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Tara Sim’s invigorating introduction to her new trilogy, TIMEKEEPER, welcomes readers to a new Victorian London, a world run by clocks. Danny, a gifted young clock mechanic, has the power to sense the threads of time that connect the world to the clock tower’s, keeping time running in order. Any harm or defacing of a clock tower can cause a disruption in time, but the destruction of an entire tower can cause time to be Stopped--- fixed in one single moment in time, endlessly repeating itself with no escape. Despite his, and all the other mechanics knowledge, they can do nothing to save Danny’s father who is stuck in a town that has been Stopped. Three years after his father’s tragedy, Danny struggles with maintaining his job after his own near-death experience in a clock tower explosion, and his incident doesn’t seem to be the only one. Towers across England are being bombed by an unknown culprit, and only the quick work of the mechanics is saving the surrounding towns from being Stopped.

"Intense and magical, Tara Sim’s wonderful writing drew me in....TIMEKEEPER will take you by surprise, catching your heart and mind in one go, and show what it means to be ruled by time."

In midst of all the chaos, Danny attempts to adjust back to his job, and in the process meets his new apprentice, a mysterious golden boy. Intrigued by his mysterious background, Danny attempts to learn more about the boy, and in turn learns he is a clock spirit, the magical force that powers the clock towers, keeping time under control. Worst of all, mechanics are forbidden to have romantic relationships with clock spirits, which is increasingly becoming a problem due to Danny’s inability to stay away from the beautiful, magical boy who seems to empower the essence of time itself. In a mission to uncover the truth of the bombings and the mystery of the Stopped towns, Danny struggles with saving his father, and the undying struggle to be with the boy that he loves.

Intense and magical, Tara Sim’s wonderful writing drew me into this book, which was filled with action from the first page. The descriptive word choice teleported me to this new-fashioned Victorian London, as well as showing the magic of time in a completely unique way. Mechanics can “feel” the threads of time, and Danny’s journey with healing and understanding time was fascinating and intriguing. Due to his accident, Danny has trouble working with clocks again, and I felt all of his struggles as if they were my own. I loved his determined and loving nature, shown by his best friend Cassie, but most of all his imperfect actions. Many protagonists are portrayed to have little mistakes, and pristine personalities that always do the right thing. Sim shows how love can sweep you off your feet and knock you down, sometimes leaving a disaster in the wake of its all-encompassing power.

Danny’s journey of falling in love is magical and unstoppable, and I followed along with his and Colton's journey together with almost unprecedented intrigue. Being a clock spirit, Colton is innocent of the world around him, so Danny introduces him to everything in life, from describing the beauty of London, to Greek tragedies like Helen of Troy. Their relationship was shown as magical but inevitably doomed, making me all the more attached to each of these characters and their growth. Sim develops countless characters in this book, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much, from Danny’s mother, to his rival mechanics.

This book was absolutely stunning, and I felt compelled to finish it from the beginning pages, and I cannot wait to see what will happen to Danny and the rest of the characters as the trilogy continues. I would recommend this book to teens, or even adults, who enjoys fantasy or the Victorian era, especially fans of The Laws of Magic series by Michael Pryor. TIMEKEEPER will take you by surprise, catching your heart and mind in one go, and show what it means to be ruled by time.

Reviewed by Jessica K., Teen Board Member on December 30, 2016

by Tara Sim