Narrator: Zara Ramm
Series: The Chronicles of St Mary's #1
Published by Audible Studios on April 1, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 9 hrs 30 mins
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"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....
“I don’t like time travel and I don’t read much science fiction.” Apparently I’m a liar. Just One Damned Thing After Another is my third science fiction-ish book of the year and deals pretty much solely with time travel and I though it was a blast.
Our historian is Madeleine Maxwell (Max) and I have to say I love her. She’s smart and funny in that snarky way and she really does seem to be a bit of a disaster magnet. St Mary’s is a “secret” organization that specializes in time travel, going back and observing history – not interfering. They take assignments from a university that they are connected with. There aren’t very many historians (time-travelers) in part because they end up getting killed on assignments, so the few that there are get to cover all sort of times, not just those they specialize in.
You have to suspend disbelief here and just go along for the fun ride. Yeah, probably sending a non-paleontologist back to study dinosaurs was bound to lead to disaster, but how were they to know? In the meantime, there’s an evil group of time-travelers running around history that need dealt with before they destroy St. Mary’s. In theory, History will always take care of itself. If you’re a historian and are going to prevent an assassination, it will crush you with a boulder, which I like. Screwing around with history is usually what makes me anti-time travel. But then, History lets some major things happen that could definitely have changed things and it’s up to St. Mary’s to stop the bad guys. I don’t know why history didn’t just get them with a volcano. You have to just go along with it, relax and enjoy the story.
The title is perfect. The story is one thing after another all of which are loosely tied together, but it was probably one of the funnest books I’ve read this year. Of course, one reviewer on Amazon says if you like “‘The Librarians” or possibly even Daniel O’Malley’s “The Rook” you will most likely also enjoy this [book]” and it’s true, I love both of those too. I listened to the audio version, which I think was a good choice. It’s exciting enough to keep you interested but ligh enough that you don’t have to pay too close attention.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: