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Search tags: the-chronicles-of-st-marys
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review 2018-05-07 08:00
The Battersea Barricades
The Battersea Barricades - Jodi Taylor

Having only just finished An Argumentation of Historians (the ninth book in the series), this short story was already published two weeks later. And it was completely not what I expected.

It is different from the rest in A) there is no 'investigating major/minor historical events in contemporary time' and B) the usual main characters almost play no role at all. Sure, Max is there drinking wine but not doing much more.

It was nice to have a background story for the supporting cast of the series, but it was a weird kind of story. As you might recall, Max travelled to a parallel dimension somewhere around book three/four (I honestly don't recall) and has been living since in a world with the Time Police. Some other things are also different, but just how different it was always difficult to tell because Max, and the reader by extension, is very ignorant of her surroundings and little important things like who is king/prime minister or what year it is. Tea, I can tell, is still plentiful, which is the only thing that counts.

So we are thrown into a civil war (simply called THE civil war for confusion) in this timeline, and while I would love to know more about this alternative reality, I would have liked to see some more introduction because sure, they were rebels of some kind. But that was about it. Now I left wondering about the details, and also if we will get more like this in the future.

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review 2018-04-14 08:19
An Argumentation Of Historians
An Argumentation of Historians - Jodi Taylor

Collective noun for historians: an argumentation.

One of the consequences of having a Mt. TBR that is just short of keeping me awake at night (both literally and figuratively speaking) is that there are few times I'm really waiting for a book to be published, because I have at least twenty (or a hundred) that are constantly screaming for my attention. However, An Argumentation of Historians was one of those few books, that I immediately bought on release day and I dropped all the rest so I could read it.

St Mary's is one of my favourite series. It is so light and British I find it the ultimate way to relax. Luckily the tone of this book is lighter compared to the previous one, and I enjoyed it much more. (Apparently Jodi Taylor received much complains about And the Rest is History, because she mentions it in her introduction). If you ever wanted to know what people get up to when they are 'investigating major historical events in contemporary time' read this series (this is book #9 and they should really be read in order). Don't bother with the science though, you will find very little of that, which is just fine because it is their not having an idea what they're doing that's at least half the fun of it. Additionally, it makes their responses when they historian better. Oh, and if you can't stand tea, stay wide from this series, because you will be reminded about it every second page or so.

This all being said and done, it is not all gold that glitters of course. There were some things I didn't like, so the next part will contain some spoilers for this book and the previous ones in the series.

After ATRIH I was pissed off, because she pulled the 'assuming someone was dead' again, and it is just such a cheap plot point. So I was glad she stayed far away from that in this one (even though it was clear from the start that Max would eventually return to the right St. Mary's). Which was really good, because in a fit of rage I might have declared to throw the entire series out of the window. See, I've certainly learned from the impulsiveness of everyone at St. Mary's. As I mentioned above, there is not a lot of scientific explanation to the workings of the time travel, but apparently it can't be that hard, since there are enough rogue time travellers to keep an full police force going. Also, the moments it bordered more on science fiction were some of the weakest in the series, in my opinion. Ellis' explanation of the future, with the Time Police's involvement in almost all things, was really bad. It would have better been left out. Finally, I feel the Ronan storyline should have ended some time ago. It feels rather repetitive at this point and I think there would be more than enough nice, interesting historical events to explore without him.

I see a new short story is due in 10 days, I can't wait!

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review 2016-04-21 16:04
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor - My Thoughts
Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's) - Jodi Taylor

This was a fun read.  It helps if you aren't picky about scientific explanations and are able to accept things because they just are in this so-similar-to-our world.  Time travel - it can screw with your brain if you let it.  *LOL*

 

So this, the first of The Chronicles of St. Mary's was a little reminiscent of the Parasol Protectorate series in that it's a light-hearted romp with engaging, larger-than-life characters doing impossibly heroic things.  :)  It takes place in current London, however, not steampunky Victorian London and there are no (so far anyway) werewolves or vampires.  Just time travelling historians and possibly a muse.    

 

The characters are fun and easy to like and the bad guys are very easy to dislike and the action is quick, the story moving along quite nicely.  This first book in the series comes to a nice ending - no real cliffhangers to speak of, which made me happy.  :)  Abrupt cliffhangers annoy the hell out of me.  

 

Oh yes, and there's a bit of romance to go along with the adventures.

 

Will I continue with the series?  Yup, it was fun.  :)

 

 

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review 2016-01-31 16:59
"No Time Like The Past - The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 5" by Jodi Taylor
No Time Like The Past (The Chronicles of St Mary Book 5) - Jodi Taylor

"No Time Like The Past" was something of a curate's egg: good in parts. 

 

Like its predecessors, it evokes the rambunctious spirit of St. Mary's and contains some remarkable descriptions of time's past, most notably in this case, the battle of Thermopylae.

 

The future of St Mary's is under threat. There are fights and murders and even a wedding and yet I never really managed to make an emotional connection with "No Time Like The Past".

 

This seemed to me to be a store-bought version of the St. Mary's cake: it had the same shape and colour as the real thing but the intense flavour and sensation of freshness was missing. 

 

It was a fun read, but, if it had been my first St. Mary's book, I might not have made it to a second.

 

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review 2015-10-06 22:26
"A Trail Through Time - The Chronicles of St Mary's #4" by Jodi Taylor - Max grows up in her new world
A Trail Through Time - Jodi Taylor

At the end of "A Second Chance", I was more than a little unsure where this series was going. I enjoyed the book, even the harrowing section about the fall of Troy, but the ending, which took Max into an alternate universe, seemed a little weak. I'd been concerned that the ideas had dried up and St Mary's was no longer going to be part of the story-line.

 

I needn't have worried. "A Trail Through Time" actually boosts the series: some of the gloom and doom of the old St Mary's is lifted without diminishing its anarchic character and recalcitrant nature; Max is delivered from life in the office to spend more time in a pod - well, actually, more time running away from people and things that are trying to kill her; and we get to visit London during the Black Death and again during a seventeenth century Frost Fair, Pompeii during the great eruption and Egypt at the time of the heretic Pharaoh, Akhenaten.

 

There are new set of bad(ish) guys - the sinister, black-clad Time Police -  and a new, but still familiar, St. Mary's.

 

What held everything together for me was the way Max embraced her second chance. She doesn't take it for granted and she doesn't get off easily but she commits herself to her new world with her usual passion, bravery and wonderfully dry and quintessentially British humour. We learn more about the darkness of her childhood and see her tested to her limits. She comes out of it stronger and somehow more grown up but without being any less of a walking hurricane.

 

"A Trail Through Time" reinvigorated the series for me. I'm looking forward to seeing what Max gets up to next.

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