PaperBackSwap Blog

Fantasy Friday Review – No Time Like the Past

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor

Review by Cyndi J. (cyndij)

NO TIME LIKE THE PAST by Jodi Taylor is the fifth entry in the Chronicles of St Mary’s, an institute whose mission is to travel back in time and observe history. There are some unadvoidable spoilers for previous novels, so you have been warned. A new reader should start with the beginning, JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER, which I reviewed earlier and linked here.

It’s been a few months since the tumultuous events of A TRAIL THROUGH TIME. St Mary’s, which was in rubble at the end,  has been mostly repaired, but there are now budgetary problems.  Plus there’s a ghost that only one person can see.  The team needs an easy expedition, say a nice stroll through the Crystal Place in London of 1851, before the serious stuff begins.  The serious stuff is going to be collecting some artworks supposedly destroyed so they can “find” them later and claim the credit.  Plus St Mary’s is going to hold an Open Day, with activities for the public and a team boat race, and later Max will get to take her team to Thermopylae.  Why you’d want to see that is beyond me, but I am not an historian.

Of course none of these things will go as planned. It’s another break-neck pace with harrowing disasters and dramatic rescues every outing,  but at least all our favorite characters will survive it. There are no twisty surprises in this episode; Max is firmly embedded in this new timeline and for now, there’s no hint that any different lines are intruding.

My logical brain is definitely starting to nitpick at a couple things though. Why doesn’t Taylor have Max – or anyone else – question how it is that evil villains know where they are when they travel into the past? You’d think this would be of great concern.  After the epic disaster at St Paul’s, why do they assume it won’t happen again in Florence? Saying the Security team will be on hand is not an answer.  But it could be I missed something.

I very much enjoy all the history. Taylor sends her characters to major historical events that we learn about in high school and sort of remember, and fleshes them out with “first-hand” reports. I’ve looked up many of them and admired how well she works in the human side of the battles. The book ends with a lovely, funny, feel-good event. I admit I was surprised and (cautiously) pleased. I felt a bit more emotionally involved with Max than I have in previous books, all to the good.

In conclusion – another action-packed race through events, lots of descriptive detail, and short enough that I read it straight through. Very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to #6.







Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply