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Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St. Mary's Book One Paperback – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Time-traveling historians: just pop in, have a look at, say, the Battle of the Somme, and pop back home. What could possibly go wrong? Taylor presents a compelling, astute take on time travel in this first of an eight-volume series. (http://ow.ly/h2xF305MzTe)—Sarah Flowers, formerly at Santa Clara County Public Library, CA
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.”
Booklist “Any of Jodi Taylor's addicting The Chronicles of St. Mary's books would make fun and romantic Valentine's Day reads, but Just One Damned Thing After Another is where all of the magic starts.”―Bustle
Taylor presents a compelling, astute take on time travel in this first of a ten-volume series.”
School Library Journal, Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2016
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
Top customer reviews
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The plot is enjoyable and entertains while leading the story forward while keeping tension high at times.
People aren't too perfect, and in generally are on the bit flawed side(as people are) while still keeping the right balance of humor.
I would give this a strong 4.5 stars out of 5 if they allowed this a more granular rating system.
The only problem with finding a first good book in a series that has just been published is remembering to check back repeatedly over time for the next in the series, which with a new author is hard to remember.
I really wish the Kindle app allowed you to flag authors so you would be notified when a brand new book came out. I mean it would drive up sales and make customers happy.
It makes no sense that hasn't happened yet.
There are sequences in this book that read like an action thriller. There were also laugh-out-loud moments for me. And this is a mystery, so there's going to be a murder – not who I expected and not why I expected.
I confess that I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I thought it would be more cutesy or one big chiché. "Just One Damned Thing" isn't hard-boiled, but it has sharper edges and kept my interest. Which was piqued right way, incidentally, in Jodi Taylor's Introduction: "I made all this up. Historians and physicists – please do not spit on me in the street." The only part of the book that actually annoyed me was when the murder-mystery-time-travel-action was interrupted by the appearance of a Greek Muse. Why?
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
But all and all I enjoyed the way this book went much more than some of the other time travel books I’ve read.
So Max is this disaster of a historian (the historian part is fine it is just the woman that is a walking talking disaster but in a fun way) that finds out she could actually join an organization that travels through time observing various historical events. She is in, with no large attachments in her life it was a relatively easy thing to drop everything and go to how to be a time traveler school at Saint Mary’s Institute of Historical Research.
Max is funny and I love the humor in the book. It seems it is more dangerous than anyone might think to be a historian for St Mary’s and there were a few deaths to prove that history takes no prisoners. Since you are jumping all over time there is never quite a feeling of linearity to the story. But if you are a history buff then jumping around to various events in history is probably a lot of fun.
This was a super solid 4-4.5 star read for me even with a plot hole or two due to my mind over thinking a few things and then some emotional buggery was added in. It was totally out of left field and didn’t really make a ton of sense other than people after very stressed situations might blow up unpredictably but I didn’t really think it added a ton to the story. Due to that and the thrown in Muse of History at the end we end up at a 3 star rating.
Still it was a lot of fun for the most part and Max can be a hoot in her narrative. I do love how she is able to make fun of herself it makes her all the more likeable. The downplayed romance was just enough for me and added a lot to my enjoyment of the story. Historian’s in love I don’t think there is anything more awkward. Plus there is an entire section with Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs I tell you.
“The screaming redoubled. You put dinosaurs and people together, you always get screaming.”
While I’m still leery since this is a time travel book and the word paradox will eventually be thrown around I enjoyed it enough to see what other shenanigans Max, the Chief and Peterson can get into.
Ms. Maxwell has been offered an opportunity of a lifetime. St. Mary's Institute for Historical Research wants to recruit her for a position as a time traveling historian who will document what actually happened in the past. As I started reading this book I thought this was my dream job. Unfortunately, most historians at St. Mary's meet gruesome ends while on their missions visiting different historical periods or events.
I will definitely continue on with this series but not right away. (Other books await.) However, I do recommend you give this book a whirl if you are interested in plots with time travel, well written historical backdrops, and strong heroines. This book is funny, fast paced, and at times surprising.