The Time Collector

Written by Gwendolyn Womack
Review by Elisabeth Lenckos

For Roan West, to touch an object means to be immersed in its history. He is a New Orleans-based psychometrist whose ability to discern the past lives of things has turned him into a wealthy collector. His gift is shared by a secretive group of fellow seers, of whom Roan’s friend Stuart has recently gone missing. As Roan comes to suspect, Stuart has been abducted for his discovery of ‘ooparts,’ out of place objects, which question the ways humankind records ancient history, as well as our philosophical and metaphysical concepts of time and place.

When the welfare of the other psychometrists is threatened, Roan decides to find Stuart, but only after saving the life of budding psychometrist Melicent Tilpin, a plucky young woman, who has only recently become aware of her special talent. Despite their different backgrounds, Roan and Melicent fall in love. However, as the plot thickens, Roan commits a fateful mistake. In order to protect Melicent, he leaves her behind when he goes in pursuit of Stuart’s attackers.

During a rousing ending, which takes Roan across the globe and into the depths of the earth, he comes to understand that Melicent is not only worthy of his admiration, but a fellow adventurer, and that he may rely on her perception and prowess as he endeavors to solve the mysteries associated with his marvelous profession. A mix of time travel and romance novel, The Time Collector shines brightest when it tells the stories of the antiques discovered by Roan and his friends. An episode involving a fan, given by a grandmother to a young girl in war-torn Korea, is especially moving and acquires a surprising significance in the finale.