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.
I received this book for free from ALA Annual Conference in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hi Tara! Thanks so much for being here! Congratulations on having your first novel published! Yay!!!!! I’m curious…was Timekeeper one of the first manuscripts you wrote? How long have you been writing and how much did you write before Timekeeper?
Thanks so much for having me! Actually, Timekeeper was my 10th manuscript, although it was the first YA book I’ve ever written. I’ve been writing all my life, but I started to really get into it when I was 14 and knew I wanted to write fantasy novels. When I was 15 I finished my very first novel and it was such a great feeling, I went on to write several more until I got the idea for Timekeeper. Every project taught me different things about writing, though, so none of those abandoned MSs are a waste to me.
I had the pleasure of going to your signing at ALA in Orlando this past June! How did it feel to have your first signing as a published author? Was it everything you thought it would be? I thought it was amazing, but tell us about the experience from your point of view.
First of all, thank you for coming to the signing! It was such a surreal experience, since it was something I’d only ever dreamed about. I was actually pretty nervous about messing up people’s names or doing something else embarrassing, but the signing went smoothly and I had a lot of fun. We ran out of ARCs in like half an hour, which blew my mind!
What is one of the most interesting (or weird) things that you learned while you were doing your research for Timekeeper?
There are a lot of strange little Victorian customs I learned about. One of my favorite–for purposes of the book, naturally–was that when a family member died, all the clocks in the household would be stopped at that person’s time of death. Creepy, right?
Would you want to live in the world where Timekeeper takes place? What would you love about that world? What would you want to avoid?
I think it would be a very interesting world to live in. In my version of Victorian London, women are entering the workforce more, and leading their own quiet rebellion by wearing trousers and getting tattoos and all these things that are scandalous–and I do love scandalizing people. The magic, too, would be really fascinating to live with, especially if I was a clock mechanic. There are dangers, though, such as what happens when a clock tower is damaged. The danger of being trapped in a town where time doesn’t run anymore would be pretty daunting.
This is a question that I always love to ask authors: What does your writing space look like? Are you someone that prefers to work in order or in chaos?
My writing space is actually kind of cramped, since I don’t have my own writing office (yet!). I use a little IKEA desk that’s set up next to my bookshelves, but I have a window right in front of me with a nice view. I think a little chaos mixed with a little order is the perfect environment for me.
I ADORE the cover of Timekeeper. Did you have any input in the design at all? Was this cover the original design or has it gone through some changes since the initial mock-up? And was the book always called Timekeeper?
Thank you! The cover as it is now wasn’t the first mock up I saw. While the first mock up was lovely, it didn’t feel like the book, so I asked if we could take another shot and even drew of sketch of what I had in mind. What resulted was the cover you see now, which I love! When I first wrote the book I simply called it Clockwork, but I changed the title to Timekeeper when I was querying agents, and it’s been that ever since.
We are all dying to know – what are you working on now? What’s next for the lovely Tara Sim????
Right now I’m working on another trilogy. It’s a YA high fantasy with multiple POVs, which I like to pitch as Pirates of the Caribbean meets Avatar: the Last Airbender.
Meet the Author:
Tara Sim 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. TIMEKEEPER is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, or check out her website tarasim.com for fun extras.
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