Oct 25, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Quotes mentioned might be subjected to change
I've never shown the slightest interest in reading steampunk before. In fact, the whole genre has never seemed like my cup of tea, so I was surprised at my curiosity about Timekeeper. From the moment I first heard about the story, I really badly wanted to read it, and didn't hesitate when I got a chance to read the ARC. A bit skeptical about what steampunk actually has in store for me, I started Timekeeper with so much curiosity, and it sure did satisfy all that, while delivering a story I straight out adored.
Danny is a clock mechanic. Living in industrial time London, he has been trained all his life on the art of fixing clocks, maintaining the stability of time and making sure that time runs smooth around him. However, Danny's life as a mechanic isn't smooth - his father is trapped in a town, where time has stopped after a mishap in the town's clock tower while fixing it ; he still hasn't emotionally recovered from the accident he met, while fixing a clock tower ; his relationship with his mother is extremely strained and top of this all, he encounters a clock spirit who evokes forbidden and conflicting feelings in him. Timekeeper is the story of how Danny thrives through all this, along with mystery, romance, betrayals, revelations, emotions which is all brought out with beautiful storytelling.
I was completely fascinated and enthralled by Timekeeper. I've always had a fascination with the subject of time, and the entire concept of how time acts as the axis which decides the lives of human beings was so interesting. Tara Sim gives so much importance and power to time, that you almost feel like it's a main character in the book. Clocks, the mechanism, the technology were all treated almost sacredly, and if I ever visit the Big Ben in my life, I would probably look at it like a shrine, after the image the book has portrayed of the tower.
Danny was a perfect protagonist. His voice was so easy to relate to, and I felt so connected to him and his story. His conflicting emotions with regards to his job as a clock mechanic, his new anxiety with working with clocks, his strained relationship with his mother and his forbidden feelings for a clock spirit was all well portrayed, and I felt like a part of his journey, emotionally invested in finding out what fate has in store for him.
Colton was just so dreamy. He was so innocent yet so wise, so compassionate and his feelings and emotions were quite strong for someone who has never stepped outside the tower he lives in. There's a part in the story where Danny tells Colton the story of Rapunzel, and it striked me how similar to Rapunzel Colton really was. He was perfect for Danny and I just adored their romance and scorching chemistry.
I really loved how Danny being gay was portrayed in the book. It wasn't looked at as a criminal offense at that time, but still, Danny's life wasn't made any easy. I liked that his orientation was already established, and Timekeeper was not a coming out story. Don't get me wrong, I am not against coming out stories, but it was nice to read a book where the main character being gay wasn't the central focus or the problem, but rather a contributing factor to his character and development.
Overall, Timekeeper was one enthralling read. The concept is fascinating, the writing is so vivid, and the story is so happening while the mysteries will keep you on edge. In addition, you have this hot and sweet romance between two adorable characters, and you've got yourself one incredible book! I would totally recommend Timekeeper, even if you aren't a big fan of steampunk. because if my experience was an example, skepticism regarding the genre, won't keep you from loving this book.