Author: Tara Sim
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
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.
I remember some of my English teachers attempting to drill the “show, don’t tell” concept in fiction. “Don’t say he was scared! Show his hands trembling! Explain that his heart is racing!” I find that Tara Sim does this wonderfully. I lived this story right along with Danny, the protagonist, because the “showing” aspect was so well done. From the first sentence of the story, I could tell that this book would be very well written, and it did not disappoint.
This was a Netgalley book. I was at first obviously drawn by the beautiful cover’s artwork, and I only read the blurb’s first few sentences before requesting it. Therefore, I had no idea that the clock tower spirit would be important, and I had no idea this was an LGBT book! Heck, I hadn’t even considered that this book would contain romance, so when I saw a love story develop along with the mystery and the suspense, I was very pleasantly surprised! The balance within this book was very well done: a bit of romance follows a bit of action — rinse and repeat.
The world itself was so well thought-out. The clock towers, the mechanics, time, and the intricate connections between them warmed me throughout and made me crave more books from this series. Also, the characters were well-rounded, with obvious flaws and just as many redeeming qualities.
My only annoyance with this book (and it took me a long time to figure out) would have to be the pacing. Sometimes, the book felt like it dragged on and on over menial things. It’s unfortunate, since a good third of the book is written at that pace.
Still, it was an excellent book and I would definitely recommend it. I’d like to thank Sky Pony Press, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.