Timekeeper by Tara Sim – Imaginative & Compelling

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I’m so happy I’ve finally decided to read Timekeeper ! Indeed after side-eyeing this novel for the past couple of years, the glowing reviews for the sequel convinced me and I couldn’t be happier they did : I really, really liked this. But let’s start with what I loved the most about it, shall we ?

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There comes a moment when time seems to slip faster, running long then short, shadows shrinking as the sun climbs. It’s the moment, he decided, when you’re no longer a child. When the concept of time and the need for more of it come together and make you powerless. Make you yearn for the longer days, the lazy days, before you knew what time passing actually meant.

I won’t beat around the bush : Tara Sim created an imaginative and thoroughly fascinating world in which Time needs magical towers to flow smoothly, and whose mechanics are given a highly important task, that is to say : repair and take care of the towers of time. I won’t lie, but my biggest fear starting Timekeeper was my usual… distaste… for steampunk. I know, I know. Who hates steampunk?? Well. Me? I’m not sure if I was very unlucky, but almost all of these kinds of books left me utterly bored and uninterested. No such thing with Timekeeper : from the beginning I was enchanted by all the details Tara Sim incorporated into her world, and I cannot wait to learn more about it in the sequel (I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS OKAY?).

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I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.
Was he really ?

First of all : I really liked Danny. A lot. Once again, because somehow I love being wrong, or something, I had convinced myself I wouldn’t enjoy him after reading reviews saying he was one-dimensional. I strongly disagree. On the contrary I was pleasantly surprised by all the layers his character slowly showed, and I really appreciated the representation on PTSD and anxiety. Indeed Danny, the youngest mechanic of London, has been struggling to handle the aftermaths of both a working accident and his father’s disappearance. He starts so sad and withdrawn, so riddled with guilt that I couldn’t help but cherish every one of his smiles. Truly, I did not expect to care so much about him, but by the end I wanted to hug and protect that boy.

Moreover, in my opinion the dynamics between the characters were really well-done, especially when it comes to friendships and family (I’ll talk about the romance later). His special bond with Cassie, his best-friend, and his complicated relationship with his mother were well explored and seemed genuine. And what can I say about his father, for whom I felt so strongly despite his absence ?

Several secondary characters could have benefited from gaining more layers, though, and did appear a bit stereotypical. However, I’ve heard that the sequel took care of this flaw, and it makes me even eager to read it (when the kindle version will be cheaper, though /sad face/).

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Time is the language of all things. It is everything you see, hear, touch. Treat it carefully.

I enjoyed the way the story enfolded for the most part : thanks to the simple but compelling writing, I was easily engrossed and never felt the need to put away my book. That’s rare these days, alright ? The plot managed to surprise me when I thought I knew where the story was going, especially in the second half. I don’t quite know what I expected, but “being hooked and breathless all of a sudden” wasn’t it. Good job, Tara Sim. You definitely got me here. *bows*

My only complain through the book was the (m/m) romance that I found rushed and a bit unconvincing. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say that Danny and Colton’s relationship resorts to instalove either, and I won’t say why because that’s a spoiler *winks*. All the same, it took me a lot of pages to actually care about them as a couple but in the end, it didn’t matter. The emotions I felt in the end – they baffled me. Truly. I might not have been the number one stan of their romance, but they convinced me and I cannot wait to see them grow together in the next book.

Finally, I did feel like Timekeeper relied a little too-much on Deus ex-machina, especially in the end, but… the possibilities, friends!  That particular development created so many interesting opportunities for the sequel that I can’t be bitter about it. It’s been so long since I’ve read about such refreshing world-building that I really couldn’t care less if some actions seemed guided. I enjoyed it all the same.

Bottom word : albeit not flawless, Timekeeper was fun and offered me a few hours of escape so if it looks like your thing, please give it a chance. 4 stars out of 5.  

TW – PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks

2 responses to “Timekeeper by Tara Sim – Imaginative & Compelling

  1. Pingback: Diversity Spotlight Thursday #6 – Romance, Magic Clocks & Assassins | Meet the Book World·

  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap # 2 – Welcome Winter Holidays | Meet the Book World·

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