It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he participates in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but the social skills of the periodic table.
Then disaster strikes. Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairytale-inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Spencer may be the one friend Lawrence never knew he needed.
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.
"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. "
My review: A sad broody boy who needs a million hugs, a sweet romance that made my heart grow three sizes, and a whole pile of really interesting wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey world-building, and some mystery too? WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT. Nothing more. You don't want anything more. TIMEKEEPER is utterly delightful.
I confess that when I picked up this book I was a teensy eensy little bit worried that rumors of its adorableness would be greatly exaggerated. But I am delighted to report that I had nothing to fear! It is every bit as adorable as promised! MAYBE EVEN MORE SO. Specifically: Danny is every bit as adorable as promised, and very soon I will succeed in figuring out a way of making myself fictional and traveling back in time so I can give him those million hugs he so desperately needs. And the forbidden romance he has with his charming clock boy (just... go with it, it makes sense in context) is so incredibly sweet and lovely.
The bizarro time-controlling time-shifting time-stopping aspects of the world-building are so cool. Not going to try to explain it here. There's this whole rich mythology and a whole bunch of implications and... it's really cool stuff, and it makes for really great context for a whole bunch of shenanigans and dangers and cleverness that's so much fun to follow.
AND. I just now noticed, as I went to post this review, that there is a Timekeeper #2 AND a Timekeeper #3 listed WHICH MAKES ME SO HAPPY. The ending of this one is perfectly satisfying, but I love these (ADORABLE) characters so much I am very excited to see what happens next. It will probably make me want to hug them more. That's my prediction. I'm just putting it out there.