Set in a Victorian London where time is “kept” by clock mechanics, Timekeeper tells the story of Danny, the youngest and brightest mechanic in London who’s been assigned a job at Colton Tower.
“They wouldn’t understand, not when they didn’t have the ability to touch time the way mechanics did. Without the mechanics, the towers wouldn’t function. Without the towers, the world wouldn’t function.”
Danny is our protagonist, and we see from the beginning that he’s suffering from PTSD after an accident in a clock tower that almost killed him a few months before. To add to that, his father has been stuck in a town where time has stopped moving, and both Danny and his mother think it’s Danny’s fault. Danny is sad and withdrawn, just trying to prove that his accident hasn’t compromised his abilities to prove he’s the best mechanic out there.
“He was a boy of air and dust and sunlight. Everything that had gone into the making of the world.”
Colton is strange, there’s no doubt about it. He’s inexperienced and innocent, a boy who hasn’t learned much of anything, except what he can observe from the citizens of his town over the years. I loved Colton. He was so sweet, so wholesome. I wanted to wrap him up in a warm sweater and give him some hot cocoa or something. You couldn’t help but feel a need to protect him in some way.
That’s one of the reasons why his romance with Danny is so beautiful. Colton is the clock tower’s ghost; a personification of the tower itself. At first I thought it was kind of weird, (a clock tower having feelings) but the author developed the romance so beautifully, that any doubt in my mind was erased. Colton and Danny are both finding things in each other they didn’t know they needed, and they’re truly the sweetest together.
“You’re chaos and order and everything in between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars that are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music.” [Colton’s] smile was gentle. “I hear it all the time. Your music.”
The best thing about this book is the fact that there’s more to it than meets the eye. The summary promises a magical romance, but it also tells you that there’s a thrilling mystery that Danny has to unravel before it’s too late and it totally delivers! The mystery itself was so surprising! I couldn’t guess what was happening until the end, and then I was kept at the edge of my seat because the stakes are SO HIGH. No one is safe, and the danger Danny and Colton face is so palpable, that it’ll have you gripping your book tightly in anticipation of what might happen next.
My only strife with the book was the pacing at first. I found myself kind of lost at what was happening for the first few chapters (but maybe it’s my own fault because I’m not that great at reading steampunk). However this is over quickly as I got more engrossed in the story.
Overall, Timekeeper is a LGBT+ steampunk set in an alternate Victorian London where time has to be controlled by mechanics. The romance is amazing, the characterization great, and the writing engaging. The story has a great resolution while still leaving a bit of a mystery for the next book. I can’t wait to read the sequel!