|The Time Of The Clockmaker by Anna Caltabiano|
|Reviewer: Kerry King|
|Summary: The Time Of The Clockmaker is part two of the wonderful story of The Seventh Miss Hatfield. At its heart, it is the story of a lost love, with a definite twist in time. No, really.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: August 2015|
The Time Of The Clockmaker is not so much a sequel to The Seventh Miss Hatfield, rather it's more like The Seventh Miss Hatfield : Part Deux. Cynthia (who is now the aforementioned Seventh Miss Rebecca Hatfield and from this point we shall refer to her as such) has just seen her predecessor and mentor, the somewhat intimidating Sixth Miss Hatfield, murdered in the only way it is possible for an immortal to die – she has been slain by another immortal. Forced to flee for her life (with the clock that governs Rebecca's ability to travel through time), Rebecca is stunned to find herself back in the Court of King Henry VIII. It seems that the hands of her mysterious clock have somehow inadvertently been moved, during the course of a break-in, and Tudor England is the backdrop for Miss Hatfield's fight for survival.
It's the earliest period in time that is controlled by the clock and Rebecca thinks that, in a time as early as this, she may now be safe from the clutches of the immortal that killed her mentor. So Rebecca settles into Tudor life; she is eminently adaptable in this time travelling life that she finds herself living and just when she is beginning to stop looking over her shoulder, she is ferociously attacked by a black-clad figure. Shaken but mostly unharmed Rebecca knows she must flee once more and as she turns to set the hands of the clock to another time, she realises with horror that it has been stolen from her. Without the clock, Rebecca is stranded in time and as she knows only too well, immortals do not do well to linger out of their time.
Anna Caltabiano is still in High School. It really blows my mind that she is rattling out books at a rate of knots and she still has homework and school in the morning.
The Time Of The Clockmaker is Anna's third novel and is basically a continuation of the her second, The Seventh Miss Hatfield. Generally with a part two kind of book you usually have to read the first and in order to get the most out of this delightful read, you really will have to, or the premise will make no sense to you at all. That's not to say that this story doesn't stand alone; it does, but it's better if you have some idea of what's going on and what went on before.
The Seventh Miss Hatfield took me quite pleasantly by surprise and I was happy to continue the tale. Again, I have read reviews of The Time Of The Clockmaker that suggest the characters lack depth and that the plot is simply too outlandish, but let's put this into perspective. The plot is meant to be outlandish. Time travel, as far as we know at this point, is a physical impossibility, even if it is technically possible. As for the characters lacking depth, I think that's an unkind assessment – Miss Caltabiano is still in school. Even if she spent every waking moment with her nose in the works of Tolstoy or Bronte, she's got to get some life experience under her belt and if she is already turning out books good enough to be published and get on the bestseller list, imagine what she will be capable of in 10 or 15 years.
In summary, it's worth a go. Miss Hatfield is likeable and fallible and a little exuberant (most likely a pinch of the young author thrown in for good measure) and whilst the historical references may be slightly off, if you like a light-hearted tale in the corridor of another century then this is a delightful story.
The Time Of The Clockmaker may very well be up your alley and if you think it is, you might also like to take a look at The Seventh Miss Hatfield and possibly The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – whilst it is certainly not in the same league (sorry, but it's not – rarely books make me weep and Audrey Niffenegger gets me every time), the time travel thing is quite good fun as a genre.
Finally our thanks to the kind folks at Gollancz for sending us this copy for review.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Time Of The Clockmaker by Anna Caltabiano at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Time Of The Clockmaker by Anna Caltabiano at Amazon.com.
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