Cover image for Timekeeper
Sim, Tara, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Sky Pony Press, [2016]
Physical Description:
414 pages : map ; 22 cm
In an alternate 1875 England, seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny, aided by the boy he loves, must discover who is sabotaging the towers that control the flow of time and stop him or her before it is too late.

An alternate 1875 England. In Enfield, the clock tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Clock mechanic Danny can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time. He discovers that his new apprentice is the tower's clock spirit. Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and their romance will shake the very foundations of time. Can the two boys discover who is sabotaging the towers that control the flow of time-- before it is too late?
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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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.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers--picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Author Notes

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. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website for fun Timekeeper extras.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Danny, a 17-year-old clock mechanic living in an alternate 1875 London, narrowly escapes death when a clock tower in which he's working is bombed. It takes some time to regain his nerve, and he is distracted by an impossible romance, his mechanic father's entrapment behind an impenetrable time-wall, and ongoing attacks on clock towers all over the English countryside. First-time author Sim has constructed a mild combination mystery, LGBTQ romance, and supernatural tale of clock spirits and sabotage that explores how far people might go for those they love. Its strongest elements are the time-related mythology and the supernatural gay romance; the mystery is inconsistently developed, and its resolution seems rushed. There is a hint dropped and quickly gone that this is the first of more books to do with young Danny and his friends. An author's note indicates changes to real historical London of 1875 and addresses technology and inventions, the role of women, and homosexuality. Try this with A. J. Hartley's Steeplejack (2016) for the unusual occupation angle.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Debut novelist Sim creates an alternate Victorian England in which every town, regardless of size, has a clock tower that controls the local flow of time. If a town's clock runs slow, time runs slow as well, and the town goes out of sync with its surroundings. Mechanics, who can feel the flow of time and keep the clocks running, are vitally important, but Danny, the youngest mechanic in England at age 17, has been devastated by twin tragedies: his father was trapped, along with the citizens of Maldon, when its clock stopped, and Danny himself nearly died when another clock tower exploded for reasons unknown. Working on Colton Tower, which has apparently been sabotaged, Danny meets and falls for a mysterious apprentice, a boy who, it turns out, isn't human. Sim creates a cast of complex and diverse characters, as well as a mythology to explain how the clock towers came to exist (though it isn't quite clear how the flow of time is controlled in locations far from a tower). It's an enjoyable, well-realized tale, first in a planned trilogy. Ages 14-up. Agent: Laura Crockett, Triada US Literary. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-The first installment in a steampunk trilogy by a debut author focuses on the power of clocks. In an alternative Victorian London, time is kept in check by clock towers that were put in place so long ago that their origins have become part of mythology. Seventeen-year-old Danny is a mechanic tasked with keeping the clocks running smoothly to prevent time from fracturing or being stopped. Having time stop has been Danny's biggest fear ever since his father became trapped in a stopped town. The teen is assigned to a clock tower that keeps breaking down where he meets a strange and attractive young man claiming to be his new assistant. As Danny falls in love for the first time, he realizes that love can make people selfish or selfless, and he must decide between the two. In the book, homosexuality is no longer illegal but still weighs heavily on Danny's mind and plays into his other insecurities as the youngest mechanic on record. Part mystery and part romance, this fantasy novel delves into what it means to grow up and make important decisions. With an easily relatable main character struggling to fit in, the novel has a realistic and contemplative voice. Several chapters focus on the world's mythology, providing a secret history of the domain the characters inhabit. VERDICT A must-have richly written fantasy novel that will have readers eagerly anticipating the next volume. For fans of Cassandra Clare's "The Infernal Devices" or more mature works like V.E. Schwab's "Shades of Magic" series.-Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.