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Follow the Author
A Trail Through Time Kindle Edition
From the Author
A carnival ride through laughter and tears with a bit of time travel thrown in for spice . . . readers will be impatient for later installments.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Taylor does a great job of setting up an appealing cast of characters in this new series opener, most especially the intrepid Max. There is plenty of humor, lots of action, and even a touch of romance.”
Taylor has written a madcap and very funny hodgepodge of a novel whose pacing and humor is reminiscent of a Simon PeggEdgar Wright film.”
Danger, romance, history, financial and academic politics, hidden agendas, dangerous assignments, characters you care about, and the feeling that more is going on than you're actually reading about. I can hardly wait for book two. Just One Damned Thing After Another is a true page-turner.”
Just One Damned Thing After Another is a novel that wastes no time getting to the good stuff . . . if character-driven stories are your cup of tea, then you’ll find plenty to like. Max is hilarious, and I love her spirited and crafty nature.”
What a mess. A glorious, glorious mess. Let no one ever say that Just One Damned Thing After Another is a book that fails to live up to its title . . . . These books are so perfectly bingeable.”
B&N Sci-fi Blog
Max is a thoroughly hilarious and confident narrator and the sense of real danger, interspersed with copious amounts of tea, pervades the story. This is the kind of book that you walk away from believing in time travel.”
Manhattan Book Review
If you’re a fan of time travel, or if you’re a fan of madcap British comedies, or better yet if you’re a fan of both, then you’ll want to check out The Chronicles of St. Mary’s.”
The book can’t be put down, and I loved every minute. Seven books in the series have been published in Great Britain and this first book is now being published in the U.S. I look forward to reading them all.”
YA Lit Ramblings
The writing was witty and fun, and kept making me smile page after page. . . . Max is a brilliant character, the kind of character you root for, faults and all.”
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jodi Taylor doesn’t do things the conventional way.”
Catherine Scott, Yorkshire Post --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B08739WHW3
- Publisher : Headline (January 1, 2019)
- Publication date : January 1, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 2647 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 336 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #55,151 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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On the one hand I liked all the history stuff and visiting different moments in history to see what it was really like. On the other hand the drama llama would always rear its ugly head in the relationship aspect and Max and Leon just could not get their shit together enough emotionally to have a grown up conversation for a moment. Then there were the shenanigans at the end of book 3 that I liked and hated all at the same time. It was confusing.
Well no more I liked this book so much that I’m glad I gave this series another try. Again we hurtle through history and I’m surprised by how much I enjoy the little snippets that we get to see of different times. I also am loving the new Max/Leon dynamic and change up of the bad guy situation.
Max and Leon 2.0 are so much more well adjusted and better for each other and I finally feel some of the heat/chemistry between them on a deeper level that just the sleeping together aspect. Plus they had adult conversations, some of them rather silly and fun, but the drama was never due to some stupid fight between them.
“I’m not a surgeon.’
‘You don’t have to be. You’re an engineer. That’s almost the same thing.’
‘Your ignorance is frightening.”
The new threat to St. Mary’s seems very real and getting to know the new St. Mary’s 2.0 took a little getting used to but overall it seemed like it was going to be a lot of fun.
Now this is time travel with a multiverse so I had to let some logic go. Because some of he things that have happened up to this point didn’t happen in both places but people still ended up about the same place. Did that sentence make any sense probably not, but that was half the point. I had to let go that Max/Leon 2.0 didn’t have some of the same experiences together that Max/Leon 1.0 did and so a few things don’t match up but overall they still ended up together and had the same overall experiences. Anyway I just gave up said “sod it” and moved on with the story without trying to put real world logic into it.
So I’m glad I continued the series because it is a lot of fun overall and the big showdown at the end had some sad moments but also some really great ones, condoms full of flour being one of them.
I’m looking forward into seeing what other kinds of trouble Max/Leon and Peterson can get into going forward.
But this book. The biggest plot point of the last book and this book is a character getting taken out of their own timeline. Which is apparently a huge no-no. Except that Leon and the Director are living outside of their own timelines, so it's fine for them, apparently. And they rescued some dodos, so it's ok for animals. Just not certain people? It is literally never explained why this is such a big deal. They time travel all the time, sometimes staying months or even years outside their timelines. There were zero negative effects to taking this character out of his timeline, and leaving him in it would have doomed him. But taking him out of it was bad. For reasons.
But what really killed this book for me was the huge battle against the time police. There is literally no reason for this battle to take place. They have moved all the time machines, information, equipment, etc. Why are they defending an empty building? But, then, it turns out that they removed all the information except for the absolute most important piece, which they kept on site. Guys! Hide that somewhere that you know isn't going to be attacked by your enemies!
And several times the book refers to how underarmed they are. Yet they know the attack is coming for weeks. Get some more weapons! I know in England, unlike the US, you can't simply waltz in Walmart and buy military-grade weaponry, but they have time machines! Go to a place and time where you can obtain weapons easily, and obtain some. OK, so you can only take things that are about to be destroyed? Do you know how many times, through how many wars, huge caches of weapons have exploded or been otherwise destroyed?
What put me off the most, though, was the treatment of the Isabella Barclay character. Maxwell knows this lady is evil. In her other timeline, she had to kill her right before Barclay was going to kill her boyfriend. In this timeline, Barclay has admitted to trying to have Max killed by turning her into the Time Police. So Max knows that this woman is a traitor, but just... doesn't mention it or really even think about it at all? Even when she figures out that Barclay murdered her in this universe, she just... doesn't mention it. Barclay is allowed to have full access to all their planning for the attack. Then when she turns traitor, OMG, what a shock! Max even has a line to the effect of "I had completely forgotten about her." How do you forget the woman who is constantly trying to kill you and people you love!?? Then she forgets about her AGAIN as soon as she isn't an immediate threat, allowing her to escape. There's another line to the effect of, "I had forgotten about her again. How stupid am I?" Pretty darn stupid!
In fact, everyone who works at this organization seems to be idiotic. It turns out the director knew Barclay was a traitor for years, but just... kept letting her work there? It is no shock that so many of them die. They are literally too stupid to live.
Top reviews from other countries
But I'm stopping at number four: to me, this seems to be a natural end, they've had lots of adventures, Max and Leon have found each other, had monster sex, lost each other, found each other again, and will hopefully continue to have monster sex.
Why am I stopping here? The names are getting a bit cutsie: Polly Perkins could have been just a nod to Terry Pratchett; Rosie Lee could possibly have been coincidence (although I think the Author is slyly sharp in her writing, and despite claiming to have lived in Gloucs, seems to have some London in her roots) but Mavis Enderby! Please! ("The almost-completely-forgotten girlfriend from your distant past for whom your wife has a completely irrational jealousy and hatred." from The Meaning of Liff)
I also think this series is suffering from "gradual destruction of central character" which is where the hero gets beaten up/injured time and time again, to the point where it either gets unrealistic that the character is able to even walk, and has turned into an indestructable superhero who can take any amount of physical harm and still bounce back from it: or we have to listen to a catalogue of aches and pains, and I don't read fiction to listen to other people's pain.
So with grateful thanks to the Author for inventing this series, and for getting it published, I'm stopping at number four. (...and the review went white....)
It's a brilliant piece of fiction that simply drags you along in its wake. I adore this series, and this book is totally my favourite. After reading book five, I turned straight round and read this one all over again. I can't praise the series enough. It's clever, funny, full of highs and lows, and completely mad throughout, but you get so involved, it feels like you're there. Love the characters, familiar and not so much, love the history, love the crazy goings-on.
I've said it before, this series is the best thing since Harry Potter.
Jodi isn't afraid to kill anybody off, and plays with the parallel universe theory as happily as with the details of an historic event.
The books are well written, so as to engage you in the characters, and relationships, but not in a mushy romantic way. Unless the heroes are at the point of death..
The raunchy scenes are written from the perspective of a woman, which is a bit disturbing being a guy, but are well done, and don't detract from a great storyline.
I have a new author on my top 3 faves, and she seems to be as talented as she is prolific! Yay!
And to her credit she has managed that well in this novel. At the end of third book, both Max and Leon were dead - until Max got pulled out of her own timeline and placed into a different one where Leon lived but she had died. Suddenly a host of characters killed off in earlier books were back, both villains and heroes. However Max has no time to enjoy her 'second chance' as she and Leon are almost immediately forced to flee the frighteningly effective Time Police. Their flight takes them to ancient Egypt, medieval London and finally to Pompeii during the eruption.
Because most of the first half of the novel is focussed on Max and Leon's on-the-run experiences, there is less page time for the many memorable supporting characters and less interaction between the St Mary's personnel. This is a bit of a shame, but in such a long series there's plenty of other opportunities to read that.
The great strength of these novels is the combination of laugh out loud, madcap humour and real tearjerking pathos. Sometimes on the same page. They are not good books to read on public transport unless you don't mind the other passengers doubting your sanity. The mixture makes for compulsive reading, and Max is a heroine that the reader comes to care about very much. Likewise the wide and eccentric cast of characters.
My only criticism - and it's not enough to stop me giving a five star rating - is that no matter how many different ways Taylor finds to put Max and Leon in peril, ultimately I find it wearing sometimes how nothing ever works out - particularly as the narrative tells you in advance. There's never any real surprises because everything gets clearly signalled, and sometimes it would be good to have storyline that focussed more on peril or personal dilemma for one of the other characters whilst Max and Leon went five minutes without having their love put to some unbearable test, or being chased with pitchforks, or both.
But this is only book four of a long series and perhaps we do get more of that later. It's a mark of how good and immersive this series is, that I feel as though I've read more than just four books of it. Anyone who enjoys fantasy adventure should add this series to their reading list.
Somewhere between a madcap dash back and forth across the timeline they come with a plan of desperate proportions to persuade the Time Police that the anomaly is gone. But their problems don't just stop there. In this timeline, old mistakes are coming back to haunt them and removing a contemporary from their own time is a capital offence. And with their backs against the wall, this may well be St. Mary's last stand; all of them together, historian, cook, cleaner, techie and admin... and not all of them will make it out alive this time.
Told in typical St. Mary's fashion, there is humour and style in bucket loads here along with rioting crocodiles, a volcano in full flow and Maxwell being well... Maxwell. It's an example of everything this series has to offer.