PaperBackSwap Blog

Fantasy Review – Just One Damned Thing After Another

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Review by Cyndi J. (cyndij)


JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER by Jodi Taylor is the first in a long series; as I write this there are about 14 entries.  This start is a very fun time-travel fantasy, with a minimum of technical jargon and a maximum of action-filled trips into the past.

Dr. Madeline Maxwell (Max) an historian who’s more than a little prickly, not inclined to trust authority, but very smart,  is recruited by her old professor to interview at St. Mary’s which is dedicated to historical research. But as they walk through on the way to her interview, Mrs De Winter repeats to everyone they see that Max “hasn’t had the interview yet”. Max is understandably confused. Why would that be so important? Why does a historical research university have – wait, blast doors? What’s going on?

It turns out time travel is a real thing, and that’s what St Mary’s does. And it’s a secret, of course. It’s understood that you can’t change the past. History won’t let you – should someone attempt, even inadvertently, to make a change that affects the future, history will drop a convenient rock on you.  At any rate, you can’t make changes and you can’t bring anything back. (Right. They always say that.) But Max is in, she’s hooked, no one is getting her out of there. This is a dream come true and she will do anything to be part of it.

It’s very dangerous though, there’s a wall of  honor for the historicans who have lost their lives on missions. As the book opens, St Mary’s is pretty short on historians as there have been a number of deaths, oops…mishaps. Out of each new class, only about 40% graduate, but Max is determined she’s going to be there. As it turns out – of course – there is more danger behind St Mary’s walls than she knows. Not everyone wants it to succeed.

Taylor has done a wonderful job building this world, I can see it in my mind’s eye. It moves at a breakneck pace. Max is a very engaging protagonist and the book is told from her POV. Not all the characters feel completely 3D, but most are good. Don’t think too much about the time-travel paradoxes, that’s not the point here, and Taylor winks at them in passing. There’s time travel, and romance and love and betrayal, and blasters, and dinosaurs! Very entertaining and I have already put the next on my reading list.




Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply