Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

A thrilling page-turner from Gwendolyn Womack, the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller

Publication date: April 16, 2019
Published by: Picador USA
Genre: fantasy, historical, romance

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Travel through time with the touch of a hand.

Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher RenĂ© Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.

The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?

The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller. 

Read an excerpt from the author's website here.

Purchase your copy now!
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Praise for The Time Collector:

"Beginning with this otherworldly duo, [Roan and Melicent], Womack spins a suspenseful web of mysteries and murderous rivalries, connected by an underpinning of love."―Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture (Ten Books to Read This Month)

"A mystical thrill ride, spanning several continents. Flashbacks to different times in history enrich the story with tragedy and hope...For fans of historical fiction who like a hint of the supernatural and cosmic connection."―Booklist

"A compelling exploration of time, history, and our primal need to connect with the past, The Time Collector is also a rollicking adventure through ancient mysteries and the moving story of two stunningly drawn characters, chasing the answer to the question of what it means to be human."―Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail 

"A wonderfully intriguing tale, filled with the mystery of objects that tell a story. The Time Collector's fast pace and fascinating premise will delight history and romance lovers."―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride 

"Gwendolyn Womack weaves a suspenseful tale that tackles the question of 'time'―how it’s measured, its impact on nature and human consciousness―and I could hardly put it down! The Time Collector is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, mysticism, and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of romance―my very favorite things. What a book!”―Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco 

"Gwendolyn Womack creates such marvelous worlds, magnetic characters, and fascinating stories. The Time Collector is her best novel yet―a feast of historical delights that enrich a spellbinding mystery. I can't wait to see where she takes us next."―Glen Erik Hamilton, Anthony Award-winning author of Mercy River

"The Time Collector is a glittering jewel of a novel, in which the past is something tangible that is all around us. With multi-faceted characters, a pulse-pounding plot, and threads of history beautifully woven into the story, this is a novel you won't want to put down, and one that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page."―Alyssa Palombo, author of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel

"The Time Collector is a fascinating tale of psychometrists, people who touch an object and sense the stories embedded within them. Pick up this book and you too will be transported across the globe and the centuries into exhilarating worlds filled with history and mystery, magic and mysticism, romance and danger. Its pages make the past come alive. Once you hold this object in your hands, you won’t be able to put it down."―Amy Weiss, author of Crescendo

"The Time Collector is more than a story; it's a fantastical, inventive, and masterfully woven adventure across many lifetimes. Perhaps a future psychometrist will hold my copy of the book and know how much I enjoyed it. One can only hope."―Therese Walsh, author of the critically acclaimed novel The Moon Sisters 


Writer. Adventurer. Seeker of all things magical in the world. Bestselling author of THE FORTUNE TELLER and the award-winning thriller THE MEMORY PAINTER. Her next novel, THE TIME COLLECTOR, will be published by Picador USA 4/16/19. Gwendolyn lives in Los Angeles with her family. She collects kaleidoscopes and paints as a hobby.

You can find her on:
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website


The Time CollectorThe Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was my first Gwendolyn Womack book and it was such a breath of fresh air! It had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading but with a spin that felt thoroughly refreshing. The Time Collector was like a palate cleanser after reading a massive amount of books that are too predictable. I actually thought there may be some time travel in this book based on the synopsis, but that wasn't the case. This story explores the metaphysical: using psychometry to learn the history of everyday objects and their secrets, and interpreting that knowledge to theorize about how time works.

Psychometry is the ability to touch everyday objects and sense an "imprint" of the people it came in contact with through the years. In a sense, it was almost like the protagonist Roan was traveling through time. He could sift through the different layers of experiences and actually feel and see others' life events through history. These experiences felt so real that he would often refer to the people he saw in the present tense. As if they were old friends that have told him all of their most intimate details.

I loved reading about him using his heightened senses. Although he used them initially for monetary gain, he's grown into a man who consciously uses his gift to help others by delivering family heirlooms back to their rightful owners. After witnessing countless horrific tragedies spanning centuries, he wants to do his part to right some of those wrongs. He's also a bit of a loner, not trusting many people to accept his unusual abilities and all that comes with it. If anyone had told him he'd be intrigued with another psychometrist and tempted to break all of his rules for her, he'd never believe it.

    ...Melicent Tilpin was a comet that had come streaking across his world. Was he rescuing her or chasing her? Maybe both.

Melicent has led a pretty average life up until the loss of her mother. Now she carries the weight of taking care of her grieving teenage brother, a mountain of debt, and the possibility of losing their family home on her shoulders. When she uses her inexplicable ability to sense things in objects to sell a valuable antique on television, she draws the kind of attention that could very well get her killed. This is where the mystery comes in. Someone is targeting people like her: disappearances, arson, and even murder are occurring. Roan soon discovers that the Ooparts (out of place artifacts) play a central role in the mystery surrounding these crimes. He must solve the mystery of why they are so important and how they work before anyone else gets hurt.

Womack blended scientific theory on time, history, and unexplained mysteries like crop circles and out of place artifacts to create a multi-layered plot that was unlike anything I've read before. The romance between Roan and Melicent wasn't heavily focused on in comparison, but it was just the right balance to keep me invested in their feelings for each other. It was a tricky attraction to say the least. Imagine you had the ability to delve into a person's past with a brush of your hand. Roan is forced to wear gloves most of the day in order to avoid unintentionally invading people's privacy.

    He couldn't imagine attempting a relationship with another psychometrist. Not only would he have to worry about holding her hand, he'd have to worry about her holding his. The problem was that was exactly what he wanted to do with Melicent.

This story drew me in immediately, and my interest didn't wander for a minute. The ending built in suspense and I was glued to the pages as I flew towards the conclusion. I ended up taking half of a star off my rating because while I enjoyed the action in the end, I just wished there had been an epilogue because things were left a little open ended for my taste. I wish more answers could have been given and the fate of the villian more conclusive. But that's just me. Some readers enjoy when things are left up to their own interpretation. If you love books that take you outside of your typical box and shake things up, try The Time Collector. The author is an eloquent storyteller that held me absolutely riveted. Highly recommended! I already ordered another paperback of hers and without a doubt I'll be reading it the earliest chance I get.



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