Time After Time
by Wendy Godding
I tend to read a lot of books revolving around the subject matter or theme that I’m writing about. In this case, it’s reincarnation. I like to see how other authors have structured the subject and/or how they’ve treated the theme – what resonates with me and what doesn’t. I’ve read a ton of great books on the subject (Life After Life by Kate Atkinson being a favorite) and this one, I think, will wrap up my quest. I chose this particular novel because it’s a time-slip structure. It seems to be out of print on Amazon but, I’m stubborn and dug around until I found a copy still online (https://www.readanybook.com/ebook/time-after-time-691554).
The protagonist is Abbie, a high school senior who remembers all of her past lives through dreams – at least a dozen lives where she dies at seventeen. Abbie is goth and not exactly popular in her highschool, although she has a good reason to hide behind the black lipstick and heavy makeup. In each lifetime, she’s stalked and killed by the same man. Fortunately in this lifetime, he hasn’t yet shown up. But, that doesn’t keep her past from moving in next door, in the form of new neighbors including a boy her age. Despite Abbie’s attempts to keep her charming, handsome, and popular neighbor at arm’s length, she finds herself falling for him. The only problem is, Marcus is her fiancé from 1806.
The historic portion of the novel follows Penelope, a parson’s daughter. When her cousin Harry invites a friend home from Cambridge, she falls for Heath, as he’s named in this lifetime. All is well until his brother, Sebastian arrives and inserts himself between the couple, creating a love triangle that doesn’t end well for either Penelope or Heath.
When Marcus’ brother, Rem, arrives home from the military, Abbie knows time is running out. Rem remembers everything and is determined to make Abbie his in this lifetime. But Marcus doesn’t remember their past life and Abbie must figure out how to break the cycle before Rem kills her again.
There was a lot to like about this book. Both stories were, for the most part, equally engaging and Abbie was a relatable protagonist. Marcus was a little too good to be true and I never quite followed why one brother ran hot (literally) while the other was cold in both timelines. However, it was a nice distinction to make them recognizable in different lifetimes. My main criticism on pacing and characterization was in the historic timeline. Penelope was a bit milquetoast – I much preferred Abbie. And by chapter 24, there wasn’t really anything new happening in the 1806 plot – a lot of sultry gazes and smooching between Penelope and Heath (with teasing from the other female characters), but not much new added to the story line. There was also a psychic that Penelope refused to talk to that I thought could have been put to slightly better use.
The author dropped in a nice plot twist by bringing in another character who has followed them through several lifetimes that I didn’t see coming, although I did find myself trying to recognize if anyone else turned up in the present timeline. There was a nice red herring that had me questioning who the murderer was. However, I felt that the ending was too easy. And based on a comment from Rem (spoiler alert), the first time that Abbie had met Marcus was in the 1806 timeline when he was Heath. That didn’t satisfy me – I didn’t feel that their strong attraction in England was sufficiently explained if that was the first lifetime they’d met in. However, it’s only my opinion and it won’t keep me from reading a spin-off novella, Time Trip: A Time After Time Reincarnation Novella, which is still available on Amazon.
Despite having a few gripes, it was an enjoyable read.
I rated it 3 stars.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.