Book Reviews

Review: “Tyme’s End,” B. R. Collins

February 20, 2011

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Tyme’s End,” B. R. CollinsTyme's Endby B. R. Collins
Series: Standalone
Published by Bloomsbury on January, 2011
Genres: Gothic, Loss & Grief, Mythology
Pages: 336
Source: Bloomsbury Australia

Bibi feels out of place everywhere – everywhere that is, except for Tyme’s End, the deserted house that she breaks into when she thinks nobody is nearby. There she unexpectedly meets Oliver Gardner, the owner of the house, who’s just returned after ten years away.

Their story and the story of Oliver’s grandfather becomes inextricably entwined, linked as they are by Tyme’s End itself. For Tyme’s End is more than just a deserted house. It is a house that by turns can be romantic, beguiling, sinister and malevolent. It is a house that had a cruel and manipulative owner. And anybody who enters Tyme’s End must prepare themselves for terror…

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, as I hadn’t heard about it before and was pleasantly surprised when I received it in the mail. It’s also hard to describe what ‘genre’ this one fits in, as it’s part gothic thriller and mystery.

This one is set in three time periods, three generations. 2006, 1996 and 1936. My favourite portion of the story was definitely Bibi’s because I really enjoyed the relationship between her and Oliver II. Even though he was 27 and she was only 16, you could really feel their chemistry and you wanted them to be together. I was actually quite disappointed when Bibi and Oliver weren’t revisited in the end.

The main object of this novel is the sprawling estate of Tyme’s End. I really enjoy stories that centre on the history of a house and this one certainly delivers. There’s a great mystery about this house and it’s first owner that isn’t unravelled until the end. Still, I didn’t feel like the ‘death’ of H. J Martin really justified the ‘haunting’ of this house. I’m not sure why but I expected a greater revealation than what was given to us.

For some reason we’re expected to believe this house is dark, stifling and intoxicating. It’s dangerous. It’s not until we go back to 1936 with Oliver II’s grandfather meeting H. J Martin that we see just how ‘evil’ and overpowering this man was. You can tell straight away there’s something creepy about him, something controlling, but to be honest I thought it would’ve worked out to be some sort of demonic influence rather than plainly a cruel man.

I did like this story, but it didn’t capture my interest enough to read it in one sitting. I found myself putting it down and picking it back up a few hours later, only to complete one chapter and do the same. I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the characters and as soon as the relationship between Bibi and Oliver was deemed ‘over’ by the first part, my main point of interest was extinguished. I only kept reading to find out the root of the mystery and quite frankly that left me disappointed.

However, I think this story will appeal to a lot of people. There’s no complaint by me for the writing or prose, B. R. Collins is a great writer, but simply the idea of this story didn’t ‘stick’ with me enough to deem it a favourite. I would have liked to understand the falling out between Oliver’s grandfather and his father, would have liked to understand more about why Oliver was haunted in the house even though he never met Martin… there is a lot that could’ve been explained and tied up but simply wasn’t.

Recommended to: I recommend it to anyone who likes a darker sort of read.

About B. R. Collins

B.R. (Bridget) Collins is a graduate of both university and drama school. Her first novel, The Traitor Game, won the Branford Boase Award in 2009. Bridget lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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