It’s been about a week or so, but I decided that it was time for another retrospective book review.
Retrospective Book Reviews (previously Reading Retrospectives), for those who don’t know, are basically book reviews, but they’re on books that I read before I started this blog. So, in order for them to get their day in the sun, I go back through them and see if my opinion when I originally read them holds up.
This week, I’m re-reviewing a book I read a couple of years ago. It’s Timekeeper by Tara Sim.
The Greeks love the idea of fate — in a completely morbid way, of course. Most of the stories of how people are trying to change or avoid their fate. But everything they do just brings them that much closer to it.
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
THEN: ★★★★★ • 5 / 5 stars
NOW: ★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars
Series: Timekeeper Trilogy (Book #1)
Length: 414 pages
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, YA, Fiction
Publishing: November 8, 2016 (Sky Pony Press)
I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.
As my first deliberate foray into reading a queer novel, this was an excellent. Even though I don’t like it as much as when I first read it, I definitely still stand by this. And there are so many wonderful things inside this book that I also loved, that I can’t wait to talk about.
There’s a lot that I want to gush about (and a few things I want to complain about), so let’s get into it.
Stuff I Liked
“You’re the mechanic. I’m just the clock.”
I absolutely and completely adored the setting and world building here. A world where clocks – actual freaking clocks! – are the only thing standing between Earth and an apocalypse where time stops moving forever, are the clock towers scattered around the world.
And it’s strange to say, but Sim’s writing is amazing in the way that she makes the people in the novel seem so naturally desensitized to this part of their existence. Because this society is so used to the world being like this at this point that this is completely normal for them. And I love it.
I also enjoyed the characters a lot. Danny was a pretty good protagonist. I liked that even though he was a clock mechanic prodigy, there were plenty of other qualities about him that balanced this out, like his insecurities and shyness.
Colton was also a very intriguing and likeable dueteragonist, though he didn’t appear until later in the book. He was the most fascinating character to me in Timekeeper, and if I ever decide to continue with this series, finding out more about him and his past would be one of the main reasons.
“Where would you most like to go?”
“I don’t know. I know nothing about the world. Enfield is my world.”
It was the saddest thing Dany had ever heard.
“How about this: when I come next time, I’ll bring the world to you.”
Though he didn’t understand, Colton looked interested. “Is that possible?”
“Anything is possible.”
Danny and Colton’s romance was also beautiful. A lot of it felt very insta-lovey (especially at first), and a lot of it seemed purely based on physical attraction (especially at first). But closer to the end they started to have more development as a couple, and I started to understand how they fit together.
The other characters were pretty good too, though I didn’t find them nearly as memorable.
Concerning other things that I enjoyed about Timekeeper, I really loved the plot. Besides the setting, this was probably my favorite thing about the book. It melded with the world building and setting extraordinarily well, and kept me reading. It was extremely engaging, especially after the first 100 or so pages.
Stuff I Didn’t Like
He was the architect of their suffering.
There honestly wasn’t that much that I didn’t actually like about this book. I actually pretty much like everything here, to some degree.
The reason why I only rated this novel four stars, was because I only liked everything to a certain degree. I just didn’t like this book nearly as much as I liked other five star books I’ve read, and it’s something that I realized about it after combing through it a second time.
Timekeeper is a fun, unique, alternate history fantasy, that I thoroughly enjoyed. Tara Sim has a wonderful and very palatable writing style. I don’t know if I’ll ever decide to continue this trilogy, but I definitely liked this one.
I definitely recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy and historical fantasy, as well as fans of LGBTQIA fiction. It has an interesting setting and world building, it had a great story and characters.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!
See ya ~Mar