#Timekeeper is one of my favorite listens of 2017! Read more and enter to #win

Author: Tara Sim

Narrator: Gary Furlong

Length: 8h 50m

Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: Feb. 14, 2017

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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.

Buy on Audible/Amazon

Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.

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Gary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.

Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.

He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.

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Timekeeper, wow, now I have to share my thoughts in a way that makes some kind of sense.  Honesltly, I have nothing but good things to say about this book.  I enjoyed it so much I’ll absolutely be finding a print copy to add to my personal collection, but I will most likely listen again as well.  The narrator really infused the performance with emotion without going over the top, and distinguished each character as necessary.
To be completely honest, I am often let down by books that are sold as “inclusive” as I find them to be stereotypical at best, offensive at worst.  SO when a great book comes along that lives up to this claim, I want everyone to read it! Timekeeper definitely fits the bill.  You don’t feel the characters are caricatures, but real people with depth and a range of reactions and thoughts.  It was so refreshing and the narrator just made it all come to life so beautifully.
Highly recommend you listen to this book if you’re looking for something outside the realm of everyday fare.

 

 I think the topic of gender roles is always going to be a bit dubious, especially when you only think of gender as a binary. There’s a lot to be said for trans rep, genderqueer/genderfluid rep, and nonbinary rep, which often gets swept under the rug when it comes to talking about “female characters” or “male characters.”
        “Female characters” have gone through the ringer. There’s a debate whether or not to use the term “strong female character,” as if this is a distinction from all those other female characters, the ones who maybe don’t know how to wield a sword or are afraid to speak up or are unable to break away from a toxic relationship. While it’s great that more creators are including “strong female characters,” we need to be aware that strength does not always equal literal strength. It doesn’t always mean Wonder Woman. It should also include the shy ones, the softspoken ones, the uncertain ones. It should also not ignore “feminine” qualities; a girl can be a deadly assassin and still love wearing frilly dresses. A girl can be a makeup artist and be a black belt in jiu jitsu.
        When it comes to YA, we see a certain type of heroine often: a girl who comes from a humble background suddenly realizes she has a special power, and is often brought to a castle or the equivalent of one to begin her new life. I’m not dismissing these at all—there are quite a few YA books I love with this premise, such as Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. But I’m still always looking for a different narrative, stories that show girls of all kinds. Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes is a great example: we see two very different girls, Laia and Helene, brought up in opposing lifestyles—one is a slave, the other taught how to keep slaves in check—but both have become strong and determined in their own ways.
        I also think that “male” protagonists in YA are considered to have to be a certain way. That is, they can’t be too much of anything; they have to be evenly proportioned in their emotions without being overly sentimental. I think this can be damaging, considering how toxic masculinity is the source of a lot of issues in today’s society and gender politics. For example, in the early stages of writing Timekeeper, there was a reader who told me that Danny shouldn’t bite his lip because it was a “feminine” thing to do.
        I think a lot of creators—not just authors, but scriptwriters, game writers, etc.—have grown to believe that giving their “female” or “male” characters traits of the opposite sex is edgy, or new, or cool. It’s different. But this is still playing into gender stereotypes, and as I said above, continuing the belief that gender is a binary. They think in terms of either/or.
        But gender is not a binary, and YA protagonists should show the full spectrum. Let your “male” characters bite their lips. Let your “female” characters be strong in whatever way makes them feel strong. Make space for trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer protagonists.
        In short: I think there should be less focus on how a character should be and more on how a character is.

Timekeeper Giveaway #1
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Timekeeper Giveaway #2
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Mar. 20: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway)
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Mar. 21: Candid Ceillie (Review & Interview)
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Mar. 22: BookstacksAmber (Review)

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Mar. 24: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
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Mar. 25: Chapter Break (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway)

Mar. 26: Dab of Darkness (Review)
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Mar. 27: The Madhouse (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 28: Rolo Polo Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 29: Mama Reads (Review & Guest Post)

Mar. 30: Novel Ink (Review)

Mar. 31: Glorious Panic (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 1: The Broke Book Bank (Review)
A New Look On Books (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway)

Apr. 2: Jories Loves A Story (Review & Interview)

Apr. 3: The Hermit Librarian (Review)
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Apr. 4: Here’s to Happy Endings (Review)
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Apr. 5: Hall Ways (Review & Giveaway)
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Apr. 6: A Book and A Latte (Review)

Apr. 7: Desert Rose Reviews (Review & Giveaway)
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Apr. 8: Zach’s YA Reviews (Review)
The Autumn Bookshelf (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Guest Post)
The Queen Reads (Review)

 

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