Sunday, July 30, 2023

July Read Off the Shelf: The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack


I reorganized my book stacks last week because they were getting out of control and I was forgetting books I wanted to read--it's so easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. 

This novel has been on my bookcase for about three years. I've looked at it countless times but finally picked it up a few days ago. I've read Ms. Womack's two previous novels and absolutely loved them-she writes novels that have elements of fantasy, history, and thriller, also with a bit of romance, too. Perfect combination for me. 

The Time Collector is about Roan West and Melicent Tilpin. Roan is a commanding presence who always wears black--and gloves. There's a reason for the gloves-Roan is a psychometrist. His talent lies in touching items and seeing the past-who owned them, what happened to them; he sees all the lives that held that object. It can be overwhelming, but it's also lucrative. He can say that yes, this is an original, or this was owned by this famous person. He's made a living out of it, even if it has cost him close relationships.

 Melicent is a young woman in Los Angeles who is struggling to make ends meet after her mother dies and leaves Melicent to raise her younger brother. Melicent also has the gift of psychometry and has just been featured on Antiques Roadshow with a rare pocket watch--worth millions. She's not quite sure why she has this talent, and what it is, but knows she may have found a way to provide for herself and her brother. 

Her appearance goes viral, and Roan sees it and immediately knows he has to visit her to make sure she's safe. Someone is preying on fellow psychometrists in Roan's circle, and he's afraid Melicent could be next. But who is this silent stalker, and what could they want? It all has to do with "ooparts": out of place artifacts that are challenging known history and timelines. 

This novel takes you all around the world as Roan and Melicent's relationship grows and the danger ramps up. It's a fascinating mix of history, physics, mysticism, and romance. You definitely have to suspend belief for a bit, especially at the end, but dang it's a clever novel and I loved every bit of it. 

I will read anything Ms. Womack writes, but she hasn't written anything recently, dang it! She's on my list of favorite authors. If you're a history geek like myself, and fascinated by mysticism (yep, like myself), you'll enjoy this novel. I found it in the bargain section of my local B&N. 

Rating: 5/6 for a refreshingly different novel about time, history, physics, the universe, and our place in it. Toss in an adventure around the world, romance, and some pretty interesting object histories and you've got a read you won't be able to put down. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio. 

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