ARC review, book review, young adult

Timekeeper by Tara Sim (ARC Review)

Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk, GLBT
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Date published: November 8, 2016

A digital copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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.


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This book was very creative, and I love that the romance sub-plot was GLBT. I also really liked the setting (steampunk Victorian England) as well as the magic and mythology! Sadly, overall … I did not enjoy and like Timekeeper as much as I wanted to. I really really wanted to love it, and my expectations might have been too high … which could be part of the problem.

Like I said, I can really appreciate the creativity that went into this book, the fact that it’s GLBT, and the thought and work that went into creating the setting, magic, and mythology and/or creation story. It can’t be easy to make up a brand new mythology for a world! The romance was very cute as well, and I really care for the main couple.

The characters on their own, though, were a little flat for me. I went into the book wanting to love them, and ended up feeling … not very much for them at all. This made me really sad, and made getting through the book a little difficult. I was sent an e-book of this novel by the publisher, and as some of you may know, I really struggle with reading e-books (that’s also why I have no photos of the book on my social media, or included in this post. Sorry!) So I read some, and audiobooked some. The narrator for the audiobook was alright, but I didn’t really care of his voice or reading style either.

Like I said, the setting was very interesting and creative, as was the plot, but some parts lagged a little, and where in some books I can get through the slow parts due to the effective writing, the writing in Timekeeper did not really enchant me.

Now, I’m refusing to leave my opinions at that, and will maybe try to read a physical copy of this book if I ever get my hands on one, because the formats (e-book and audiobook) definitely had some effect on how I experienced this book, and I really want to give it another chance. I am also currently reading Chainbreaker, the sequel to Timekeeper. I also definitely recommend this book to those who have had it on their TBR, and those who enjoy historical fantasy, steampunk, and cute romance plots!



Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera. Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University. Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.

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17 thoughts on “Timekeeper by Tara Sim (ARC Review)

  1. It sounds really good, and that cover is EPIC! I understand how having high expectations can let you down, though, especially with character development. Hopefully the sequel works out better. Great review!

    1. You should definitely read it if it sounds like something you’d like or love! And yeahhh I don’t like when that happens.

      Thank you! And thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Bummer 🙁 I actually have this book in ebook format as well & will probably still give it a go since I cannot resist anything steampunkish lol. Maybe on your second go-around, your feelings may change. 3.5 is still a good rating in my book, are you reading the sequel in physical format?

    1. Yeah! Definitely still give it a try. You might love it! 😀 And I really hope that my second go-around will go better. I might also not have been in the mood for that particular genre too. Sigh. I feel so bad.

      And I’m reading the sequel as an e-book as well (because the publisher doesn’t send physical ARCs to Canada 🙁 haha) and might grab an audiobook copy from my library just in case. But yeah…my hopes are lower this time around.

  3. Hi! The plot and the setting seems really interesting and I’m sorry to read that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you were expecting! I think I would read the book, sooner or later, but I may keep my expectations on the low side! 🙂

    1. Yeah they were super interesting! And I’m glad that you’ll now be able to go in with lower expectations than I had, because the book will probably surpass them then 😀

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