Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10)
The tenth book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary's series which follows a group of tea-soaked disaster magnets as they hurtle their way around History. If you love Jasper Fforde or Ben Aaronovitch, you won't be able to resist Jodi Taylor.You can't change History. History doesn't like it. There are always consequences.Max is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands. Especially when she's had A Brilliant Idea. Yes, it will mean breaking a few rules, but - as Max always says - they're not her rules.Seconded to the Time Police to join in the hunt for the renegade Clive Ronan, Max is a long way from St Mary's. But life in the future does have its plus points - although not for long.A problem with the Time Map reveals chaos in the 16th century and the wrong Tudor queen on the throne. History has gone rogue, there's a St Mary's team right in the firing line and Max must step up.You know what they say. Hope for the best. But plan for the worst.

Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10) Details

TitleHope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10)
Author
ReleaseApr 25th, 2019
PublisherHeadline
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Audiobook

Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10) Review

  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    The latest instalment of the St Mary’s series is full of the usual capers with Max and co. through time, although the setting changes somewhat as we see Max seconded to the Time Police on a secret mission to finally bring down Clive Ronan. As usual, I love historical aspects of this, this time ranging from Mary Tudor England (that somehow goes horribly wrong, of course), to the future, and everywhere in between. Max spends a lot of time with the wonderful teenagers Adrian and Mikey in this one t The latest instalment of the St Mary’s series is full of the usual capers with Max and co. through time, although the setting changes somewhat as we see Max seconded to the Time Police on a secret mission to finally bring down Clive Ronan. As usual, I love historical aspects of this, this time ranging from Mary Tudor England (that somehow goes horribly wrong, of course), to the future, and everywhere in between. Max spends a lot of time with the wonderful teenagers Adrian and Mikey in this one too, and they bring a great amount of dynamic energy to the story (with a hint of the mysterious subtlety mentioned at the end). I missed the pairing up of Max and Peterson quite a bit though, as well as Markham. For a lot of the novel Max is predominantly out on her own or with the Time Police and I did feel like there was just something missing in terms of the friendly banter and dialogue I’ve become accustomed to with the St Mary’s gang. I also found this suffers a little in the same way the early books did in that plots are picked up and dropped quite abruptly without fully explaining the reasonings behind it. We have the overall plot of Max looking to capture Ronan, but the smaller plots just peter out - such as the whole issue around changing time, the ‘mist’, Matthew’s ‘special abilities’ and what exactly happened and why. There’s hints that they’re looking further into the problems, but no satisfactory conclusions. As always, I do love the St Mary’s series. I know what I’m getting with the stories, and I enjoy the insight into areas of history I might not have thought twice about. It’s not my favourite in the series, but highly entertaining nonetheless.
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  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    I think it's safe to say that Taylor has done it again. Not MAX doing it again, per se, but for writing a great SF time-travel hijinx novel, the WRITER has done it again. :)My goodness. Max taking herself into Mastermind territory? Oh, WHAT COULD GO WRONG, indeed? lolI admit I'm a huge fan of big heist-type novels and this one gives us all the attempted makings of one. Max even GETS PERMISSION to run such an ill-conceived notion against her arch-enemy. Will wonders never cease?Of course, things I think it's safe to say that Taylor has done it again. Not MAX doing it again, per se, but for writing a great SF time-travel hijinx novel, the WRITER has done it again. :)My goodness. Max taking herself into Mastermind territory? Oh, WHAT COULD GO WRONG, indeed? lolI admit I'm a huge fan of big heist-type novels and this one gives us all the attempted makings of one. Max even GETS PERMISSION to run such an ill-conceived notion against her arch-enemy. Will wonders never cease?Of course, things go wrong. They always go wrong. History department or FAR off the History department's tracks, I was consistently amazed at the lengths that Max went. From start to finish, I think this one might be one of my favorites in the series.Sure, there isn't so much involvement with the old characters so much, but that is to be expected, being on the run and all. :)So? Bravo! Totally entertaining. :)
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  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    Don't look at the Kindlenotes marked as spoilers. Really. Don't.After I've recovered my sanity, I will attempt to review this tenth volume of the Chronicles of St Mary's.This could take a while. Not least because I need to speak to my therapist about my intense, volcanic rage at the misuse of "pouring" instead of "poring" throughout the book.
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    Buddy Read 25Apr19These books are a crack up for me. You would think by book 10 with some many short stories in-between that I’d start getting bored with them, but you’d be wrong, wrong, wrong. Every time I’m with the crew at St. Mary’s I have the best time. I’ve grown to love all the characters and their quirks like they are family. Max is so much fun and even in a crisis she can see the bright side and get a laugh or two out of me.With trips to the crustaceous period, the 16th Century, the la Buddy Read 25Apr19These books are a crack up for me. You would think by book 10 with some many short stories in-between that I’d start getting bored with them, but you’d be wrong, wrong, wrong. Every time I’m with the crew at St. Mary’s I have the best time. I’ve grown to love all the characters and their quirks like they are family. Max is so much fun and even in a crisis she can see the bright side and get a laugh or two out of me.With trips to the crustaceous period, the 16th Century, the land of Kush (Egypt adjacent), the future with the Time Police and a St. Mary’s of the future as well there is something to always be entertained by. I usually learn something about a historical time I’m not familiar with in a very fun and interesting way. That is one great thing about these stories. But the other is just hanging out with Max and all the trouble she is bound to get into.The other beautiful thing is Max and Leon together. I love that they are like a real couple and have some problems at times and a real kind of marriage with real difficulties. Like Leon was hurt extremely badly in a prior book and is having some trouble in the bedroom. I like how this has been handled in the series and that it never changed the love and devotion that the two characters feel towards each other. There’s a kind of literary tradition that after a prolonged absence, the hero and heroine fall romantically into each other’s arms and indulge in three pages of athletic sex – gruelling for both reader and participants alike. You might want to brace yourself for disappointment. Firstly, because Leon hadn’t been well for some time which meant . . . well, you know. And secondly because Markham jammed a gun in the back of my neck and tried to shoot me. Some days I don’t know why I bother to get out of bed. Roland is out in the word causing havoc and Matthew, Max and Leon’s son is living in the future with the time police for his protection at the moment. Max has a brilliant plan to finally get Roland out of their lives and of course it is dangerous and has a ton of moving parts and involves a really shady sex club owner, the time police and a trip to the Crustaceous period with dinosaurs so what could possibly go wrong. There are also Dodo’s as a cherry on top. How many books have you read with a sex club and Dodos? ” You will want to be careful what you leave within beaking range. Hillary, they tell me, is particularly fond of hard-boiled eggs.’ ‘Isn’t that like some form of cannibalism for them?’ She nodded. ‘Eating one’s young.’ ‘Eating one’s young is a hugely underestimated weapon in the parental arsenal.’ The humor in this is fantastic as always and I devoured it in like a day. Max and her sense of humor is fantastic and I always love the dialogue in every story. Especially when she is talking to the bad guys. ‘Let us all think carefully. Who here has the least value? Who has annoyed me the most?’ He turned to face me. ‘Who is in need of a much-deserved lesson?’ ‘No idea,’ I said. ‘Oh, I think you do.’ ‘Well, yes, I do, but I thought it would be rude to point out it’s you. Not in front of your men. Although it would be good to stop you talking before everyone dies of boredom.’ Time travel books usually don’t work for me, but the rules of this world and how it is set up totally works and I really love the world we are in. The episodic nature of some of the trips within the book is usually fun and then there are the overlaying story arcs that carry from book to book that almost always win in my opinion. Jodi Taylor has put out another fantastic look into the crazy lives of the Historians of St. Mary’s and I can’t wait for the next adventure for Max and crew. Also I want to say how much I love the character summaries in the beginning of the book of all the characters that we are going to see in this book. It is a fantastic way to know what we should remember from the last books and they in themselves are witty, smart and usually pretty funny. I read them both before I started and after I finished and I bow down to Jodi Taylor’s writing in them. Well done again.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    I. LOVE. THIS. SERIES.AND. PUTTING. PERIODS. RANDOMLY. FOR. EMPHASIS.AND. MADELEINE. MAXWELL.Huh, that makes me feel like A.I.D.A.N.
  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    It's that time of the year where I make myself some tea and enjoy a bit of timey wimey stuff. Yep, it's St. Mary's time again and this time, the disaster magnets have their hands full.Max, Leon and their son Matthew have worked out a weird form of routine what with the boy still living with the time police until his parents can finally catch Clive Ronan. In order to speed things along, Max has an idea. We all know how that usually goes. However, both Mrs. Partridge and Dr. Bairstow seem to think It's that time of the year where I make myself some tea and enjoy a bit of timey wimey stuff. Yep, it's St. Mary's time again and this time, the disaster magnets have their hands full.Max, Leon and their son Matthew have worked out a weird form of routine what with the boy still living with the time police until his parents can finally catch Clive Ronan. In order to speed things along, Max has an idea. We all know how that usually goes. However, both Mrs. Partridge and Dr. Bairstow seem to think it is indeed the right thing to do (there must have been some accident with a chemical agent used by R&D) and so off Max goes to work for the Time Police for a while.A trap is set, things go wrong, some more things go wrong, some hilarity ensues in between, there is the kettle-shaped pod again, and then the Time Police does as the Time Police must.As I mentioned in my previous reviews, I've stopped caring about Max. No idea if it's the author or demands from the publisher, but the way Max has developed (and several other memebers of St. Mary's with her) - namely that the word "love" doesn't seem to mean anything and that they all act as if losing your partner meant nothing and you should simply go off and get a replacement as soon as possible - doesn't sit right with me at all. Especially when considering how big St. Mary's is on the sense of family.Deaths hardly mean anything at all (it reminds me of superhero comics where they also drop like flies but then the universes get rebooted and it's no biggie).Maybe some people actually like this kind of shit (just look around, you see plenty of people doing exactly that in real life even if their partners don't die) but we're talking about supposedly good and honourable people who truly care about one another and those would not just turn on the spot to get some fresh meat.Thus, it turned out to be a good philosophy not to care about the interpersonal relationships anymore or I would have gotten quite angry in this book again.That is not to say that I don't care about any of the characters anymore. Dr. Bairstow is still THE BEST and I'm always here for some R&D fun. ;)Fortunately we don't spend too much time on the aforementioned issue. Instead, we get plenty of action here when we jump to 16th century England to make sure the right queen sits on the throneas well as the Cretaceous period where we are trying to make sure only the right people are eaten by a T-rex and Kush, which used to be part of Ancient Egypt, where we mostly run from camels. *lol*And all this just to lure and apprehend Clive Ronan once and for all.In between, we get more of the politics of this world and learn of the difficulty of operating on different time lines, not to mention having to watch out for whatever those bloody time-travelling tourists are up to again (the map the Time Police has was seriously impressive).And then there is Matthew showing some serious skills!I must admit that I missed the action and, most of all, the history side of the time jumps. While the latter still was missing mostly here, we at least got non-stop action and plans within plans within plans, kind of like a Matryoshka.The best bit certainly was Dr. Bairstow showing why he's the boss and that nobody better mess with him or his people. It was about time the lion roared again, so to speak. ;)So after me needing a break and almost giving up on the series (who would have thought considering how much I used to love it!), this was a breath of fresh air and it's shaping up to be getting really good again, which makes me very happy. I even shed a tear in the end.As always, Zara Ramm was perfect in her narration of the madcap romp through space and time. I really can't imagine reading these books without her voice in my head anymore.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    As always, another very solid story in the world of the St Mary's disaster-magnets. Max is the forefront of this story once more and this time she is working with the Time Police to bring down an old enemy and also to reunite with her family member (that the Time Police have). I don't want to go into too many specifics here as this is book number 10 in the series, and I thoroughly recommend all of them, but honestly the silly hilarity, quick wit, and charm of the characters; the adventure and th As always, another very solid story in the world of the St Mary's disaster-magnets. Max is the forefront of this story once more and this time she is working with the Time Police to bring down an old enemy and also to reunite with her family member (that the Time Police have). I don't want to go into too many specifics here as this is book number 10 in the series, and I thoroughly recommend all of them, but honestly the silly hilarity, quick wit, and charm of the characters; the adventure and the British humour all work as brilliantly as ever. I also have to say I liked seeing the two teens and their Teapot pod more in this book. I think we didn't really know them all that well until this instalment and I feel like we got to know them better here.One final note, the last few sentence of the book probably made me smile and laugh more than any others. I cannot wait to continue following these characters :)Overall, a very very good story and I certainly will continue to recommend it to everyone :) 4*s
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  • Sian Bradshaw
    January 1, 1970
    I got hold of a pre-release copy after going to a signing and consumed it that day. This is a great a book as ever. It continues the story but in a new way. There are some interesting new characters, both loveable and dastardly and some old ones we thought we'd seen the back of. The nearest I will get to a spoiler is to say what the great Jodi Taylor said at the signing - This is not the last book.
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  • Fern Adams
    January 1, 1970
    Jodi Taylor’s writing is as amazing, hilarious, heart wrenching and just as genius as always and keeps you on your toes right up until the final word. I’ve now learned though never to start one of these books without having nothing else for the rest of the day as I know I won’t move until I reach the end come any plan, unexpected disaster or anything else!
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  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    Another great episode on the St Mary's saga featuring Max, Leon, Peterson, Dr Bairstow, Markham and the gang. Max has finally had enough of renegade time traveller and sworn enemy, Clive Ronan, impacting on her life. Struck by one of her brilliant ideas, Max leaves St Mary's on Secondment and joins the time police. Things go downhill from there - about what you'd expect really. Max manages to piss off everyone from crime lords to T-rexs, and it's not even tea time yet.This was a really enjoyable Another great episode on the St Mary's saga featuring Max, Leon, Peterson, Dr Bairstow, Markham and the gang. Max has finally had enough of renegade time traveller and sworn enemy, Clive Ronan, impacting on her life. Struck by one of her brilliant ideas, Max leaves St Mary's on Secondment and joins the time police. Things go downhill from there - about what you'd expect really. Max manages to piss off everyone from crime lords to T-rexs, and it's not even tea time yet.This was a really enjoyable episode, slowly inching the main series arc forward while still providing plenty of fun adventures in the meantime. I don't want to say too much more in case I inadvertently drop spoilers but there is some great action and twisty thinking in this one. Plus a moment between our lead duo that many people have been waiting for for several books ;)Highly recommend this excellent and humorous time travel sci-fi extravaganza series.
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  • Emma Flanagan
    January 1, 1970
    Suitably St Mary’s but this is the second book in a row where Max has spent the majority of the time away from St Mary’s. The books are more fun when we have the full complement of cast running amok through history. Also seriously can we wrap up the Clive Ronan storyline. It’s time for a new big bad.
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  • Maria Dimitrova
    January 1, 1970
    RTC once I'm done being mad at the time police
  • Bryan Alkire
    January 1, 1970
    Just not as fun when the whole gang isnt involved in a history assignment throughout
  • Mburrows
    January 1, 1970
    As always amazing fun!
  • Jacey
    January 1, 1970
    Anything by Jodi Taylor is buy-on-site, or pre-order as soon as news of a new book is released. The Chronicles of St Mary's are funny and serious in turn. The historians of St Mary's take their time travelling seriously. Their purpose is to observe historic events in real time, never to interfere. Though generally they are disaster magnets and something always goes wrong. Told from the viewpoint of Max Maxwell, whose droll, dry delivery is half the fun of the books, the whole series seems to hav Anything by Jodi Taylor is buy-on-site, or pre-order as soon as news of a new book is released. The Chronicles of St Mary's are funny and serious in turn. The historians of St Mary's take their time travelling seriously. Their purpose is to observe historic events in real time, never to interfere. Though generally they are disaster magnets and something always goes wrong. Told from the viewpoint of Max Maxwell, whose droll, dry delivery is half the fun of the books, the whole series seems to have been working up to this point The early books were lighthearted, but without losing thew drollery, things have become more serious. Several books ago, Max got together with Leon (one of the engineers) and they had a child, Matthew who was kidnapped by the long-running villain, Ronan and dumped in the Victorian era as a climbing boy for a chimney sweep. Time travel being what it is, it took Max and Leon several years (in Matthew's timeline) to find him. Matthew is now (for his own safety) staying with the Time Police in the future while Ronan is on the loose. Ronan is public enemy number one, having killed a number of St Mary's staff over the course of a few books, and nurtured a personal vendetta against Max, Leon and St Marys, so in this book, Max hatches a plan to finally trap him. She involves the Time Police, even though they've caused a lot of problems for St Marys in the past – the two organisations being natural opposites. Here we have time jumps to a Tudor period where history has gone wrong and to the Cretacious period where everything is trying to kill Max (the fauna, the weather, two gangland crooks, and Ronan). It's difficult to know who to trust. I love the characters, the voice and the complex, fast-paced plotting. Highly recommended.
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    If you like the series, this is one of the best. Two caveats: I don't think you can enter the series with Hope for the Best. At this point the backstory is so complicated a newbie would need a glossary of terms and dramatis personae. The second is that the historic subplot involving Mary Tudor felt incredibly rushed in execution, largely because it was introduced with the best scene in the book (Tudor London in the grip of riot and panic). The same was true with the disposition of the two minor If you like the series, this is one of the best. Two caveats: I don't think you can enter the series with Hope for the Best. At this point the backstory is so complicated a newbie would need a glossary of terms and dramatis personae. The second is that the historic subplot involving Mary Tudor felt incredibly rushed in execution, largely because it was introduced with the best scene in the book (Tudor London in the grip of riot and panic). The same was true with the disposition of the two minor villains. After an incredible buildup, their ultimate use was a bit flat. However, Taylor's voice is stronger than ever. She makes unexpected forays into more serious emotional territory this time, and the comedic tone is as funny as ever (if you don't like her tone, and Maggie, I am looking at you, this will not persuade you). Highly recommend the series, and when in due course you reach this book, this book!
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  • Cal
    January 1, 1970
    Another brilliant tale in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. These books are such a tonic to read and are escapism at its very best. It’s so good to be back with Max and the team again. I look forward to each new instalment and love every minute I spend with them! Loved it!
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Seriously in love with this series! Jodi Taylor is an amazing author. Absolutely love the whit, sarcasm, humor, history, characters, intertwining story lines, personal relationships, trials, tribulations, triumphs---ALL of it. Please keep these Chronicles going!!! Completely entertained from page 1 to the end.
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  • kathy bracy
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent instalmentI really love the chronicles of St marys, and although this was set partly with max seconded to the time police, I still loved it. Chasing Clive Roman and setting a trap for him with Adrian and Mikey (and teapot) very heavily involved. Can't wait for the next one!
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  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    Always look forward to getting back to the madcap world of St Mary’s and all the wonderful characters. This new episode didn’t disappoint. I loved it! Would love to jump into a pod and disappear to some other time in history.
  • Sue Newbold
    January 1, 1970
    Bloody bollocking hellLaughing, crying, choking on my tea... Ms Taylor you are simply the best... St Mary's at its best... And the Time Police doing what they do best... Now to read it again to see what I missed the first time.... Ms Taylor it's an honour and a privilege x
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 A typical St. Mary’s outing, much more Max focused with everyone else as side characters. It tied up some loose ends from other books, and felt like a end of a larger story arc.
  • Danielle Mccoy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is everything I love about this series. I laughed, I was moved by the characters, I cared what happened to everyone and I cried. This series makes me feel and that is a wonderful thing!
  • Marvint
    January 1, 1970
    These books just get better
  • flajol
    January 1, 1970
    Holy Hannah. My heart is still racing from that ending. How am I going to get to sleep now? How long until the next book?I read this on a Kindle, and after the last page I got an advert for Taylor's new series featuring the Time Police. Is it about how they all die in horrible ways because they are horrible people who deserve to die horribly? Is it? IS IT? Even if it isn't, you know I'll read it anyway, because at this point I'd be prepared to read Jodi Taylor's shopping lists.
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  • Karsyn
    January 1, 1970
    Ah, St Mary's! Always so glad to be back there. More mayhem and chaos for this book and as (almost) always, so so so good! Love the characters, love the stories, love St Mary's.
  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Hope for the Best is book 10 in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series and this just might be the best one yet. Being aware that many are still awaiting the release date I will not include any of the plot in this review but the story has more twists and turns than Max’s red snake and the final chapters left me gasping for breath as Ms Taylor’s clever writing took our favourite Disaster Magnets on another exciting and emotional adventure.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    A perfectly enjoyable edition to the franchise except for the constant repetition. It couldn’t honestly be called foreshadowing. We get it, something unexpected is about to happen. Please let it happen.
  • Kalima
    January 1, 1970
    Jodi Taylor is a master of hilarious heist books where best-laid-plans inevitably go spectacularly wrong and require second by second improvisation. That combined with British humor, just the right amount of pathos (characters you like do occasionally die and are mourned in her books), and really complex management of a shitload of characters interacting in more than one time period. I do get lost at times, but if I stick with it, all becomes clear again. These books, and the short stories, are Jodi Taylor is a master of hilarious heist books where best-laid-plans inevitably go spectacularly wrong and require second by second improvisation. That combined with British humor, just the right amount of pathos (characters you like do occasionally die and are mourned in her books), and really complex management of a shitload of characters interacting in more than one time period. I do get lost at times, but if I stick with it, all becomes clear again. These books, and the short stories, are a great read.
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  • Christopher
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I've not read the other 9 books in this series, so I'm at a disadvantage in reviewing this when it seems The Chronicles of St Mary's has a pretty big fanbase. Overall, Hope for the Best is a rollicking read, with a good pace and sufficiently engaging characters to keep you turning the pages until the end. I have some, possibly personal, problems with aspects of the book, first being the author has introduced so many background characters into her series that she both seems to feel an Admittedly, I've not read the other 9 books in this series, so I'm at a disadvantage in reviewing this when it seems The Chronicles of St Mary's has a pretty big fanbase. Overall, Hope for the Best is a rollicking read, with a good pace and sufficiently engaging characters to keep you turning the pages until the end. I have some, possibly personal, problems with aspects of the book, first being the author has introduced so many background characters into her series that she both seems to feel an obligation to include all of them, whilst lacking the "space" to give them good characterisation, dialogue or purpose within this particular story. This also means that characters unique to this story, who the reader assumes will contribute more, are quickly discarded or despatched.Whilst I don't accuse the author of conscious bias, her characters are not very reflective of society; the representation of women is admirable, yet she seems to portray non-white or non-hetero characters in an exotic, salacious or comedic way. To reiterate, I don't think this is intentional, but I'd encourage her to consider more carefully how she treats these characters in future stories.The premise of the series set-up - that both policing and academic/stewardship-like organisations are necessary once time travel is a possibility - is one that really appeals to me, and there are scenes where you can feel the author's enjoyment in detailing these rich and colourful historical places and cultures. The structure of this particular story is a bit inconsequential though - it's very much a case of "some stuff happens", but I'm not sure the characters, the organisations or the world in general are changed by what came to pass. I'd be intrigued to read earlier stories in the series to find out if, before this became a successful series, the storytelling was more coherent and rewarding for the reader.Generally, an enjoyable read.
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