Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Book Reviews

Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1) by Tara Sim Gone with the Words Review

5 Stars

Let’s start off with a disclaimer: Tara’s agent is one of my very good friends and she was nice enough to lend me an ARC for review, but that in no way affected the honesty of my review or my enjoyment of the book. In some ways, it added a lot of pressure!! Luckily, I needn’t have worried- I loved everything about this book and was pulled in from the very first page.

The writing is superb and I love the alternate London with its steampunk elements. It wasn’t too different, just different enough. I loved the historical details.  And I love the mythology behind the clocks and clock spirits! The short interludes with mythology were wonderful and it showed another layer of Sims’ writing and imagination.

Most of all, I loved the characters, especially Danny. They felt so alive and richly drawn. Poor Danny, with the weight of the world crushing his shoulders. His home life is a bit of a shambles, but he loves his apprenticeship, even if most people dislike how fast he’s climbed the ranks- he can’t help that he’s so talented and unique. The fact that he could repair time was such a great addition. He’s stubborn and determined, and has a bit of a Potter streak to him when it comes to solving mysteries and sticking his nose where it might not belong. But he’s endearing and I love his friendship with Cassie. And Colton is quite the cinnamon roll! He’s such a bittersweet character, this spirit pulsing with energy and warmth who loves his clock tower but who wants to experience life (and love) outside his tower.

And the rooooomance!! Ahh! Colton and Danny’s relationship was so great, very Casper in some ways, and very sweet despite the myriad of obstacles (with lots of kissing!).  In fact, Danny kisses and flirts more than I expected in this book, and it is excellent. There aren’t any triangles but sometimes you kiss the wrong person before you get to kiss the right one, especially when said person is a spirit. I liked that Danny’s sexuality was part of his story but not the crux of his story.

The action really ramps up in the second half and it’s all very exciting and tragic. I couldn’t imagine how the book was so long and part of a series, but now I already want more! The pacing was excellent and it felt magical and charming. There’s so much to this world and these characters. I’ve only read The Archived but I can see fans of Victoria Schwab loving this, along with fans of historical fiction mixed with a bit of fantasy, adventure, friendship, and swoony lovely ships :D

Book Info

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #1
Published by Sky Pony Press
Pub Date: November 8th 2016
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, LGBT, Young Adult
Buy the book! (Affiliate Link)| Goodreads

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.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

19 Responses to “Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim”

  1. Avatar

    Alexa S.

    The magic of the clocks and the clock spirits was definitely my favorite part of TIMEKEEPER, followed closely by the setting. I thought it was a really fun, engaging read!

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    Becky V

    Eee, the characters sound great, the love story sounds swoony, the world and mythology sound amazing!! You’ve made me even more excited to read this one! I’ll have to start it soon!

  3. Avatar


    Thank you thank you to both you and Laura for making sure this book was on my radar. I had kinda written off this pub thanks to some bad reads earlier this summer (Beyond the Red, anyone?) but this one! THIS ONE was the winner.
    I wasn’t as nbig a fan of the mythological interludes but they grew on me. I am curious how that will continue in the sequels? (also YAY SEQUELS)
    Danny is also my favorite and I loved him so much. Such a good guy and I WANT MORE CASSIE. She was a great addition and their friendship <333
    AGREE 100% about loving the no-big-deal attitude about Danny's sexuality. A++

    Lovely review and as always, you pick the perfect gifs.

    Let's do this again when the sequel is out! ;)

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Oh maaaan Beyond the Red was bad. I don’t blame you, I felt the same way until I read this! I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Your comments always make my day, I totally agree with you on it all. I hope there’s more Cassie in the sequels too!! It’s a date this fall ;) Haha.

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    Aww, I love how much you enjoyed this! This is really the first I’m hearing of it, but it seems to have all the elements I love in books so I should think this one would be a win for me too! Must add it to my tbr now, thanks.

  5. Avatar


    Haven’t read the book yet and I needed this review! (And where did you find all of those cute GIFs? I love them!) Thanks Morgan!

  6. Avatar

    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    YAY for loving this book! When I found out that it was going to be an m/m steampunk novel I was SO EXCITED. Almost too excited, haha. Would it live up to my excitement? Well, yeah. It did. I honestly loved every aspect of this book, and I am so glad that we are going to get more of Danny and Colton! I absolutely loved them as separate characters, but I loved them together even more. Such a sweet and adorable romance. I can’t wait to see how their relationship grows in book two :D

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