Reviews

A Witch in Time, by Constance Sayers

kholmeshaw's review against another edition

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5.0

4.5⭐️

cassidee_omnilegent's review

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4.0


Thanks to Netgalley, Redhook Books, and Constance Sayers for the opportunity to review A Witch in Time by providing me with an uncorrected proof. 4 stars from me! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Helen has lived many lives... she just doesn't know it yet. Newly divorced and reeling from the heartbreak of betrayal by her husband Roger, she starts dating. This is how she meets Luke, a stranger who is somehow utterly familiar to her. With his help, she begins piecing together her past lives. See, Helen has been cursed by her mother, of all people, to live out many lives, during which she relives a doomed relationship with Roger. During each of these lives, Luke appears to help her regain her memories and heal from the heartbreak... until her untimely death by age 34. Helen discovers that she began as Juliet, a muse to an artist named Marchant, who was a bit older than her. Her mother accidentally set her curse in motion when she became pregnant by him. Her life continues on as Nora, Sandra, and eventually, to Helen. In each of these lives, she deals with heartbreak at the hands of her lover and only then is shown her curse through the help of Luke, who is tasked with holding her to her punishment for eternity. She discovers a lot about her heritage and the reasoning behind her mother's actions. Her mother was a minor witch, able to do a little bit of magic-work here and there, and she slowly realizes that she has magic in her veins, as well.

Man, I've had some Netgalley misses lately and this one REALLY made up for it. For those looking for an intricate magic system, don't look here. The magic in this was so subtle and lightly interjected into the plot. For the most part, our characters are seemingly normal people who got where they are by extraordinary circumstances... which just happen to involve magic. I liked that. I wasn't looking for a fantasy read, when I read this synopsis. I'm not sure WHAT I was expecting, maybe more of a historical fiction? It kind of defies most of the tags you would normally try to tag it as. It has romance and is definitely focused on multiple love stories, but it's not a steamy, breathless, bodice-ripping novel. It has magic, demons, witches... but it's not saturated with it. It's different from most things I've read and that really helped me race through this book.

Helen revisits all of her old lives through visions that start coming to her after her heartbreak. This could have gotten really stale if the author made us replay the same story over and over, but thankfully, each life was evolved from the last. Helen and Roger's past lives were always THEM, but different. Her heartbreak was always different, their lifestyles were always different, the way they reacted to their situation was always different, the way they die is always different, sometimes their sexual orientation was even different. They kept characteristics true to themselves though; he's always involved with art of some form, she always discovers an affinity for the piano, they both love each other to some degree despite the heartbreak. Throughout all of this, Luke helps Helen through all of her lives. Sometimes he makes things worse. Sometimes he helps her completely work through what Roger has done to her. Sometimes she hates Luke for the things he has done to help her. It was all kept very fresh and thus, was an extremely easy and enjoyable read. With each life we learned more about the backstory of how Juliet's mother could have possibly cursed her daughter this way. We learn about why Luke is in charge of holding Helen to her curse. Many things that seemed like plot holes in the beginning, tidied themselves up by the end. There were times that the writing of minor characters seemed a bit immature or undeveloped, but not often enough to discourage me from continuing. This never seemed much of an issue with the main characters, either.

There are controversial themes: underage sexual relationships, forced child loss, rape. There are demons, witches, etc. Providing this as a trigger warning to anyone who prefers reads without this type of content.

A Witch in Time will be available in February of 2020 for you to pick up. Well done, Constance Sayers.

whatdaniellereadnext2021's review

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4.0

I can honestly say I don't think I've read a book quite like A Witch in Time! I have to admit I'd read the blurb before and skipped past it thinking it wasn't for me. But then I'd seen a few people saying it was great on here and it was only £2 on Amazon new so I bought it.

megemac's review against another edition

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5.0

Why did I let myself sleep on this book?? I bought it because it sounded right up my street, and then let it sit right on my bookshelf until a few days ago when I picked it up. That was the best idea I've had in a long while.

While the story focuses on a witch, Helen, it doesn't so much focus on magic spells etc. Yet the vibe is the same as many witch books that I love so much. It's not SO unbelievable that it pulled me out of the story. I found myself doing whatever I could to get some more reading time in - alternating between my physical copy and the audio book as needed.

If you enjoy Debrah Harkess' Discovery of Witches books you'll very likely love this as well. I also got some Taylor Jenkins Reid vibes in the form of Daisy Jones and the Six and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. While not really the same in anyway, the story telling was reminiscent and I absolutely loved it.

bookishgeeky's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Just WOW! I can’t tell you how much i loved this book. It’s a very well written story that gripped me from the start and I completely lost myself in every timeline. 

The characters are well developed and the plot was brilliantly executed. This is far the best book I’ve read regarding cross over in a story. 

If you have read and enjoyed the invisible life of Addie La Rue, this is five times better. I highly recommend reading this beautiful story. 

plantladyreader's review against another edition

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5.0

We all know I love a witchy read, so when @hbg_canada gifted me this ARC (last year, I am ashamed to admit) I knew I would love it. Flash forward to this year, when I finally read it, and now I'm mad that I waited so long to read it. To say I loved this book would be an understatement.

Juliet is a sixteen-year-old living in 1895 Paris, next to the charismatic artist Auguste Marchant. Coming from a poor family, Juliet's mother is happy to let her sit for the artist to help bring in money. But when Juliet and Marchant fall in love, her mother is furious. A witch, but not with great skill, her mother attempts to curse Marchant, but ends up binding both Juliet and Marchant to a demon, and killing herself in the process. Now Juliet is doomed to constantly fall in love and lose her love over lifetimes, with no end in sight..

One of the main reasons I loved this book was the variety of historical time periods, settings all over the world, and the woman Juliet was in each of them. In some we see her as a young woman, barely in her twenties; in others, she's grown and married, living a happy life. In each life, she meets her demon again, learns to love and hate him, and dreams of her past lives, slowly putting together the pieces of her history and learning of the death that will inevitably come. It made the story so unique! Seeing the different characters of Marchant was also enjoyable - they may be destined to love each other, but in each lifetime that love is different and sometimes toxic. I felt like I was reading 4 different books instead of one and it kept me turning pages right to the end. The witchcraft in this story was subtle and different, making it a must read for me!

linzygetslit's review

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5.0

This will definitely go down as one of my favorite books of 2020, and I will probably rant about it to anyone who is willing to listen. Talk about getting sucked into a story! One of those stories that you wish you could go back and read again for the first time trying to figure out the different twists and connections.

Fantastic read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction - you get 1890s Paris, 1930s Hollywood, 1970s LA/rock music scene, and present day Washington D.C. Parts of this book felt like a mixture of Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists and TJR’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but with dark magic, witches, time travel, and reincarnation. Sounds like a lot for one book, but it was so wonderfully pieced together!

becky_powell's review

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4.0

I really enjoyed this book! It was definitely a slow burn for me but I didn’t mind that. I liked that we got to know Helen’s prior lives and how each life built on the next. A good read with a sad ending.

kareseburrows's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

The book's synopsis was enough to intrigue me into reading it, but as I did, I realised I didn't go in with a complete understanding of what was about to unfold, and that's one of things I loved about reading it; it completely surprised me, but it a way that left me hooked, curious, and itching to keep reading to see what would happen next. 

This story was deeper, darker, haunting and equally compelling. I love that Sayers does a deep and almost detailed dive into Helen's past lives, each one unfolding like a puzzle piece. The unboxing of the women that Helen had been in each lifetime are my favourite parts. It's almost like you're in a movie theatre, and when one story is finished, it smoothly transitions into another, each reincarnation of Helen different, but carrying traces of the woman before. Sayer's storytelling pulls you into each 'pocket story', and it's really the fleshing out of the characters - their beginnings, their desires, their tragedies - that kind of makes you question what it would be like to remember your own past lives that way, and if the incarnations we are today are secretly made up of other parts of our past selves (if you have that belief, of course). I was absolutely intrigued. 

I honestly devoured this book, only slowing down a bit at the end because I didn't want it to finish. And of course, the ending made me cry. I will say, this book won't be for everyone, not with the theme of dark magic, but it was a highly unique and extremely enjoyable read for me and I don't regret picking it up at all; a new favourite.

readingmypages's review against another edition

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4.0

I really, really liked this book! Meyers does a fantastic job with describing each time period and the culture of each location. I’m starting to read a lot more time travel books and this one was done beautifully, there was no confusion and it flowed seamlessly.
I was not the biggest fan of Juliet’s character, I had to keep reminding myself that maybe she acted this way because it was such a different time period than the one we live in now. Also, don’t go into this book expecting a bunch of witchcraft and spells. It’s more historical fiction with a tragic love story that has been bound into a curse by a witch and is forced to be on repeat.

Thank you to NetGalley and Redhook Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.