**I received a copy of the audiobook in exchange for a review**
This was a unique read for me. There were no vampires, shifters, or fairies. However, the fantasy world in this novel made me fall in love. I have said before that I listen to audiobooks when I exercise. I exercised a lot during this book. The author does an excellent job creating a believable world that mirrors reality. The characters are unique and fully developed. I ached for Danny when things went array and cheered for him to keep searching for answers. I never thought of time as such a powerful living being. I was so engrossed in this story, I missed my turn off one day while listening to this in the car. 🙂 The narrator did a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. He helped me visualize the characters even more.
Author: Tara Sim
Narrator: Gary Furlong
Length: 8h 50m
Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: Feb. 14, 2017
Synopsis: 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.
Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.
Gary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.
Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.
Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.
He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.
Interview with Gary
How do prepare for the various characters in a book?
I give the book a read. While reading through the book I either take notes, make a short recording or have the character voice so engrained in my head that I can remember when the book is done.
How long does it take to record an average size book?
I would say an average length book, like Timekeeper, would take two weeks. One week to prepare the book and then one week to record it.
Can you tell us a little about your time as a puppeteer in Prague? and how did you get from Prague to Memphis?
I used to freelance for a Street Theater company called Bui Bolg. They are a Wexford based company and through them I visited both Prague and Memphis. I say puppeteer, the puppets we used were massive. They were full body suits. The mouths and eyes moved electronically and we would walk around Prague entertaining and often scaring the locals. We went to Memphis as part of the Memphis in May festival. Every year they will have one country as their theme. The year I went, Ireland was the theme.
I know that sometimes an illustrator and an author do not really work together so as not to influence each other. Is it the same for a narrator and an author? If so tell us a little about the process of working with an author. If not, why not?
Usually, it will start with an audition. You read once or maybe twice for the author and based on that the author knows if you are right for the job. Generally, there is little interaction between the author and narrator while the book is being recorded. I’ll sometimes ask for the author’s ideas on how they want the characters to sound and then I’ll do my best to incorporate that into the story. But other than that it is pretty minimal.
Do you use some of the same voices for characters in different books?
Creating a voice can often be like making a meal. Some foods will have the same base but as you add different ingredients to them the end result is often very different. I have a lot of bases for different voices and I use them a lot, but I’ll add certain things to them to make that character slightly different for another with the same base. I’m always trying to come up with more and more voices.
Who are your influencers?
Robin Williams and Jim Carey
In the narration world I would say:
Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
And my coach Sean Pratt. Even now I find myself needing advice and guidance and he is always there to help.
What is your dream project?
More books like Timekeeper!
You mention you can speak in a General American voice. What exactly is that and how did you develop this talent?
I think it is described as a Mid-West accent in the States. I am not sure, basically it is an accent-less American accent. You couldn’t say “Oh that accent is from X Y Z”. It (hopefully) sounds like a neutral American accent. I think I developed it unconsciously. I grew up watching shows like Friends, Scrubs, The X-files. Being so close to American media and being someone who loves to mimic what I hear I just found myself doing voices for fun. I knew I wanted to make funny voices after seeing Aladdin and it just took off from there.
How does narration differ from voice overs for video games?
Narration requires you to dial the acting down a notch. I haven’t done too many voice overs but usually it will call for some kind of focused energy that must be present all the time. If you were to be extremely energetic for the duration of an audiobook the listener would be exhausted. Narration takes many times the stamina of a normal voice over. If you are doing a radio or TV spot, you might only have 30 seconds of dialogue. 10 minutes in the studio and you will have done every possible take imaginable and then you are done. With audiobooks you will be in the studio for up to 6 hours a day.
You can only have five books on your bookshelf. What are they?
The Princess Bride
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Interested in reviewing audiobooks? Contact Jess at TheAudioBookWorm