Author: Tara Sim
Narrator: Gary Furlong
Length: 8h 50m
Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: Feb. 14, 2017
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.
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Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.
Gary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.
Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.
Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.
He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.
Timekeeper was an incredibly story that kept my interest all the way through! First off, let’s talk about the world: it presented an interesting alternate version of Victorian London. I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction novel, but I hadn’t read much steampunk prior to reading Timekeeper. I’m happy to say that the steampunk elements were woven brilliantly into the story! The concept of time is incredibly intricate in the world of this book, but I thought the author did an excellent job of explaining these tricky concepts logically and thoroughly, without “info-dumping.” There is also a bit of mythology thrown in, which wasn’t my favorite part of the book, but I understood why it was there. It definitely served to further develop the concept of time in this world.
By far, my favorite element of Timekeeper was the characters. The book doesn’t present a super action-packed plot– the action in the story tends to unfold more slowly, as new developments in the mystery of the book are revealed. Therefore, the characters are what kept me interested in the story even when the action was in a bit of a lull. Danny, our protagonist, was super relatable. I just wanted to give him a hug, because he had so much sadness and angst (for good reason, though). I really liked reading about his work on the clocktowers and the ins-and-outs of life as a mechanic. (side note: I would LOVE a prequel story about life in the school the mechanics attend in London! How cool does that sound?!) The love interest, Colton, is such a precious cinnamon roll of a clock spirit. I totally shipped the two of them together. I love a good forbidden love story, and a human clock mechanic falling for a clock spirit definitely fits the bill. I will say, I hope we get to learn more about Colton in future books in this series, because he’s an interesting character who I honestly wish we saw more of in this first book. As far as other characters, all of the side characters– Danny’s mum, his best friend Cassie, other mechanics who work with him– were fully fleshed out and never felt like fillers.
As I mentioned briefly above, the plot itself is a bit of a slow burn. I thoroughly enjoyed the element of mystery woven into the story, what with Danny’s dad being trapped in a town where time was stopped, and with other towns beginning to mysteriously stop, as well. I do wish the ending had been slightly more climactic, but I’m extremely excited to see where the story heads in future books. Sim’s writing was very lyrical and lovely, and I thought she captured the time period perfectly within her dialogue and her world-building.
As for the narration, Gary Furlong did a fantastic job narrating this audiobook! I love, love, loved the pace he read at, as well as the distinct voices he did for each different character. I never found myself confused as to who was speaking at any given point, as I sometimes have with other audiobooks. I thought Furlong’s accent was extremely calming, too. I listened to this through Audible, and the audio quality was excellent.
All in all, I would definitely recommend you check out Timekeeper if you’re interested in a totally unique world with lovable characters and some steampunk elements woven into the narrative!
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Mar. 28: Rolo Polo Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
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Mar. 31: Glorious Panic (Review & Giveaway)
Apr. 2: Jories Loves A Story (Review & Interview)
Apr. 6: A Book and A Latte (Review)
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Have you guys read Timekeeper? Did you love it as much as I did? Let’s chat in the comments!