11 Oct 2021

Audio #Review: FIRESTARTER by Tara Sim


Author: Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #3
Source: Downloaded from Audible Plus
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

The crew of the Prometheus is intent on taking down the world’s clock towers so that time can run freely. Now captives, Colton, Daphne, and the others have a stark choice: join the Prometheus’s cause, or fight back in any small way they can and face the consequences. But Zavier, leader of the terrorists, has a bigger plan—to bring back the lost god of time.

As new threats emerge, loyalties must shift. No matter where the Prometheus goes—Prague, Austria, India—nowhere is safe, and every second ticks closer toward the eleventh hour. Walking the line between villainy and heroism, each will have to choose what's most important: saving those you love at the expense of the many, or making impossible sacrifices for the sake of a better world.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Read my review of TIMEKEEPER, the first book in this series!
And my review of CHAINBREAKER, the second book in this series!

Disclaimer: There are probably spoilers below since this is the end of the series! Sorry!

Honestly, this was better than the second book, but still didn't live up to the greatness that was TIMEKEEPER. I thought that this series started off with a really unique twist on alternative history and steampunk. But then CHAINBREAKER and FIRESTARTER took that away from the story and made it into something you've read before.

That's not necessarily a bad thing - there was a few differences being a gay main character, a lot of dimensions of diversity represented, and it being in the YA age group. But overall it just stopped feeling unique and fun about a quarter into CHAINBREAKER and that never came back through FIRESTARTER.

One of the biggest drawbacks is the huge cast that gets introduced pretty much all at once. I don’t know nor care about Zavier’s crew though the book tries to force empathy for them several times, and I don’t remember what any of them look like. I didn’t care when certain members died. And honestly, that might be part of the issue with the audiobook because when it switches POV, it doesn't always change genders. That made it pretty difficult for me to care or know who we were following around.

Spending so much time with them seemed like such a waste when all I wanted to do was go back to Danny and friends. Except even worse is that Colton felt like an entirely different character, so much so that I struggled to relate to his perils anymore. Granted, everything that’s happened would change a man, but to become almost an entirely different character meant I could no longer connect with him.

The ending really dragged on, to the point where the drama from the climax wore off and it seemed only like it was being unnecessary stretched to fill the void. Danny suddenly contracting fever and then losing his arm did not have the same impact because it was rushed, forced, and came right after the high point. It doesn’t even feel like a spoiler because it wasn't treated as important!

TLDR: Better than the second book, but still not nearly as strong as the first. I feel like this was a standalone story that got extended into a series. But there wasn't a real reason to do that and the way it was done wasn't super well executed. I would recommend reading the first book and pretending that is all there is to it.

Have you read this book? Are you going to pick up this or anything else by Tara Sim?

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