Author: Tara Sim
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Netgalley for review purposes.
When a clock becomes damaged, time is also damaged and when a clock is destroyed, time itself stops. Danny’s father’s last job was in a clock that was destroyed, and he is now stuck in a town where time has stopped. Danny’s obsession with saving his father has become a concern to his superiors who are reluctant to give him big jobs. So Danny ends up being assigned to Enfield, a clock tower that keeps falling apart. While in Enfield, Danny meets the clock tower’s spirit, who looks after time in Enfield and they are drawn together. However, when a series of bombing in clock towers threatens time, Danny rushes to protect those he cares about and to protect time itself.
Timekeeper is set in an alternative Victorian England that is more socially and technological advanced. Personally, I think the world building could have been done better. Due to the fact that Tara Sim created an alternative time period with cars and phones and other technological advances, it didn’t feel as though it was set in Victorian England. Ultimately, I think the setting could have been better as it wasn’t as atmospheric as I hoped it would be. I did enjoy the mythology surrounding the clock towers and their important to keeping the balance of time, and I thought that was an aspect of the world building that was done really well.
There were numerous topics that were covered and discussed in Timekeeper. Homosexuality was no longer punishable by law and Danny was openly gay, the position of women in society had changed and could also be clock mechanics, and Danny himself suffered from PTSD from a previous trauma.
I enjoyed the relationships Danny had with those around him. His relationship with his mother was an interesting one, and I loved his relationship with his best friend Cassie. His relationship with Colton, the clock spirit, was also interesting. He knew falling in love with a clock spirit was forbidden in his line of work because of the dangers it posed to time. The relationship was cute at times, as Colton was both endearing and annoying in Danny’s eyes but Colton would damage himself, and the town’s time to gain attention from Danny.
Overall, an interesting and original concept, and I enjoyed the steampunk elements. However, I felt like the setting and world building was lacking in places, but an enjoyable read.