Chainbreaker by Tara Sim | Book Review


book #2 in the Timekeeper series

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m left feeling pretty neutral about this book in the end.

Genre: Historical fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult
Author: Tara Sim
Published: January 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony
Pages: 473 (hardback)

I have a theory that it’s the audiobook narration that is slowly killing this series for me. I really enjoyed the concept of book one (and the whole series, really) and even found book one to be fun, cute and enjoyable.

But reading this book – or more importantly, listening to it – felt like the equivalent of clock-watching, no pun intended.

There’s lots of new and exciting dramas that our main characters get involved with, but the breathy, slow (and almost lifeless, if I’m being harsh) narration just left me feeling cold. It’s one of those narrations where it takes me a while to pick up on the fact that I’m not liking the narration.

But I am also notoriously picky when it comes to audiobook narrators.

That aside, I found it to be very interesting on the race front. Tara Sim herself is half-Indian and I felt like Daphne really came to life in this book, presumably the character most closely echoing Tara’s own identity. It’s a fascinating setting with English, Indian and people with mixed heritage of both, getting muddled into the complications of which side they’re on in the midst of colonial tension in the British Raj. Truly, I loved this element about the book. Tara seemed to really enjoy repeatedly poking the question of what makes someone good or bad.

And of course it’s impossible not to love Colton and Danny – not to mention the epic plot twists that happen in relation to Colton’s backstory.

So I shall sit here on the fence and pick apart my feelings for some time. I think I liked this. I know I didn’t like the audiobook. I’ll probably read book 3 in physical format. But until I firm up my thoughts on those things, I remain in no man’s land.

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Title: Chainbreaker
Series title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Purchase: Angus & Robertson
Add it on Goodreads

Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.

After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path–one from which they may never return.

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