/Content Warnings: Here is the author's list of trigger/content warnings.

*Rating: 4 Stars // Read Date: 2020 // Format: Audiobook*

Recommended For:
Fans of Book 1 in Tara Sim's Timekeeper Series. Anyone who likes sweet romance, mystery, characters you can feel for, complex characters who aren't all good or bad, and series that get more intense and emotional as they go on. Anyone who wants to read a unique, magical take on time.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,439 followers
October 13, 2017
Expands on the universe created in Timekeeper, with new mythology, character development and international intrigue that really highlight Tara's talent for world-building. Chainbreaker combines factual historical research with a believable and original magic mythology to create a world that feels wholy real. With pacing and action running like clockwork, this is a startlingly unique series with a truly golden set of diverse characters.
Profile Image for Andrea Belfiori.
125 reviews970 followers
May 30, 2020
Idee davvero buone ma il libro comincia ad ingranare solo al 40% e in generale il ritmo è abbastanza lento. La storia però è davvero originale ma poteva essere sviluppata meglio. Purtroppo non continuerò la serie.
Profile Image for Danielle.
73 reviews60 followers
November 10, 2017
sh*t on a toast point.
actions, revelations, time magic... the perfect sequel.

frtc closer to release date and when i finished piecing back my heart...
Profile Image for Jennifer.
67 reviews16 followers
November 12, 2017
Oh hey it's 5:30am and WHY THAT CLIFFHANGER?

So happy to continue the journey with Danny and Colton but 😭 I now need book 3 immediately!!
Profile Image for TJ.
697 reviews53 followers
April 17, 2018
This book was alright, but I think it really suffered from separating Danny and Colton. Their relationship was the best and most interesting thing in Timekeeper, and I just wasn’t as interested in anything else here. I felt like the ending was rushed, and the cliffhanger ending was about what I expected. This one felt like complete setup for the third one. Not bad, but just alright, imo. 3.4/5 Stars.
Profile Image for Janani.
315 reviews72 followers
January 2, 2018
Review to come.

First published at The Shrinkette.

Thanks so much to Edelweiss and Sky Pony Press for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Plot: Danny Hart was hoping to settle into his life, what with his father returning and his relationship with Colton blossoming. But clocks have begun to fall in India yet time hasn't Stopped, so Danny's being sent to investigate, along with Daphne Richards, a fellow clock tower apprentice. The two of them travel to British-occupied India, and as their investigation proceeds, realize that occupation might be sparking a lot more than just attacks. Meanwhile, Colton's having strange dreams, and stumbles upon dark secrets from his past. Will both Danny and Colton survive the dangerous path upon which they've been thrust?

Timekeeper had been on my TBR for ages, so when I saw that Chainbreaker was available for immediate download on Edelweiss, I immediately scooped up a copy so that I'd have to read the first book, and I was immediately charmed by these characters. The first book did a great job with the world-building and character development, so I was eager to jump into Chainbreaker right after.

Whoa baby, talk about a gripping story. I absolutely devoured this one. It was really hard to put down and more often than not had me at the edge of my seat. Daphne, as I'd predicted for myself in book one, is absolutely one of my favorite characters. I'm always rooting for characters who are hardcore on the outside and soft on the inside. T

This book opens with a heart-breaking scene with Daphne and her mum, who following a scary breakdown, lives in an asylum (St. Agnes' Home for Women). Their relationship (or lack thereof) has a marked effect on Daphne. The scandal of her white English mum marrying her dad, the son of an English officer and an Indian woman, still weighs on their family. So, when Daphne is instructed to go to India with Danny to investigate the clock attacks there, she proceeds with a lot of hesitation. Tara does a really great job exploring Daphne's feelings as a biracial woman, especially considering the time period chosen for the book. Trying to feel some connection to a land that is part of her ancestry, but viewed with disdain by the locals as one who belongs with the English, Tara captures this complicated position really well, once again demonstrating her character development skills. 

Of course, who can forget our boys Danny and Colton? Danny, who puts his heart before everything else, and Colton, who puts Danny before everything else. The boys go through hell in this book, and learning more about Colton's past was intriguing, and I can't wait to see how things get tied up for these two in book three. 

Overall, I thought Tara once again did a great job modifying historical events to fit the narrative and the existent world she'd created in Timekeeper very well. I especially appreciated the author's note at the end, which did a great job outlining historical events as we know it, and how they'd been incorporated in the story. I really liked that it was a description of India that felt real and not fetishized, and the introduction of Meena and Akash lent itself well with no hint of white savior complexes from our English characters (or if there were any, were suitably challenged), for which I was immensely grateful. It can be a delicate position to talk about colonizers vs. the colonized, and Tara has done a fantastic job addressing that at various points in the story. It is a testament to her skills as a writer. 

There were some things I absolutely did not see coming, especially towards the end. Danny, Daphne, and Colton are racing against time and each other while it seems like everything around them is unraveling, keeping me at the edge of my seat at a godforsaken hour of the night because I just couldn't put it down without finding out where we were going to be left at the end of this book. Also, I'd like to point out that Tara is evil for messing with my feelings, and that's all I can say without giving anything away. Chainbreaker was an excellent follow-up to Timekeeper, Tara Sim continues to be a champion storyteller and world-builder, and I can't wait to see what happens in book three. 

Note: There were some minor transliteration errors and cricket terminology errors, but none that took away from the story or my enjoyment of the book in any way, shape or form.
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870 reviews220 followers
February 10, 2019
A copy of this novel was provided by Sky Pony Press for review via Edelweiss.

Even though Chainbreaker was released in the first few days of 2018 it was still one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Timekeeper is one of my favourite books so I was more than keen to see where Danny’s story took him. Also, I knew there were going to be Colton chapters in Chainbreaker so… YES.

Unlike in Timekeeper, Danny was not the only POV character in this book. There were three: Danny, Daphne, and Colton. I thought I would be sad missing out on so much time in Danny’s head, because I loved Timekeeper and that was from solely his perspective. But I ended up really enjoying both Daphne’s and Colton’s POV chapters, as well. They definitely added more to the story because each character was going through their own turmoil and their own arc.

Through Daphne and Colton’s chapters I learned a lot more about them, because even though they were important characters in Timekeeper they were introduced and living through Danny’s eyes. To know more about their history, their motivations, and their feelings was something I really enjoyed about Chainbreaker. I hope that their POVs are included in the next book because I would sorely miss them now!

Most of Chainbreaker occurs in India, and I found the descriptions lush and beautiful. Sim wrote India in 1876 so well that I felt like I was there. During the time of the book, India was British-occupied, and I think Sim handled the colonial themes incredibly respectfully. The discussions and conversations between characters were layered, and Danny confronted his own thoughts and privilege on multiple occasions. Additionally, I loved that the words in Urdu and Hindi weren’t written in italics. They were just included in the dialogue without any othering. I’m not sure if Firestarter will be set in India as well, but at this point I don’t much mind where the books are set because Sim introduces me to a new world with every book and I love it.

The only downfall of Chainbreaker was the loss of Danny and Colton together. I love these two so much but I had a feeling they wouldn’t be together much in this book. There seems to be a second book tradition of love interests being separated and Chainbreaker was no different. There were adorable references (mainly in Colton’s chapters) but that almost made me want them to be together more, instead of being happy to hear about their time together in Enfield. I JUST WANT MY BABIES HAPPILY TOGETHER.

Honestly, I don’t want to say too much more about Chainbreaker because so much happens and it’s better to leave it for you to discover. I’ll just say that it was an amazing sequel and I’m excited and scared for the last book in this series!

© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning: death themes, use of ableist language, reference to death via explosion, explosions, animal cruelty, murder (graphic), reference to homophobia/misia, reference to injury caused by explosion, terrorism, racism, colonial themes, mother in psychiatric hospital, reference to death of father, reference to murder of father (torture), reference to police brutality, riots, heavy army presence, airship collision/attack/accident, attempted abduction, abduction, and seemingly terminally ill sibling (never fully disclosed)
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