Timekeeper by Tara SimTimekeeper by Tara Sim


byTara Sim

Hardcover | November 8, 2016

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Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Tara Sim can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area in California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Timekeeper is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website for fun Timekeeper extras.
Title:TimekeeperFormat:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 5.5 inPublished:November 8, 2016Publisher:Sky Pony PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1510706186

ISBN - 13:9781510706187


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderous!! Absolutely fantastic! Timekeeper has everything a good book should have plus even more! A teen/young adult fantasy story set in Victorian London based around time control (not travel but control) with a steampunk flavor. The best part is that our male main character is gay and has an adorable love interest. Everything about Tara Sim's Timekeeper is a check in the great column; but let me break some of it down for you. Setting With a backdrop like Victorian London it's hard not to feel like everything is gorgeous in so many ways. Add in steampunk elements, lots of clock towers, and steam powered 'autos' and you've got the beginnings of a beautiful place to visit. Even modern day London is known for its famous clock tower Big Ben. This clock tower is not only an important fixture in Sim's London (as in ours today) but Big Ben is also a bit of a character in and of himself. Plus, like all of our clock towers in this world, 'he' is essential to time moving correctly in London. A World of Time The lore says that time was once controlled by a god, Aetas; but at some time he left the world and time became 'controlled' by each area's clock tower. Now this is very important as the clock towers, if broken, damaged or destroyed, can change the perception of time to the areas people (ie: town, city, village, etc.). Without a functioning clock tower a town can become stopped. Suspended in time and stuck in an existence in which no one can enter or leave that area. Damaged clocks may cause time to skip around, move too fast or too slow, or just make residents feel uncomfortable. Obviously these towers are really important! Sim has taken the concept of time and twisted it about; but without having time travel or weird physics rules involved. And you might be thinking that it sounds odd. It is a little bit odd at first, but it is also elegant and the rules of time and the clocks that Sim sets up hold up right to the last page. In order to keep time on schedule and everyone synced up; London has a guild of clock mechanics who fix and maintain all the clock towers in England. And, of course, our main character is a member of this elite and essential group. Characters All the characters in Timekeeper are complex and interesting and that includes our main boy Danny. A gay, 17-year-old mechanic, with a father stuck in time and a grieving mother; life is pretty rough for Danny. Luckily he has a wonderful gal pal Cassie (an auto mechanic in her own right), a mentor and folks who are seemingly looking out for him. Now as wonderful as Danny is, and even though we experience the entire story from his perspective, the real star of the story is Colton, Danny's romantic interest. I can't say too much about Colton without spoiling anything except that he is a perfect 'blond bloke' and at times I wished I was a gay man that could fantasize about him in the same Danny does! This is one of the first, and only books with a leading male teen in which I thought the love story was gorgeous. It's set-up perfectly from the boys first encounter with one another, to the stories they tell each other, and the eventual strengths, weaknesses and fears they share. This relationship is poignant, bittersweet and perfect because it's imperfect. This is a romantic teen story I will be happy to visit over and over again. The icing on the cupcake is that it's a love story between two men. Plot There is a lot of plot happening in Timekeeper all at once, and yet it all connects. Sim does a great job of ensuring you are engaged in the plot via the characters (there is no plot for plot's sake). In all instances events that happen both affect our characters AND play a part in the overall plot. Just like a well written book should be. None of the teen genre cliches (where things are too convenient or you can't figure out why something happened) exist here. Everything is set-up to happen with a reason and with context so that no one thing feels out of place in the story. Timekeeper Needs More Exposure! Published by a smaller publishing house, Sky Pony Press, Tara Sim and her world need our help to make it big! This gem of a novel is not as well known due to it not being published with any of the major publishing houses. And I have to say, for me, that is maybe part of it's magic! It's always so nice to read great books from publishers that may not have the same resources to push their books to the top with money. Instead these books must reach the top audiences based on their merit. Overall Even if this wasn't a debut novel I would think it a wonderful read. But knowing that this is Tara Sim's debut novel makes it even more impressive in my opinion. The first in a series, Timekeeper can be read on it's own if you don't desire to carry forward. Although once you are immersed in this world I'll be surprised if you aren't dying for more of this steampunk world and it's quirky characters. All I can say is that if you like teen novels and want to read a diverse love story you will not go wrong with Timekeeper. Add in the gothic feel of Victorian steampunk London, time gone astray, and the sorrow (and love) of a teenage boy and I'll be surprised if you can put this beauty down. I'm dying to get the second book (which was just released this month, Jan 2018) and can't wait to read more of Tara Sim's stories. This is a book worth searching for, ordering and adding to your print collection. I know my copy will have a place of honor with Hunger Games, Graceling, Incarceron and other favourite teen fantasy/dystopian books in my library. I was offered a review copy of this book last year but was dumb and didn't read it in time. Last week I found and bought a beautiful trade paperback copy. I'm so glad I didn't leave it behind! I only regret that it took me a year to find and read Timekeeper. I could have read this beauty and held the story in my heart for a whole year sooner! Onto my permanent print shelf it goes awaiting the day when I get to read it again.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 4.5 *squeals covering mouth* Colton and Danny are SO FREAKING ADORABLE! I really enjoyed this world! the concepts of the clock and actual time being so intertwined was so cool and pretty simple at first but the problems it caused just kept developing with each page! Though this one insta-lovey, I actually really enjoyed it and kept rooting for Colton and Danny. I had a sinking suspicion who the villain/terrorist/betrayer was as SOON as he was introduced! I really felt for Danny...dude did not have a good few years and his mom was definitely not helping. The ending with her really did help me understand her and Danny's love for her though.
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute Steampunk Romance! I was really excited to read "Timekeeper" when I heard about it. I love the setting of Victorian England, and steampunk is a fun, intriguing bonus!!! And to top it all off, the central romance is LGBTQ+!!!!! YAY!!!! I enjoyed this book. I liked it, I really did. I just... I didn't find it too exciting. The idea behind the clock towers and their spirits is unique and I absolutely loved that. I like that Tara Sim wove new 'gods' into the world that fit in right along with the clock towers. It was a good book, don't get me wrong, it just didn't 'hook' me. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Maybe I'm too used to high-stakes, thrilling, nail-biting kind of books. The way Sim played with formatting when time was acting funny was nice! It reminded me of "And the Trees Crept In" by Dawn Kurtagich, though Sim didn't go quite to that extent... It definitely added something to the scene and cemented the off-ness the characters felt when time was warping. The romance between Danny and Colton was very sweet and it all happened very quickly!! I would have liked to have read more between them, both when they first met and when Danny went to visit him at the clock tower. I feel like their relationship wasn't really explored in depth. I hope to see the two connecting more, and getting more detail about that, in the sequel. Sometimes it almost felt like Sim was skimming over those bits! I really enjoyed the scene of the two of them dancing to the music outside. That!! I want more like that!!!
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Capiviating and delighful !!! <3 I had so much fun reading this book. It was everything I needed to read. The concept is truly amazing and I need my hands on the second one
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Neat concept. Liked the story and the original plot
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Wonderful, Captivating Start to a Trilogy Rating: 3.5 Timekeeper is one of my anticipated books of 2016. It’s a story set in a world where clock towers control time, and if a clock tower is destroyed, time will stop. It’s a story boy who wants to save father from a city that’s clock tower broke. The premise of this book is exciting, it makes you shiver, it makes you wonder, it makes you very very curious. What could a world which time is run by clocks entail? This book explores those ideas. When any part of the clock machinery has gone wonky, ripples occur in time. In the very beginning of the book we see Danny, our main character, trying to fix the tower where an hour on the clock as disappeared. Two o’clock was missing. Timekeeper was a fun book to read, but I’ll be honestly, I was a little disappointed with it. I think it may have to do with my overexcitement for the book, I had a lot of expectations and some of them fell flat. The book is filled with a sense of subtle magic when it came to fixing time. Danny can feel the threads of time, which is why he’s a clock mechanic. People are born with this ability. And it’s a really cool to read. I loved all the imagery when Danny pulled at the golden threads of time. I loved the characters, and how Danny handles his PTSD. The characters, the actions, and plot that throughout the novel were great, but what was lacking was the atmosphere. This series is set in Victorian London, but it didn’t feel like I was Victorian London. I think this is due to how close the narrative it to Danny. We see most of the story through him, and I guess the setting was very normal to him so there weren’t as many descriptions to the city. But that’s what sort of fell flat for me. I didn’t feel like I was in Victorian London. To be perfectly honestly, I didn’t feel like I was in Europe at all even though it’s set in England. The descriptions of the city were bland, and the characters felt very modern, which changed the atmosphere of the novel. Yes, this novel is sort of a steampunk, but I’ve quite a few other steampunk novels that had more of a historical presence than this book did. Although the atmosphere was lacking, I did the plot. There are a few twists that occur in the novel, where once you’re done reading you go “How did I not see that before?” It’s very entertaining, and puts you at the edge of your seat. The romance between Danny and Colton is also really sweet even though they fall for each other quickly. They kiss very early in the novel, but it wasn’t so much a romantic kiss but a curious one, which was a nice change from novels where the first kiss is a full on make-out and confessions of true love. Timekeeper was a captivating novel, and I’m very excited to see what’s in store for Danny in book two. This book left us off with many questions, and it’s set up to have some of the story set in India, which I’m really excited about. If you’re looking for a quick, fun, magic filled book about boys kissing, you definitely want to pick up Timekeeper.
Date published: 2016-11-10

Editorial Reviews

Paste Magazine Best Book 2016Barnes & Noble Teen Blog Best Queer Fantasy 2016"Timekeeper is an extraordinary debut, at once familiar and utterly original. Between its compelling world, its lovely prose, and its wonderful characters, the pages flew by." —Victoria Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author"Alive with myth, mystery, and glorious romance, Timekeeper will keep hearts pounding and pages turning til the stunning conclusion. Reader beware—there's magic in these pages." —Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere"Timekeeper is a triumph . . . If you read only one such book . . . let it be this one." –Bustle"Timekeeper’s premise is original and its world unique." —EW.com"While the world is wildly interesting and fantastic, with broken clock towers that have left towns frozen in time, it’s the emotional impact and diverse cast of characters that make this book soar . . . The resulting story is an exciting and inclusive one, drawing in elements of magic, mystical spirits, swoon-filled romance, and just so much more.” —BookRiot"Part mystery and part romance, this fantasy novel delves into what it means to grow up and make important decisions. With an easily relatable main character struggling to fit in, the novel has a realistic and contemplative voice. VERDICT: A must-have richly written fantasy novel that will have readers eagerly anticipating the next volume." —School Library Journal"Sim creates a cast of complex and diverse characters, as well as a mythology to explain how the clock towers came to exist . . . an enjoyable, well-realized tale." —Publishers Weekly “[M]ystery, LGBTQ romance, and supernatural tale of clock spirits and sabotage that explores how far people might go for those they love. Its strongest elements are the time-related mythology and the supernatural gay romance.” —Booklist"This LGBTQ steampunk romance sports a killer premise and admirably thorough worldbuilding, helpfully annotated in the author’s afterword. The characters—even the bad guys—are sympathetically drawn and commendably diverse in sexuality and gender." —Kirkus Reviews"An enjoyable start to a promising new trilogy." —BookPage