Just one damned obstacle after another. Thousands of new tomes reach the market every month. Not only does a writer face ever-increasing competition for the eyes of agents and editors, but the number of new books hitting the shelves combined with indie and self-published ebooks makes it nearly impossible to keep up with any one genre. Perhaps a historian from St. Mary’s will one day travel back in time to observe and record the publishing industry of the early 21st century. One would expect this to be a less hazardous venture than a trip to the cretaceous era, though perhaps not as revealing.
Jodi Taylor has given us an original take on the time travel theme in her series, “The Chronicles of St. Mary’s.” Her first volume, “Just One Damned Thing After Another,” introduces the key players and takes us on a breakneck pace through Madelyn Maxwell’s training and rise to the rank of historian. A challenge complicated by a murderous band from a future St. Mary’s who have come back in time determined to destroy Maxwell’s institution.
Zara Ramm narrates the Audible unabridged novel and does so with a smooth, engaging English dialect. Taylor’s world-building calls extensively on history and a well-rounded supporting cast tug at a reader’s emotions as they face betrayal, death and unbridled hostility – not to mention a T-Rex with halitosis. For fans of H.G. Wells’ classic “The Time Machine” who have been searching for a satisfying take on time travel, “Just One Damned Thing After Another” is worth a look. Fans of Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series will note similarities in the originality of setting and find a touch more satisfaction in the development of peripheral characters, all of which adds up to my grade of a solid 4+ stars.