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What: Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2) by Tara Sim

Who: Sky Pony Press

When: January 2nd 2018

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Sky Pony Press for review via Edelweiss.

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.

Even though Chainbreaker was released in the first few days of 2018 it was still one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Timekeeper is one of my favourite books so I was more than keen to see where Danny’s story took him. Also, I knew there were going to be Colton chapters in Chainbreaker so… YES.

Unlike in Timekeeper, Danny was not the only POV character in this book. There were three: Danny, Daphne, and Colton. I thought I would be sad missing out on so much time in Danny’s head, because I loved Timekeeper and that was from solely his perspective. But I ended up really enjoying both Daphne’s and Colton’s POV chapters, as well. They definitely added more to the story because each character was going through their own turmoil and their own arc.

Through Daphne and Colton’s chapters I learned a lot more about them, because even though they were important characters in Timekeeper they were introduced and living through Danny’s eyes. To know more about their history, their motivations, and their feelings was something I really enjoyed about Chainbreaker. I hope that their POVs are included in the next book because I would sorely miss them now!

Most of Chainbreaker occurs in India, and I found the descriptions lush and beautiful. Sim wrote India in 1876 so well that I felt like I was there. During the time of the book, India was British-occupied, and I think Sim handled the colonial themes incredibly respectfully. The discussions and conversations between characters were layered, and Danny confronted his own thoughts and privilege on multiple occasions. Additionally, I loved that the words in Urdu and Hindi weren’t written in italics. They were just included in the dialogue without any othering. I’m not sure if Firestarter will be set in India as well, but at this point I don’t much mind where the books are set because Sim introduces me to a new world with every book and I love it.

The only downfall of Chainbreaker was the loss of Danny and Colton together. I love these two so much but I had a feeling they wouldn’t be together much in this book. There seems to be a second book tradition of love interests being separated and Chainbreaker was no different. There were adorable references (mainly in Colton’s chapters) but that almost made me want them to be together more, instead of being happy to hear about their time together in Enfield. I JUST WANT MY BABIES HAPPILY TOGETHER.

Honestly, I don’t want to say too much more about Chainbreaker because so much happens and it’s better to leave it for you to discover. I’ll just say that it was an amazing sequel and I’m excited and scared for the last book in this series!

© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning

death themes, use of ableist language, reference to death via explosion, explosions, animal cruelty, murder (graphic), reference to homophobia/misia, reference to injury caused by explosion, terrorism, racism, colonial themes, mother in psychiatric hospital, reference to death of father, reference to murder of father (torture), reference to police brutality, riots, heavy army presence, airship collision/attack/accident, attempted abduction, abduction, and seemingly terminally ill sibling (never fully disclosed)

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Posted on: February 2, 2018 • By: Chiara

8 Responses to Chainbreaker by Tara Sim: A Scintillating Sequel

  1. Timekeeper is such a favorite of mine. I STILL need to get Chainbreaker though. I’m glad you liked it. I did hear Danny and Colton aren’t really together in this one though…sigh.


    • Chiara says:

      Me too! I’m surprised it took me so long to get around to Chainbreaker. I think I wanted to be in the right frame of mind, rather than rushing in. Yeah, they are separated for almost the whole book, which was sad :(

  2. Ahh! This is the first time I’m hearing of this series, which seems like a bit of a travesty, since so many of my Goodreads friends loved it. I could be totally off here, but it sort of reminds me of The Invention of Hugo Cabret just because of the clock aspect? Regardless, I absolutely adored that book & I have no doubt I’ll find just as much light in this one. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, friend <3

    • Chiara says:

      Topaz, I really feel like you could fall in love with this series! Especially the first book, it is quiet and soft and magical. There is some similarities between the two now that I think about it! The clockwork/steampunk aspect + the general setting (especially in Timekeeper). My absolute pleasure <3 I hope you like them if you read them, lovely!

  3. Kell says:

    This sounds like a lovely sequel to Timekeeper! I read that one and really enjoyed it, so I look forward to checking this one out as well. Wonderful review, and I’m so glad you liked it. By the way, those books look oh so pretty together!

    • Chiara says:

      It really was,! I hope you like this one as much as you liked Timekeeper :) I think it lived up to its predecessor very well! Thank you so much ^.^ I think they do too, even though the design was changed!

  4. I didn’t know that Chainbreaker would be including Colton and Daphne’s POVs but now I’m super excited for that! I really wanted to learn more about their characters, and it sounds like this sequel does just that. I’m also excited for the story moving to India. I loved Sim’s London and I can imagine that her depiction of India will be even more beautiful. Lovely review, Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      I knew that it was going have Colton’s for a long time, but only found out about Daphne’s just before I read it! It was really great to get to know these characters as themselves, and not just friends of Danny’s. Sims India was just as beautiful as her London! I thought I would miss steampunk London (my fave) but I really didn’t because India in Chainbreaker was amazing! Thank you so much, Helia ^.^

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