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.
The main thing I loved about this book was the love. Danny and Colton are so incredibly perfect, despite all the odds going against them. The best feeling is shipping a couple, and then finding out that actually, Danny is gay, so IT COULD HAPPEN. And, oh, happen it did. I was in full squealing mode, I was shipping these two so hard. I’m not particularly harsh when it comes to falling in love with a romance, but it does take a lot for me to get to the level of EEP I was when I was reading the scenes in this! They also came to each other at times they really needed the other person, and I think that’s so important.
‘‘You’re chaos and order and everything in between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music.” His smile was gentle. “I hear it all the time. Your music.”
The whole idea of the book was such a unique one, too. I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat concerned about everyone, but I did like it. The plot wasn’t predictable, as such, it just wasn’t something I needed to put all my effort into caring about. But the concept that a clock could be alive is such a cool one, and the way they controlled time… Basically, if a clock breaks, a town is Stuck, meaning time doesn’t work in the way that it should. Isn’t that fascinating? The world building was done in the way that gets you hooked, and makes you think of all the things that could happen in this world. I got sucked into it every time I picked up the book, and found myself asking questions to work out how it all worked. Because I actually cared how it all worked, and wasn’t just reading to see the ending.
“Time no longer m o v e d, it was something she could no longer control. A dream – a hallucination. Her vision doubleddoubled”
Other than Danny and Colton, I found the side characters pretty lacking. I don’t mind a huge amount, because we had the two main guys to fall in love with, but the rest of them? I can’t even think of their names properly. Danny had a friend and a mother, so he wasn’t completely alone, but realistically, it was just him. She told us how close they were, instead of actually showing us through their actions, you know? Colton, of course, had to be on his own, being that he was trapped in a clock, but Danny didn’t need to. It would’ve brought a lot more impact to the story if the pain he told us about when he was seeing Colton behind everyone’s backs had something we could actually see within the characters.
“Danny tried to grab the man’s ankle as it moved past him, but his body wouldn’t cooperate, curled into a pained comma”
Overall, I really enjoyed this! It’s far from perfect, but it was really fun, and easy to fall in love with. Oh, you want to read it too? Well, good news, I have a giveaway you can enter!
And check out the lovely Ultimate Fangirl, thanks to her for organising this!