No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
Jodi Taylor’s best-selling series The Chronicles of St Mary is back with a bang…St Mary’s has been rebuilt and it’s business as usual for the History department.But first, there’s the little matter of a seventeenth-century ghost that only Mr Markham can see.Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London…and an unfortunately-timed comfort break at Thermopylae leaving the fate of the western world hanging in the balance.Re-join Max’s madcap journey through time in Jodi Taylor’s fifth inter-dimensional instalment No Time Like the Past.

No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5) Details

TitleNo Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 22nd, 2015
PublisherAccent Press
ISBN-139781783759057
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5) Review

  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    It's easy for me to say that I've become a fanboy of this series. Few other books can straddle the fence so well between sympathy for all the dead and sheer enjoyment of all the frivolities. :)That being said, this one is much less of an emotional roller coaster than all the rest, with one exception. Something good happens. As in, gather ye rosebuds as ye may, good. I won't say much more than that, especially since we're put through a ghost story, the burning of St. Mary's, the burning of London It's easy for me to say that I've become a fanboy of this series. Few other books can straddle the fence so well between sympathy for all the dead and sheer enjoyment of all the frivolities. :)That being said, this one is much less of an emotional roller coaster than all the rest, with one exception. Something good happens. As in, gather ye rosebuds as ye may, good. I won't say much more than that, especially since we're put through a ghost story, the burning of St. Mary's, the burning of London, itself, crashing boats, and "MADNESS??? This is SPARTA!"Suffice to say, I had a really great time. :)Oh yeah, there was yet ANOTHER car crash. Thanks, Max. Jeeze. And this time all of St. Mary's comes to jeer, too. And that was awesome. :)Yes, this is popcorn fiction, but I will make one little stipulation. It's also pretty serious SF time travel meant for serious history buffs, and the author knows very well how to manipulate the freaking hell out of us readers. She's an awesome writer, and she practically pulls out all the stops for every single book.I just wanted to say, I'm hella-impressed. :)
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  • Choko
    January 1, 1970
    *** 4.35 ***I really enjoyed this one! I like the tone of the St. Mary's 2.0 much better, mostly because there are no ridiculous manufactured drama between Max and Leon. The drama of their travel through time is enough to keep you interested and since the author has proven that she is not afraid to kill main characters off, I find myself terrified all the time that one of my favorites, Peterson or Markham, might get the cleaver... I have grown very attached to the staff at St. Mary's and I think *** 4.35 ***I really enjoyed this one! I like the tone of the St. Mary's 2.0 much better, mostly because there are no ridiculous manufactured drama between Max and Leon. The drama of their travel through time is enough to keep you interested and since the author has proven that she is not afraid to kill main characters off, I find myself terrified all the time that one of my favorites, Peterson or Markham, might get the cleaver... I have grown very attached to the staff at St. Mary's and I think I love them all, but we all have our favorites:) "...“By exercising my fabled management skills, I alternately teased, bribed, threatened, called in favors, drowned them in tea, and refused to release them until I got what I wanted. I really can’t understand why some managers find it so difficult to motivate their teams.”..." While Dr. Bairstow is the brain of the operation, Max is obviously the heart of the place and all become better in their gravitation pull. Mrs. Partridge is still the coolest cat on the block and the doctor is as homicidal as ever, while the science department gives a good show while competing in a boat race in the lake. Of course, it would not have been our St. Mary without the appearance of our favorite villains, Clive Ronan and Isabella Bitchface Barclay! *shakes fist to the heavens* "...“Believe it or not, there were rules. Everyone needs rules. After all, how can you break what doesn’t exist? Rules give anarchy something to aim at.” ..." There were the required time jumps, several of them, all coming with the obligatory body fluids and danger... And the never ending panic over how to keep the enterprise in the black, or at least somewhat financially solvent. They are always on the verge of a financial disaster. "...“All bosses are interchangeable. The only difference is how they like their tea.” ..." Overall, this was my favorite installment in the series so far and I am soooo happy that we have more books to come:):):) Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a Good Book!!!
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  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4* of fiveI needed catharsis in the Aristotelian sense...κάθαρσις...after the reading and thinking I've been doing. So down tools, laborer, and prepare the cup that cheers.It cheers again. The formula holds its charms. Fun and funny and gut-wrenching and painful, exactly and precisely the formula needed for a cleansing cry, a heartening guffaw, and a wistful sigh.
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    Much like the previous book, this was more light-hearted. We start off with a ghost story that turns into quite an interesting chase and a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing and then head straight into trouble. Wonderful sights are visited again, such as London during the inferno of 1666, Renaissance Florence and Thermopylae! And yes, what would the time-jumping tale be without our favourite villains, Clive Ronan and Isabella Bitchface Barclay?! Interestingly enough though the author manage Much like the previous book, this was more light-hearted. We start off with a ghost story that turns into quite an interesting chase and a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing and then head straight into trouble. Wonderful sights are visited again, such as London during the inferno of 1666, Renaissance Florence and Thermopylae! And yes, what would the time-jumping tale be without our favourite villains, Clive Ronan and Isabella Bitchface Barclay?! Interestingly enough though the author managed to pull off something wonderful in this book: while Bitchface Barclay will always be a death-deserving psychopath to me (in fact, now even more than ever before), Ronan turned out to deserve my and everyone else's pity. Looking closely at the events turning him into the man we know, I couldn't help but feel for him deeply and it really isn't far-fetched to say that Max could have ended up just like him if a tiny detail in her history had been different. That was a great moment, once again illuminating a human's psyche and the importance in the exact alignment of every single moment to form this exact mosaic instead of another.However, what would this series be without death and loss to make everyone appreciate the quieter and funnier moments? In this case, I was struck at how touched I was at the death of (view spoiler)[Schiller! We didn't actually know her that well. In fact, it had only recently been revealed that she was in a relationship with van Owen (so they are the representative gay couple) before she was lost in the great fire of London, shot by Ronan and/or his people and then monstrously crammed into a crate to be found, 400 years later, by St. Mary's personnel! There goes my pity for Ronan I guess! Of course that meant that shortly after, van Owen dropped out as well - can't really blame her. (hide spoiler)] So it was even a bit weird that almost immediately after the traumatic event it was time for the Open Day - one of the funniest things I can imagine. But that gave us the opportunity to see Prof. Penrose again so YAY! :DFrom there we move on to Florence and a very tragically funny incident with children - I've been saying it all along: there is a reason horror movies are full of them! Sure, this led to one of the most romantic scenes yet but still.The star of this book, at least to me, was the jump to Thermopylae. It's my favourite moment in time and one I would like to change. It's the story of bravery in light of certain death (not just by the Spartans but especially by them); the story of incredible physical feats and wonderful tactics; the story of the most unfair betrayal ever.And the story of lots of death and blood so OF COURSE they jump there! Actually, it was a very sweet (view spoiler)[wedding gift by Peterson (hide spoiler)]!In the end, unsurprisingly to me, another moment right at the end is at least as important however: (view spoiler)[Max and Leon get married (hide spoiler)]! St. Mary's style of course!(view spoiler)[ Into an enchanted world of white lanterns, candles, and tea lights. Fairy lights lit a golden path ahead of us. White ribbons had been tied around every tree trunk. In the distance, soft music drifted across the darkening gardens.I stood, entranced. No wonder I'd been confined to my room all day. That they had done all this for us ...I was gobsmacked. St. Mary's, global capital of noise and disaster and explosions had not only done romance, but done it perfectly, converting our slightly battered environment into a golden world of magic and wonder and fairy-tale beauty. (hide spoiler)]This wonderful gesture was, naturally, followed by a hilarious situation involving a slightly wrecked car, an exchange with the police, two embarrassing phone calls and all of St. Mary's (drunken as they were, playing "Livin' La Vida Loca" and singing "Dancing Queen" at the same time) driving up the rode to "the rescue". I've said it before, I'll say it again: these are the moments that make St. Mary's so precious and cozy!However, and I'm really disappointed about this, there was a continuity error in this one! I almost couldn't believe it but it seems to be true! (view spoiler)[When Dr. Bairstow drinks with Max to calm her down right before the wedding ceremony, he reflects on their first meeting and how he talked to Mrs. Partridge about Max's attitude. However, Mrs. Partridge wasn't his assistant then. At least not in timeline 2! This would have been accurate for the Dr. Bairstow from Max's original timeline, but here, Mrs. Partridge was introduced to all members of St. Mary's only in the last book when she replaced Ms. Lee who returned to her duties as PA to Chief of Assignments. (hide spoiler)] That was a bummer, really (but not enough to warrant a star to be deducted).Nevertheless, I am a little fangirl so now have the books as ebooks, paperbacks AND audiobooks (but will keep listening to the audio since Zara Ramm continues to do the most splendid job)! ;PNow I will first read (listen to) the short stories / novellas and only then will I move on to the next full-length novel.
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  • Jaya
    January 1, 1970
    One would think this routine would get monotonous and old after 4-5 instalments. One couldn't possibly be more wrong...
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Love this series! Another great instalment.
  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    Would someone with a brain PLEASE scoop this up for the small screen? I love Love LOVE this series! Dang it, I wish I worked at St. Mary's. Don’t they need a musician? I’ve taught Music History, can I qualify? Please??? Thank you, Ms. Taylor, for once again working your magic. This is a hoot and a holler and a fabulous ride!
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Don't read this book. LISTEN to it. There are very few perfect matches between material and narrator, but this is one. Hard to imagine without Zara Ramm. Good story, very funny. Highly recommend. Won't change your life, but will keep you happy while your listening.
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow this is the second book in a row in which the Drama Llama hasn’t made an appearance. I’m not lying when I say good riddance. He/She/It was almost ruined the series for me and I almost didn’t continue after book III. But Steven was so kind as to nudge me to continue and I am so happy he did.The best part of this series for me has been traipsing through time. I’m not a huge history buff but if there is a fun way to teach history this is it. I’m not saying it is accurate (how would I know) but Wow this is the second book in a row in which the Drama Llama hasn’t made an appearance. I’m not lying when I say good riddance. He/She/It was almost ruined the series for me and I almost didn’t continue after book III. But Steven was so kind as to nudge me to continue and I am so happy he did.The best part of this series for me has been traipsing through time. I’m not a huge history buff but if there is a fun way to teach history this is it. I’m not saying it is accurate (how would I know) but it is interesting and fun.Max has a new mission. Besides rebuilding St. Mary’s she needs to help put the fun back into being a Historian which is arguably the most dangerous and daunting job in the universe. So there will be much fun to be had, if by fun you mean being beat up by a gang of children, getting stuck in a fire, being shot and worst of all planning a wedding. ‘Max, you’ve planned multi-part assignments which have spread over centuries. Millennia, even. Why is planning one small wedding throwing you into such turmoil?’ ‘I don’t know. I always think a wedding is a bit like dying, don’t you?’ ‘No,’ he said, carefully. ‘No, I don’t think that thought has ever occurred to me.’ I again love the friendships between Max, Peterson and Markum. Although if I ever saw them in real life I’d run the other way as quickly as possible since something is bound to explode or catch on fire within the next five minutes. This had some very tense moments the altercation with Barkley was extremely intense with a dash of wtf to it. There were also some very tender funny moments as well and a bit of nostalgia with a certain Bentley. All and all another win for the historians and I’m enjoying the series more and more. Plus Leon 2.0 is a dream and I love that guy and his banter play with Max. Well worth sticking around for.
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  • Maria Dimitrova
    January 1, 1970
    Another week, another St. Mary's book under the belt. I'm quite happy with this new and improved St. Mary's, mostly because we seem to have put the artificial relationship drama behind. I mean, with a bunch of disaster prone historians and assorted support staff, who needs extra drama??? For most of the characters the differences between this version of them and the previous versions are subtle except for Leon. Leon 1.0 was a brash and insensitive man, while Leon 2.0 is almost too good to be tru Another week, another St. Mary's book under the belt. I'm quite happy with this new and improved St. Mary's, mostly because we seem to have put the artificial relationship drama behind. I mean, with a bunch of disaster prone historians and assorted support staff, who needs extra drama??? For most of the characters the differences between this version of them and the previous versions are subtle except for Leon. Leon 1.0 was a brash and insensitive man, while Leon 2.0 is almost too good to be true. It makes me suspicious. Let's hope my suspicions are never realized because I really like this new version.Bitchface Barclay makes another appearance and there was a WTF moment that ultimately led to me almost exploding with rage when it was finally explained. What she did was wrong on so many levels! I so wanted her to suffer that I couldn't see straight. Poor Max! (view spoiler)[SInce the beginning we knew that Max had a difficult childhood but up until now I assumed it was just abuse. I mean beatings, shouting, etc. And because of that dysfunctional childhood I cut Max a lot of slack in the emotional maturity department. In this instalment something a lot more sinister was alluded to and if I'm right and Max's father really raped her with the full knowledge of her mother than I'm extremely surprised that she's showing even that much willingness to trust others. I hope I misunderstood the memory but if I didn't it makes what Barclay did that much more twisted. (hide spoiler)] So after all this Max really deserves a break. Yeah, yeah I know, it's unlikely to happen. But hope springs eternal, right?
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This is the 5th book in the Chronicles of St Mary's and this one I really enjoyed following. The story continues to grip me and I was very happy that this story returned to the good old setting of St Mary's itself rather than being a trip through too many places like the 4th one was. This once again follows Max, our main character who is filled with life and vibrance. She's a lady I'd love to meet in real life becuase she's just fabulous and the adventures she gets herself into really make me sm This is the 5th book in the Chronicles of St Mary's and this one I really enjoyed following. The story continues to grip me and I was very happy that this story returned to the good old setting of St Mary's itself rather than being a trip through too many places like the 4th one was. This once again follows Max, our main character who is filled with life and vibrance. She's a lady I'd love to meet in real life becuase she's just fabulous and the adventures she gets herself into really make me smile. In this book we follow Max as she's called back into the past becuase one of her colleagues sees a falling ghost and they try to investigate. I loved seeing the team back together again and investigating, and there's some very creepy and crazy moments :) 4*s
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    What can I say? How do you keep finding superlatives to describe the next book in one of your absolute favourite series' ever without repeating yourself?! I loved this!! SO SO MUCH!!!My very favourite part about the writing in this series is its humour, which is off-centre and inappropriately dark, to say the very least. I adore that!! Laughing at things we know we should absolutely NOT laugh at, is not only a slightly forbidden pleasure [even if it is at fictional events] somehow just always fe What can I say? How do you keep finding superlatives to describe the next book in one of your absolute favourite series' ever without repeating yourself?! I loved this!! SO SO MUCH!!!My very favourite part about the writing in this series is its humour, which is off-centre and inappropriately dark, to say the very least. I adore that!! Laughing at things we know we should absolutely NOT laugh at, is not only a slightly forbidden pleasure [even if it is at fictional events] somehow just always feels extra cool. It's a fine line to walk, being funny without going too far and Jodi Taylor manages it perfectly, every time. I laugh out loud [for real!] all the way through every St. Mary's book I've read so far, and in today's world, that is beyond huge! Laughter is the truly the best medicine and this series is easy medicine to take.I also love that I get history lessons with every book in this series. Some of the events the St. Mary's gang barge into and and turn into mayhem I was already familiar with, but plenty of them I didn't know much about, so it is always fun to learn a bit more about historical events - even if they may be mucked about due to the St. Mary's penchant to create chaos everywhere they go. At least it's fun chaos, and it usually turns out in the end. And speaking of the end, the ending of this book - which I will not detail to avoid spoilers - was just THE BEST THING EVER!!!! It made me so happy . . . and then it made me laugh out loud, so, right on point for the St. Mary's status quo.Honestly, this series is in my top 5 series ever, and I have loved every book so far to the moon and back. I hope Jodi Taylor continues writing them, because I will read every book that comes, and I firmly expect to continue to love them with my whole heart!
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  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    Max and her team of time travelling historians return for another romp along the timeline. In this episode they visit St Paul's Cathedral to salvage whatever they can as it's crashing down around them. Then it's on to 13th century Florence where the bonfire of the vanities is in full swing and a bunch of works by Botticelli have an appointment with the flames. Finally it's to Thermopylae where they find themselves accidentally risking the timeline and possibly altering history. The Spartans can' Max and her team of time travelling historians return for another romp along the timeline. In this episode they visit St Paul's Cathedral to salvage whatever they can as it's crashing down around them. Then it's on to 13th century Florence where the bonfire of the vanities is in full swing and a bunch of works by Botticelli have an appointment with the flames. Finally it's to Thermopylae where they find themselves accidentally risking the timeline and possibly altering history. The Spartans can't win, can they??No Time Like the Past is great, it's entertaining and fun...occasionally very funny. The one thing it isn't is fresh. So while I enjoyed this book...yes I probably even loved it, I can't help but think that the best is behind us. We're not quite at the shark jumping moment just yet but it must be getting close.
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  • Marjolein
    January 1, 1970
    Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I went into this having certain expectations. I was not disappointed. Returning to St Mary's was great (even though I only left for half a day). Your favorite time-traveling historians return in order to cause more mayhem. No Time Like The Past focuses slightly more on St Mary's related problems, as they travel back in time to investigate the mysterious ghost that Markham keeps seeing, try to secure some more treasures to be found on th Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I went into this having certain expectations. I was not disappointed. Returning to St Mary's was great (even though I only left for half a day). Your favorite time-traveling historians return in order to cause more mayhem. No Time Like The Past focuses slightly more on St Mary's related problems, as they travel back in time to investigate the mysterious ghost that Markham keeps seeing, try to secure some more treasures to be found on the grounds of St Mary's and most difficultly, try to get the general public interested in History. Indeed, people-person Max needs to organize St Mary's in order to have a open day, of course in the typical style you've come to expect (Oh, how I wish I could attend it).It was a great follow up to A Trail Through Time, which left us hanging with certain threats. But, all is well that ends well. (Except for the car, it gets crashed. Again).
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  • Kathrin
    January 1, 1970
    The thing that draws me to this series is the lighting speed of the plot. Each book is not just one adventure but five. Once again, I just adore Zara Ramm's narration, it makes the story cone to life.
  • Rbucci
    January 1, 1970
    Much like the other books, fast paced and full of history. I love reading and following the relationships between the characters.
  • Karsyn
    January 1, 1970
    As always, awesome to be back at St Mary's.Not one of my favorites, another 4.5, but still really really enjoyable and really can't quite put my finger on what wasn't as enjoyable for me. Just some duller parts for me this time around. Still really enjoyable!
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  • Patty Shimer
    January 1, 1970
    Story was great but,editing is bad.Misspellings and a lot of wordsrunning together. I love her stories and wait for her books to come out but, the editing really hurt the story.
  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the story but I found the editing/kerning errors distracting.
  • Gina Boyd
    January 1, 1970
    This might be my favorite of the series, because it might be the funniest. I laughed aloud a few times, but I also kept realizing that I was just grinning like an idiot as I read. I'm grinning now.
  • Josie Jaffrey
    January 1, 1970
    Watch The Gin Book Club's video review here: https://www.josiejaffrey.com/single-p...This is the first time in the St Mary's series that will find you at a disadvantage if you haven't read the short stories that precede it. I'd recommend reading all of them anyway, because they're great fun, but I would particularly recommend reading The Christmas Present before you start this book, because some elements of the story are continued.This fifth book in the St Mary's series felt more episodic than t Watch The Gin Book Club's video review here: https://www.josiejaffrey.com/single-p...This is the first time in the St Mary's series that will find you at a disadvantage if you haven't read the short stories that precede it. I'd recommend reading all of them anyway, because they're great fun, but I would particularly recommend reading The Christmas Present before you start this book, because some elements of the story are continued.This fifth book in the St Mary's series felt more episodic than those that preceded it. Every excursion into the past felt equally weighted, none more urgent than the others.These episodes raised a lot of questions, and answered some of mine as well. Warning: I'm about to get my geek on.Firstly: a question answered. If you have read my previous reviews of the books in this series, you may remember that I criticised 'A Second Chance' because I couldn't understand why it wasn't possible for a character to go back in time to save another character from dying. In retrospect, this is perfectly clear: it is impossible for two versions of a character to exist in the same time period, so the only people who would be able to go back and save a doomed character are those who themselves live in a different time. This is a mechanic that was properly probed and tested in the Great Fire of London episode in this book, helpfully clarifying the issue.Secondly: questions raised. All of the episodes in this book seemed to deal with the historians' ability to change history in a different way, and I found that inconsistency confusing.I think it's fair to say that this series has somewhat departed from its original premise: that the historians are present simply to observe, and that any change to the timeline will result in their swift deaths. The author now allows her characters liberally to meddle in history (the Markham episode that opens this book is a prime example), explaining their interventions by saying: (a) they were righting wrongs under the auspices of Kleio, so it was permitted (explored in previous instalments); (b) their presence and participation in events was always part of the timeline (Markham episode); or (c) they sorted things out so that what was supposed to happen sort of happened, so that's okay (Thermopylae episode).Now, I've said before in relation to this series that the time-travel aspect doesn't bear much close examination, and that it doesn't really matter anyway because the books are so fun, and I stand by that. However, it does make it challenging to keep up with the story from time to time because this inconsistency means the reader is never clear on what the historians are and are not allowed to do. This means that at any moment of peril, it's hard to extrapolate potential consequences and so grasp what the peril level actually is, and what action might be taken to avoid it. Personally I find this frustrating as a reader because I think it somewhat diminishes the potential drama, but the best thing to do is probably just to go along for the ride.Unfortunately I'm a pedant at heart, so to play devil's advocate here for a moment, I would argue that justification (c) is fundamentally flawed. The point of historians is to witness events and report back what actually happened. In some cases, they are surprised (as with the Markham episode), and what they thought was going to happen (i.e. what is recorded in present-day history) is proved to be completely incorrect. So, if they intervene in events (as in the Thermopylae episode) and cock something up, then continue to intervene to make sure that an approximation of what they think is supposed to happen does actually happen, how can they possibly know they're doing the right thing?Take Thermopylae. This is an episode I loved, because (as you may know from previous reviews) I studied Classics so this is a story with which I am familiar. However, I always found the Ephialtes part of the story unconvincing; it has more legend than truth about it to my mind. Taylor has often taken the opportunity to debunk such myths in her books (notably the Trojan Horse) and this one seemed ripe for rewriting, but instead she has her characters assume it is correct.SPOILER ALERT: skip this paragraph if you want to avoid spoilersMarkham knocks out someone he says is Ephialtes (it's never clear on what evidence he based this identification), and then Peterson 'replaces' Ephialtes to lead the Persians across the pass to surround the Greeks. Given how little they had seen of the events, I couldn't understand how the historians could be so certain (a) that he was really Ephialtes; or (b) that they were recreating events that should have happened.Of course, if they intervened at all then that must be how history always had been in order to preserve the timeline, so they weren't actually changing anything at all... This mental Gordian knot is, I suspect, why Taylor initially chose to preclude her characters from participating in events in the past. It just doesn't work. Perhaps we should just slice through it by ignoring the paradoxes and enjoying the story.The Good:I always say this: but the sparky dialogue and humour in these books is a complete joy to read. I love the idiosyncratic English jokes Taylor throws around (it did take me a while to work out what the "WPB file" was, but I got there in the end), and I'm constantly impressed by her ability to combine that humour with well-researched history and serious issues.There are some seriously dark moments in this and the previous book. Taylor's references are light-touch, not dwelling on the horror, but they're more than sufficient to get her point across. The way that they are written is so evocative that you can almost feel the protagonist turning her head away from events as she narrates them.The Bad:In places, I found it a little difficult to distinguish who was doing what. In particular, during the Thermopylae adventure Markham and Peterson were hard to differentiate at times. I think this is partly a characterisation issue (they speak in a fairly similar way) and partly a function of the pacing of the novel. Either way, I had to do a fair bit of re-reading to work out what was going on at times.Although the book ends with a big event (I won't spoil it for you), for me there was no significant climax to the novel. It didn't particularly detract from my enjoyment of the book, but the usual thread of central plot line that underpins these stories disappeared about halfway through, so it felt like two novellas rather than a single novel. The climax to the first part was more dramatic and compelling. The comparison made the second half feel a little flatter than the first, which to my mind is the wrong way round.The Ugly: As with the other books in the series, there were a few squiffy punctuation marks and typos scattered around. The typos were a bit more frequent in this instalment, and they tripped me up a few times. Question marks were frequently conspicuous by their absence. It's a shame that these wonderful books aren't better polished by their editors.The Quote:"Everyone needs rules. After all, how can you break what doesn't exist? Rules give anarchy something to aim for."
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  • Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
    January 1, 1970
    Rollicking time travel adventure. Makes no sense, yet, I find I enjoy them.
  • Anita Reads
    January 1, 1970
    [3.5 stars]The St. Mary’s is a secret place where historians travels back in time to record what actually went on, only to return to present time and sharing the knowledge with the world. Only someone has decided to go back themselves to try and change things for their own benefits, so instead people at St. Mary’s travels back to prevent this from happening.In this one St. Mary’s has changed a little bit after events that happened in the previous book. We actually saw a lot more of this book fro [3.5 stars]The St. Mary’s is a secret place where historians travels back in time to record what actually went on, only to return to present time and sharing the knowledge with the world. Only someone has decided to go back themselves to try and change things for their own benefits, so instead people at St. Mary’s travels back to prevent this from happening.In this one St. Mary’s has changed a little bit after events that happened in the previous book. We actually saw a lot more of this book from the office at St. Mary’s rather than traveling in time, and I don’t know if that’s what I missed, even if I did enjoy this book, but I still am quite eager to continue with the series, as they are really fun stories and I really enjoy the narrator of the audio books. If you do decide to pick these up I definitely recommend reading them that way.
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  • Linette
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent outing with the disaster prone history department of St. Mary's.
  • puppitypup
    January 1, 1970
    Adventure/Romance Sigh...At last, the happy ending! Plus, just today, Book #7 appeared on Goodreads. That means I still have two books to go. I am one happy camper!I love this series, I can definitively say it is my favorite of all time. I've been reading these while hubby is out of town, which is probably a good thing. I've just about rolled off the couch laughing a time or two. I can get away with that every once in a while with a book, but for a whole week straight, hubby would be looking at Adventure/Romance Sigh...At last, the happy ending! Plus, just today, Book #7 appeared on Goodreads. That means I still have two books to go. I am one happy camper!I love this series, I can definitively say it is my favorite of all time. I've been reading these while hubby is out of town, which is probably a good thing. I've just about rolled off the couch laughing a time or two. I can get away with that every once in a while with a book, but for a whole week straight, hubby would be looking at me sideways and suggesting I come up for air.So, bottom line, I can highly recommend this series for anyone who is expecting to be lonely for a week or two. I do miss him, but not nearly as much as I would have without my new world at St Mary's.There are no more than two bad words, and maybe one intimate scene in this one.
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  • Wealhtheow
    January 1, 1970
    Being a time traveling historian is hard and dangerous work, and enfant terrible Max has become an elder statesman through the loss of many colleagues. Luckily most of the core group of freaks that she works with, like accident prone Markham or vicious nurse Helen, are still around to keep life interesting. Max goes on several excursions into the past (The Grand Exhibition! Thermopylae!) and even survives Visitor's Day at St.Mary's. It's all very charming and funny. I'm torn between wanting more Being a time traveling historian is hard and dangerous work, and enfant terrible Max has become an elder statesman through the loss of many colleagues. Luckily most of the core group of freaks that she works with, like accident prone Markham or vicious nurse Helen, are still around to keep life interesting. Max goes on several excursions into the past (The Grand Exhibition! Thermopylae!) and even survives Visitor's Day at St.Mary's. It's all very charming and funny. I'm torn between wanting more of these episodic romps through history and wanting more overaching plot.
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  • Rhuddem Gwelin
    January 1, 1970
    Few series have been so enjoyable to read. I love these books, this one is no exception. If you haven't yet read about Max and her mad colleagues, time-travelling historians, then you really have something to look forward to.
  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Another higgledy-piggledy storyline involving Max, Leon, Markam, Peterson (my favourite), and the rest of the St Mary's crew. This book includes insights into the Fire of London, Thermopylae, Botticelli's Florence, but not before we start with 17th Century St Mary's where a few crew members go back to because Markham keeps seeing a ghost that keeps repeatedly falling off the roof - it turns out to be him. The team do another two artifact rescues to top up Thirsk's treasury. The first one goes ho Another higgledy-piggledy storyline involving Max, Leon, Markam, Peterson (my favourite), and the rest of the St Mary's crew. This book includes insights into the Fire of London, Thermopylae, Botticelli's Florence, but not before we start with 17th Century St Mary's where a few crew members go back to because Markham keeps seeing a ghost that keeps repeatedly falling off the roof - it turns out to be him. The team do another two artifact rescues to top up Thirsk's treasury. The first one goes horribly wrong and sees the loss of one of the historians, whose loss in turn leads to the departure of the remaining historian - not good for staff morale. Bitchface Barlcley makes another nail biting return that had me gasping in bed on a Saturday morning for all of the wrong reasons. Max's relationship with Leon progresses nicely and thinking back I'm not sure I can actually recall them having an argument in this book which was an extremely pleasant surprise as, to be honest, all of the arguing was getting tiresome.The writing is like the books before - quirky, fast paced, and very engaging.A good read.
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  • Trelawn
    January 1, 1970
    I love that Markham is getting more of a role in the last few books as he is such a great character. In this one it is Markham seeing a ghost that nobody else can see that propels them on an adventure to a past St Marys. There is a disastrous visit to Old St Paul's during the Great Fire of London where Clive Ronan and Isabella Barclay take being bastards up a notch. My favourite was the visit to Thermopylae though. Sure it was fun reading about the 300 Spartans at the Gates of Fire but more fun I love that Markham is getting more of a role in the last few books as he is such a great character. In this one it is Markham seeing a ghost that nobody else can see that propels them on an adventure to a past St Marys. There is a disastrous visit to Old St Paul's during the Great Fire of London where Clive Ronan and Isabella Barclay take being bastards up a notch. My favourite was the visit to Thermopylae though. Sure it was fun reading about the 300 Spartans at the Gates of Fire but more fun was Markham accidently knocking Ephialtes out at a crucial moment in history leaving Peterson to play the role of traitor. Some interesting developments in the characters private lives too. This series just keeps delivering.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    The reader can be assured that in reading any book in the Chronicle of St. Mary's series that straightforward time travel jaunts are anything but easy. During the 5th book, the series' protagonist Madeleine Maxwell ("Max") and St. Mary's gang find themselves traveling to the past to the Great Fire of London to save historical artifacts from being destroyed and to the Battle of Thermopylae, a major conflict between an alliance of Greek city states and the Persians under Xerxes. If these sites wer The reader can be assured that in reading any book in the Chronicle of St. Mary's series that straightforward time travel jaunts are anything but easy. During the 5th book, the series' protagonist Madeleine Maxwell ("Max") and St. Mary's gang find themselves traveling to the past to the Great Fire of London to save historical artifacts from being destroyed and to the Battle of Thermopylae, a major conflict between an alliance of Greek city states and the Persians under Xerxes. If these sites were not troublesome enough, Max must struggle with rogue time-travelers and her continuing romance with Leon "Chief" Farrell.I have heard that the latest edition will be released in April 2018. Since this series is my guilty pleasure I will be picking this one up.
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