Friday, December 14, 2018

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

About the Book

Published in June 2016 by Night Shade Books

GoodReads Description

"History is just one damned thing after another."

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake....

My Thoughts

I am going to have such a hard time talking about this book and not sounding like a raging fan girl!  UGH  I'm going to try my best but OH MY GOD! I love this book so freaking much!  I am so in love with this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The best place to start, of course, is to talk about the characters.  Max is a wonderful protagonist who deserves all the praise we could possibly proffer.  I couldn't help but identify with her as she's a short, chunky, red head who always finds herself in the middle of whatever trouble is brewing.  That's also a fairly decent description of me. She is such a believable character that the pain she feels forces the reader to not only empathize with her, but actually cringe.  At one point, the pain she went through was so powerful that I threw the book down on the couch and screamed.  I had no other choice.  Maybe I'm just a bit melodramatic, but I think that screams volumes about the kind of reader Taylor truly is.  

Despite my identification with Max, Chief is definitely my favorite character.  He has been through so much in different time periods yet he continues to be a wonderful example of a perfect gentleman.  The poor guy has no choice but to go along with all of Max's shenanigans.  This could either cause him a huge amount of trouble, or he could simply accept the crazy and just keep going.  I'm proud to report that I love when he does the latter.

Taylor truly had to do her best work when it came to world building in this novel.  Because the characters visit so many other time periods, Taylor is faced with the unique challenge of describing each time period as they get to it.  She does a beautiful job of describing the scenery and history of each time as well as bringing in characters from each era that the reader easily relates to and wants the best for.  Additionally, Taylor makes the wise choice of spending the vast majority of her efforts on building the personality of St. Mary's University.  She explains not only the smells and sights, but the ways that the different characters fit together like one enormous mismatched puzzle.  These characters are wacky and mischievous, but absolutely cohesive.

Taylor has definitely made her way to my "Favorite Authors" List as a result of this novel.  I look forward to sharing my reviews of the rest of the series with you.

My Rating

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