Russell F. Hirsch
BLOG TOUR: Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Paperback Release: Oct. 31, 2017
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Available in Canada through Thomas Allen & Son
About the book: 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.
Indigo | Amazon Canada | Amazon US
About the author: 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.
The winner will receive 1 paperback copy of Timekeeper by Tara Sim!
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Russell’s Review: Timekeeper is a genuine pleasure of a read–a heartfelt, mysterious, mythic, queer, Steampunk adventure! The book is permeated with brass gears, dusty sunlight, and possibility, but there is also a sense of elegy in both the backstory of the characters and the story-world’s mythology that keeps emotion central amid the vivid steampunk contraptions.
I so enjoyed the magic system of the novel: a deceptively simple idea where clock towers literally control time and damage to a physical clock can disrupt time itself. Seeing something as ethereal as time concretized like this is what great SFF is all about. And the book also brings together the ethereal and physical when the human protagonist Danny falls in love with Colton, a clock spirit, adding a tender-but-forbidden romance to the novel with fairy-tale flavour.
Sim efficiently handles her worldbuilding, periodically stepping out of the main narrative focused on Danny to retell myths starring Aetas, a Promethean figure who sacrificed himself to bring humans control over time. This ancient mythology deftly underlies the other religions and scientific discoveries in Sim’s alternate-history England, and Aetas’ fate resonates with Danny’s own sense of loss regarding his father, who is trapped in a town where time has stopped altogether.
Sim also includes a few well-timed (pardon the pun!) sections focusing on secondary characters, notably Danny’s rival time mechanic, Lucas, and his frenemy, Daphne. These sections ratcheted up the stakes and propelled the action of the novel forward. On the whole, the secondary characters are a strength of the book; struggling with intense backstories and dealing with their own guilt and grief alongside Danny.
Sim’s writing is pretty darn nice too:
This was familiar. This was what he had missed most in the months he’d been away: the thrum of time, the beating of clocks. He used to spend hours in clock rooms before the accident, syncing his heartbeat with that of the clock tower. There was something else, too–a surge of power that felt like sunlight on skin, warming him from the inside out.
This was one of my first forays into Steampunk and I did not regret it! Much like the clock towers of Danny’s world, this novel is a well-structured creation with a mysterious, fantastical spirit at its the heart!
If I’ve convinced you to read Timekeeper, you’ll be happy to learn the sequel, Chainbreaker, is coming out January 2, 2018! Scroll down for a special sneak-peak excerpt from Danny’s continued adventures…
Meena signaled with her eyes, showing Danny where to stand while she joined the devotees. Her voice rose strong and sure as she chanted Shiva’s name and the prayer that filled the inner chamber where the idol sat, smiling at his followers. There was something oddly peaceful about him, although Danny had to imagine that a god who could end the world came with a temper. Briefly, he thought of Aetas—and of Chronos, waking enraged from his sleep to slay Aetas for what he’d done. That had nearly been the end of the world. Maybe Shiva had danced then, and made the earth tremble. The earth was trembling now. Perhaps Shiva was beginning to dance again.
Stay tuned to Storythreads for my review of Chainbreaker, which I’ll post January 17th!
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