Favorite genres are traditional mystery, police procedurals, espionage, Eurocrime, literary fiction and nonfiction history, especially WW2 and Cold War. I write about crime fiction at Read Me Deadly (www.readmedeadly.com)
I love time travel books, and if they have great dialogue and a sense of humor, all the better. And if they don’t waste a lot of time with historians running around the past missing each other and complaining about it (cough, Connie Willis, cough), then I’m thrilled.
Somebody mentioned this book in a discussion forum on Amazon and I gave the Audible audiobook a try. The narrator, Zara Ramm, was terrific and I will be looking for other books she reads. The protagonist, Lucy Maxwell, known as Max, and the story were even better.
This isn’t a hard-science time travel book––in fact, there are some inconsistencies in the book’s description of the rules of time travel. It’s a mix of history, adventure, comedy and a little bit of romance.
The historians of St. Mary’s travel in time to do historical research for the University of Thirsk, which then sells the research to moviemakers, writers, museums and what have you, as if it is traditional research. Max passes through a rigorous vetting process to become one of the historians and then is allowed to go on missions. Even though historians are instructed to observe and no more, the missions are still dangerous and Jodi Taylor conveys the grief the team members feel when one of their members is killed or badly injured. At the same time, she makes the missions sound so exciting that it’s not at all surprising that the team members stay enthusiastic about wanting to go on even the most dangerous missions, as when Max and her historian partner are sent to the Cretaceous era to observe the climate, geology, flora and fauna––especially the dinosaurs.
The dangers of time travel are increased when St. Mary’s becomes the target of hostile time travelers from the future. It looks like this will be the source of a continuing story line for the series.
Max is a little bit scatty, but she’s also a very strong-minded and tough young woman. She makes for a protagonist I want to read more about, along with the other St. Mary’s team members.
I was sorry when this book ended and I’ll definitely read later books in the series.