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Timekeeper
Cover of Timekeeper
Timekeeper
by Tara Sim

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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • 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-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 19, 2016
    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.

  • Kirkus

    "Two o'clock was missing."A lost hour can be catastrophic in an alternate Victorian England where the ancient clock towers actually regulate the temporal flow. At 17, Danny Hart is the youngest clock mechanic on record, with the innate ability to sense the realm of time. Depressed and guilty after his father was trapped in a time-Stopped city and also plagued with panic attacks and nightmares from a near-fatal accident on the job, Danny is desperate to excel at this current assignment--but his work is complicated by a passionate, mutual, and absolutely forbidden attraction to the clock's handsome tutelary spirit. Meanwhile, the campaign of protests and sabotage against the clock towers is turning deadly....This LGBTQ steampunk romance sports a killer premise and admirably thorough worldbuilding, helpfully annotated in the author's afterword. The characters--even the bad guys--are sympathetically drawn and commendably diverse in sexuality and gender (the one non-Anglo-Saxon character, a blonde woman with a half-Indian father, demonstrates the slipperiness of ethnic and racial identity). Unfortunately, the execution of the narrative is awkward at best. The prose alternates between stilted lyricism and flat-footed exposition and is marred by clumsy word choices and jarring shifts in perspective. The plot meanders at a frustrating pace, relying on implausible coincidences, only to start hurtling madly near the end to a quite literal deus ex machina climax. The numerous mysteries left unsolved point to potential sequels; here's hoping that their craftsmanship lives up to the concept. (Steampunk. 14-18) COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2016

    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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Victoria Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Timekeeper is an extraordinary debut, at once familiar and utterly original. Between its compelling world, its lovely prose, and its wonderful characters, the pages flew by."
  • Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere "Alive with myth, mystery, and glorious romance, Timekeeper will keep hearts pounding and pages turning til the stunning conclusion. Reader beware--there's magic in these pages."
  • EW.com "Timekeeper's premise is original and its world unique."
  • BookRiot "While the world is wildly interesting and fantastic, with broken clock towers that have left towns frozen in time, it's the emotional impact and diverse cast of characters that make this book soar . . . The resulting story is an exciting and inclusive one, drawing in elements of magic, mystical spirits, swoon-filled romance, and just so much more."
  • School Library Journal "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. VERDICT: A must-have richly written fantasy novel that will have readers eagerly anticipating the next volume."
  • Publishers Weekly "Sim creates a cast of complex and diverse characters, as well as a mythology to explain how the clock towers came to exist . . . an enjoyable, well-realized tale."
  • Booklist “[M]ystery, 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."
  • Kirkus Reviews "This LGBTQ steampunk romance sports a killer premise and admirably thorough worldbuilding, helpfully annotated in the author's afterword. The characters--even the bad guys--are sympathetically drawn and commendably diverse in sexuality and gender."
  • BookPage "An enjoyable start to a promising new trilogy."
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