RogerBW's Blog

A Second Chance, Jodi Taylor 23 July 2019

2014 science fiction, third in the Chronicles of St Mary's series. The St Mary's team of time-travelling historians continue their highly dangerous observations of historical events, this time visiting Troy and Agincourt among other places.

This series is weird. I now know that Taylor can write a novel-length narrative that makes a cohesive whole, because she did just that in A Bachelor Establishment; but in these books she doesn't. Instead, several short episodes are strung together, with little connection between them (though there are a couple of "feel-good" missions in between the real grinds).

And yeah, all right, Max has another fight with the love of her life… but at least there's an actual justification for it, a genuine moral difference of opinion. Everybody is clearly desperately stressed, no surprise given the casualty rate. And lots of people die.

Character quality varies, from well-drawn principals to very cardboard supporting cast; the quality of the story is similarly uneven, though the writing is always good.

I still don't know how I feel about these books, but once in quite a lot of months I find myself in the mood for one. Followed by A Trail Through Time.

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Previous in series: A Symphony of Echoes | Series: Chronicles of St Mary's

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