ARC Review: Chainbreaker by Tara Sim

Chainbreaker (Timekeeper, #2)Chainbreaker by Tara Sim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

Warnings: on-page death, racism

Sim’s continuation in the Timekeeper series takes us to new adventures in India, when clock towers there start falling, and Danny and Daphne are dispatched to find out why. Through the book, we get a deeper understanding of the clock towers and how they and the clock spirits came to be. The author also explores these adventures against the background of colonial India, and the tensions brewing during that time add to the nuance of the plot.

A part of the book explores Colton’s backstory, and it very much ties into the story of the clock spirits. I must say, I should have seen that coming, but I did not. As for Danny, he is in culture shock in India and the separation from Danny as well as numerous abduction attempts don’t have him in the best mood. Daphne, though, is the point from which the author explores being biracial and the diasporic identity – she is partly Indian, but white passing, and with most of her life and experiences in Britain, she doesn’t have a complete connection to India. Coupled with that, seeing colonization firsthand and how the Indians are treated is a shocking experience for both Daphne and Danny.

On a plot level, though, it did not feel like much happened with regards to progression. This was mainly about the past and setting the stage for the next book, rather than being a complete story on its own. As a sequel, it did not feel like it fully wrapped up a storyline like Timekeeper did. And the cliffhanger did not help either!

Overall, an interesting sophomore novel, and one that explores a different setting, but on the whole, maybe it could have had more plot.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Sky Pony Press, via Edelweiss.

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