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review 2020-04-21 15:24
Just One Damned Thing After Another
Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's) - Jodi Taylor

by Jodi Taylor

 

I thought I was really going to like this one, as some of my friends were really enthusiastic about it. Just shows that people like different things. I did like it at first, but by the time I got to the last 10% I was struggling to push myself to finish it. This book starts out with an easy, chatty writing style that draws in interest as you get to know the main characters. The dynamics between the characters is handled well and becomes significant as the story goes along. All of them are distinctive, and I found Maxwell easily likable.

Some parts of the story had me giggling my head off. Others were unpleasant to the point of being disturbing, but in the way that keeps you turning pages. There were some very serious situations where members of the team were helping to save lives in a historic crises, not knowing if it could affect history but unable to just sit and watch as people died. The time travellers come close to dying a few times themselves!

The idea that History takes care of itself is a concept I've come across in two other time travel novels recently and is illustrated here fairly well too.

 

A romance slips in awkwardly and I felt the story slowed down a lot near the middle because of it.

 

What's with writers these days that they think any book should include graphic sex? I'm no prude, but halfway through a book that only had a few PG moments suddenly runs xxx. I don't mean this to be a spoiler, but a public service warning to those who might see this as a great book for their 12-year-old niece after the first few chapters and get a surprise.

 

I came close to tossing it in the DNF pile at that point. If I want to read porn, there's plenty of it available for free or cheap. I was suddenly glad I had got this one on a free day and discarded any thoughts of getting further books in the series.

 

There were some good parts in the second half, but it was sort of start and stop. I think a lot more could have been done with more interesting places in history and that's probably what the author has in mind for the rest of the series, but a book that has me struggling to finish at the end doesn't inspire me to continue. Three stars, because the actual writing was good and well-edited.

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text 2020-04-02 18:14
TBR Thursday
A Symphony of Echoes - Jodi Taylor
Thank You, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
Lifeblood - P.N. Elrod
Bloodcircle - P.N. Elrod

The last of my library books. When these are done, I must start in on the stacks of unread books on my shelves. What hardship! (Not really)

 

I think I may have to venture out tomorrow for groceries. I am in dire need of bread and eggs.  If I'm going to keep baking, I'll want baking powder and sugar. And I'm going to keep baking. A woman needs apocalypse snacks.

 

Stay healthy, friends.

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review 2019-12-28 09:03
The Steam Pump Jump
The Steam Pump Jump - Jody Taylor

If you're a fan of this series, it can by no means be a surprise there's these short stories every year to keep us fans happy until the next full length novel arrives. They usually are a lot of fun, as is this one, but I do recommend to read them only when already submerged in the series. Some of the characters, let's say, need some getting used to.

Very nice short story following closely after the 9th book. Told from Markham's perspective for a change.

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review 2019-12-28 08:53
Christmas Past
Christmas Past: A Chronicles of St Mary's Short Story - Jodi Taylor,Zara Ramm,Audible Studios

It has become something of a Christmas tradition, a short story from St Mary's, usually involving some bad advised time travel, uhm, investigation of historical events in contemporary time, of course.

This one was very cute. It features Max and Matthew as they travel to 19th century London to bring a little bit of joy. Very much Charles Dickens. I enjoyed it a lot.

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review 2019-06-07 16:50
"Hope For The Best - Chronicles of St. Mary's #10" by Jodi Taylor
Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St Mary's #10) - Jodi Taylor,Zara Ramm

Clever plot, infused with gentle humour that entertained but lacked the personal angst and historical set-pieces that make the series sparkle.

 

The strong point in this tenth episode of St. Mary's is the plot. Max finally puts together a cunning plan to capture her arch-enemy, Ronan and has to leave St. Mary's for a secondment to the Time Police to put it into action. I didn't guess how this would work and I certainly didn't see the end coming.

 

With Max moving to the Time Police, the focus moves from History to Time. I thought this was handled well, especially in the way the collapse of the timeline and the plan to try and fix it were described, but I found myself missing the historical set-pieces: the prep, the how-will-St.-Mary's-mess-it-up-this-time suspense and the wow-it-feels-like-I'm-there evocation of events.

 

The book keeps that distinctive mix of subversive humour and deep devotion to duty against all odds that, for me, defines St. Marys and it was what I enjoyed most about this book. I'm just happy to have the opportunity to spend more time in Max's company.

In the past few books, being in Max's company has been a fairly emotionally exhausting experience, given all the things that have happened to her. This time, although Max was almost constantly at risk of being killed, I never really felt more than curiosity about how she would get out of trouble this time.

 

It was an entertaining read with a plot that tied up a lot of loose ends and revisited old actions in new and clever ways but didn't quite get there for me in terms of feeling real threat.

 

Still, I'll be there for book eleven whenever Jodi Taylor produces it.

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