cover image Timekeeper


Tara Sim. Sky Pony, $17.99 (420p) ISBN 978-1-5107-0618-7

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. [em]Agent: Laura Crockett, Triada US Literary. (Nov.) [/em]