Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Timekeeper by Tara SimTimekeeper by Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #1
Published by Sky Pony Press on November 8, 2016
Genres: Alternate History, Steampunk, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 414
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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two-half-stars

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.

When people make fun of YA, I’m righteously offended and ride out my on dragoncorn to smite them. At least, most of the time. Sometimes, though, I read a book that is just SO YA that I kind of have to shrug and go “you have a point.” Which brings me to Timekeeper, a book about a boy falling in love with a very handsome clock.

No, really. That’s what Timekeeper is about. I mean, technically, he’s in love with a “clock spirit,” aka a vaguely human manifestation of the clock. And, technically, he loves the whole clock tower. Does that make it better? I feel like it probably doesn’t. No matter how magnificent an erection that tower is, there’s really just no fathoming this ship.

Bless Jessie (Ageless Pages) for showing me these gifs (and making puns about clock sex with me as I read), which incredibly accurately sum up Timekeeper. Hilariously, at one point there’s a conversation in the book that basically exactly follows these lines.

In this world clock towers actually control time so it really fucking sucks if they don’t work properly, which is a cool idea if only I weren’t so damn distracted by the bing bong banging of boy and clock. I can pay Danny gets assigned to work on the Colton clock tower in the little town of Enfield. There he meets a mysterious, incredibly hot boy of few words who he initially he thinks is his assistant but is actually the hot timepiece of ass clock spirit, Colton. It brings new meaning to “cleaning his clock.”

Blah blah plot happens, and it’s okay but not outstanding. Most notable is that Colton is not the only one to put the hands of a clock to more uses than anticipated, but I mean really that’s a law of nature, right? If a dude can stick his dick in it, some dude probably will. I can’t say I was especially invested in the mystery, because the premise is just so distracting. It’s a shame because the writing was good (minus the unnecessary god pov chapters and very rare chapters from other POVs for no good reason), and the world building had so much potential.

Anyway, even if you’re okay with shipping the unholy union of man and clock, Danny and Colton are a very terrible ship. Colton cannot go very far from his tower, and Danny’s basically his whole world. Colton’s simultaneously ancient and a young child, due to his lack of life experience, so it’s creepy on multiple levels. And, because Colton can’t leave and he’s immature, he’s jealous and threatens the lives of others if Danny doesn’t show up often enough. Even at the end of the book, Colton’s still View Spoiler » which is fucked up as all hell. And I’m supposed to think it’s a happy ending that View Spoiler » Um no. This is a deeply unhealthy, emotionally manipulative relationship…with a CLOCK. Seriously I’m still not over that.

TBH, I did have a lot of fun reading this book, and the pace moves along at a nice clip. It could have been really great, like if Danny and his rival Lucas fell in love View Spoiler » and he realized that clock lovin’ isn’t emotionally healthy. And then Colton could have been a villain, because he definitely would have destroyed Enfield in retribution; seriously, this relationship is fucked up. It’s just really hard for me to understand a boy and a clock being an actual endgame romance. View Spoiler »

Timekeeper puts the “dick” in “Hickory dickory dock.” If that’s your jam, climb on the crack train and enjoy.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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One response to “Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim”

  1. Deyse says:

    This seems like it could be a seriously good crack book if I could buy the ship

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