Just One Damned Thing After Another

Just One Damned Thing After Another

Book - 2016
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"Madeline "Max" Maxwell has stumbled on the dream of a lifetime: a career as a time-traveling historian with St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research. The researchers are under strict orders to observe only--no interaction with the locals is allowed. But from her first mission rescuing artifacts from the Great Library of Alexandria, Max realized that time travel is a dangerous activity and that history--and other historians--will go to elaborate lengths to protect themselves." -- adapted from Library Journal review.
Publisher: New York : Night Shade Books, 2016
Edition: First Night Shade books edition
ISBN: 9781597808682
1597808687
Branch Call Number: FICTION TAYLOR
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 21 cm

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r
RedLeaf
Jun 03, 2019

A delightfully entertaining science fiction tale for adult readers, it reminds me of the juvenile s-f I read during my teenage years now updated in content and quality of writing for a more mature experienced audience. Author Jodi Taylor deserves kudos for having every chapter have an interesting turn of events.

ReadingAdviser_leni May 20, 2019

I have now read this book twice, and it was just as good the second time around! A lot of fun with many adventures. The passage of time (presently) passes quickly, and can boggle the mind as suddenly 5 years has passed. While it is a time travel tale, it is not too complex, and is still easy to read. There are many adventures going back in time. Adventure, time travel, history, romance, suspense, this one has a bit of almost everything! So looking forward to reading the next one!

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 26, 2018

Very entertaining British time-travel story, first in a series, with a mixture of humor, tragedy, violence, and romance. Madeleine Maxwell (“Max”) is a young PhD historian who is offered the chance of a lifetime – to be part of a secret time travel group. The St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research does its research by actually traveling to the event it is researching. Even though the St. Mary’s Historians are only supposed to be observers, it is dangerous work. Max and her travel partner are nearly killed on their first experimental trip to the past in a supposedly safe venue.

And there are villains. Some renegade future St. Mary’s historian is also sending time travel squads back to the past for profit and they don’t want the other St. Mary’s staff interfering. Plot-wise, it is very complicated, as time travel stories always are. There is a lot of traveling around to set up situations that will protect or harm the various sides, with plot twists going 3-4 layers of time deep. Two things make the story work well: The author is quite adept at writing believable characters, especially Max and she writes in a white heat of excitement.

Note: The title is a famous quote (which the author misattributes to the historian Arnold Toynbee): “History is just one damned thing after another.” While that quote does occur in a Toynbee magazine article and book, it is because Toynbee himself was quoting it as a common phrase, then criticizing the viewpoint.

d
dheeman
Sep 04, 2018

Possibly one of the best. Just believe me and read it!

p
peachmcd
Jun 23, 2018

WOW what fun! and quite aptly named - our amazing protagonist encounters so many dire situations, it's as though this were several books mashed together. The premise - investigating historical events in contemporary context, and battling future villains for the integrity of the present - is more believably set up than one might suspect from that description. Jodi Taylor's writing is delish, and I'm hooked for the duration of the series.

e
eileenlufkin
May 26, 2018

https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/tick says "This was a lot more upbeat than I expected from “time travellers discover the hard way how many things will kill humans.” In fact, it was hilariously funny. Fast moving too. [Editor’s note: I stayed up to 1 AM finishing this book, because I could not stop reading. And laughing.] Two thumbs up."

t
thebritlass
Mar 11, 2018

Michael Crichton meets Dr. Who meets The Spellman Files. I can hardly wait to read the next one.

h
humming
Apr 29, 2017

If you enjoy imaginative stories that are fun, fast paced, full of fascinating characters, based (not sure how accurately) on history as well as a possible future, then read the series of Chronicles of St. Mary's. The series and the characters "grow" on you, the action gets ridiculous at times but often is laugh out loud funny or could bring tears to your eyes.

s
StarkReader
Nov 01, 2016

It started off well; Sort of a 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' meets 'The Eyre Affair' feel to it, with very similar themes running throughout. Then it got pretty dark and didn't really lighten up again. Not a huge fan of some of the decision making in this, but I'll give the next one a chance.

a
as06232003
Nov 01, 2016

What a wonderful series. I picked it up because the title made me think of my life and giggle. It has it all down to earth characters, history, present future. Just cannot recommend this whole series enough from first to the third one I just read. May Jodi Taylor continue them for our delight

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