C.G. Drews's Reviews > Timekeeper

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
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's review
Nov 05, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, historical-fiction, young-adult, steampunk, read-2016, ya-male-narrators

Oh this was magical and adorable and I REALLY LIKED IT. Which I'm really really happy about because it's my first steampunk experience that I can flail over! Usually, someone says "steampunk!" and I say "eh" like the eloquent turtle fish I am. But this?! It kicked me in the feels AND it had fantastic characters and THINGS EXPLODED.

I'm so loving this. #ExplosionsFTW

It's set in an alternate reality England, so there is tea and scones. Nice. I cautiously admit I could tell the author wasn't British, but at the same time it wasn't GLARINGLY obviously (like in other books *cough*Lock & Mori*cough*) so I still got the old Victorian vibe quite nicely. Plus tea.

Also CLOCKS?! I LOVE CLOCKS. I'm actually kind of obsessed with time so (yes I'm the person who knows when it's 2:32 because that is a huge difference to 2:30, of course, you mulberry) and the fact that there were clock spirits, so basically TIME PERSONIFIED INTO ADORABLE CINNAMON TRAGIC ROLLS just so won me over. Tragic ghosts/spirit characters are my thing. Darlings that need protection.

And the characters were AMAZING. Can we talk about Danny?! First off: he's adorable. Second off: he has anxiety and PTSD and so much baggage and nightmares and he saved the world once but also lost a bit of himself in the process and he's hURTING. And just: precious child. He's a clock mechanic. Which means, he can...fix clocks? IDEK. There's magic involved, okay. He senses time and can fix it and etc. (Code for: I actually am not sure. But whatever. I am the mulberry.) He also has a horrible piece of junk car that he loves but also hates and I like this relationship.

Plus he has an epic best friend, named Cassie, who is a mechanic, and supports Danny no matter what and PRECIOUS FRIENDSHIP GOALS.

And can we talk about the clock now? Dear dear Colton. I LOVED COLTON. He had a bit of a "childlike" thing going on, despite being, well, A CLOCK. Because he didn't know much about the world. But he's just so adorable and I loved his and Danny's relationship. No instalove! And they were both so tragic so that ajfkdlasd I just shipped it very very much. I also love these kind of doomed/forbidden romances...aka it's forbidden because mechanics + clock spirits = illegal to where Danny works. And it's doomed because WELL COLTON IS A CLOCK AND CAN'T LEAVE HIS TOWER AND ALSO CAN'T EAT CAKE SO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP IS HEADED FOR THE ROCKS EVENTUALLY. But #shipping. It was such a well written romance.

Also the romance WASN'T the sole point of the book! We have a mystery about bombs and we have towns that have Stopped with people trapped inside without time! There's Greek mythology stuff going down. Danny deals (or doesn't deal, as the case may be) with severe mental illness.


Okay okay I do have a few vague negatives. Just to be Debby Downer:
• It was like 90% via Danny's POV but then it'd switch over to a secondary character. This ALWAYS jolted me and I didn't like it. I prefer when books have consistently one POV or consistently multiple.
• It also like had this Greek mythology snippets going on???? About Aetas who started the whole magical clock thing. So OKAY. JUST DON'T CARE IS ALL. I just wanted Danny and Colon. #mybad
• I also did think it dragged in a few places. Particularly in the middle.

Also this would make a GREAT movie. Like the Hugo Cabret movie?!? (Or the The Invention of Hugo Cabret book I suppose.) SO MUCH CLOCKWORKS AND COGS AND EPIC DAPPER SUITS AND JUST YAAAAAS. MOVIE.

ALL IN ALL: I really enjoyed this one! It was different from what I usually read. But it just combined sooo many things I love (aka explosions + tragic ghosts) and I loved the accurate anxiety representation. Plus an engaging plot with mystery and high stakes = VERY PLEASED. Who doesn't like it when clocks have opinons and like to kiss people and read fairy tales? I like. And just Danny/Colton were PRECIOUS. Bless this book.

This wasn't a simple matter of a clock falling to bits; otherwise, the numeral would have been found by now. No, this was far more complicated. This was an act of burglary or vandalism.
Stolen. An entire hour taken like it was the last piece of cake on a neglected platter.

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.

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Reading Progress

December 22, 2015 – Shelved
December 22, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
November 5, 2016 – Started Reading
November 5, 2016 –
8.0% "Danny is too precious for this world.\nBUT HOW ARE THEY JUST LOSING HOURS?? Someone get a kiddie leash for the clock, perhaps?"
November 5, 2016 –
52.0% "Oooh it has GHOSTY/SPIRIT CHARACTERS. I have far too much affection for these. <3"
November 5, 2016 –
80.0% "I have a sudden urge to fALL IN LOVE WITH A CLOCK."
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: 4-star
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: steampunk
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
November 5, 2016 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Fatima I just love your reviews. I'm super excited to read this one now!

message 2: by Tandie (new)

Tandie Maybe I'll try this. I'm kind of MEH about steampunk. I've never actually made it past the 20% mark. Could this be my game changer?

C.G. Drews @Fatima: Thankyou!! That is really encouraging to hear. <3 I hope you like it.

message 4: by Lakshmi (new) - added it

Lakshmi C Awesome review, Immortal Dragon Queen :)

C.G. Drews @Lakshmi: omg thankyou!!

message 6: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine Great Review! I was really on the fence about this one but you've convinced me. Looks like it ticks all the right boxes.

C.G. Drews @Christine: It certainly does TICK all the right boxes. (Because tick tock?? clocks?? HAHAH PUNNY.)
(ahem yes I'll stop now.)

message 8: by Wayong (new) - added it

Wayong Great review! Your enthusiasm along w/ objective & subjective critique evokes a full experience of Timekeeper. Thus, your review draws people (i.e. me) to want to dive into this world.

On a personal aside, I adore steampunkish novels (& not just putting gears on it & calling it steampunk) but it's often an add-on & the steampunk element isn't integrated.

Some of my fave book series are Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles (which also incorporates multi-cultural fairytale characters), Reeve's Hungry City series, Stephenson's Anathem, Garth Nix's Abhorsen/Old City series & Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy (esp. the biotech-punk element).

Have you read any of the books above? I highly recommend them. With the exception of Anathem, the rest are YA novels but they are more crossover books (for ages 15 plus ((well, the Leviathan books would be OK for ages 12 plus)) BUT they don't have any romance elements ((even Lunar Chronicles, which does have romance, it's related to the fairytales, it's not instalove & that piece is minimal & downplayed)).

Anyway, thanks for your review. I'm looking forward to reading Timekeeper. Btw, I'm going to start following your reviews. I don't write reviews very often, but I frequently check Goodreads for release dates & mostly read people whom I follow's reviews. :-)

message 9: by Wayong (new) - added it

Wayong Btw, I'm friends w/Brian Selznick (who wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabaret). I used to live in NYC & we are part of the alternative puppetry community.

I'm very proud of Brian; I can't think of someone who's more deserving of success; he's not only very talented, he is also one of the kindest people I have known...

message 10: by Tandie (new)

Tandie There's an alternative puppetry community?

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