Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of the Chronicles of St Mary’s books by Jodi Taylor

A Mixed Bag: Musings over Reviews

jodi five stars

I love all my reviews – yes, even the ones that go, ‘Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish,’ (sic) or tell me that if I could just learn to spell then my books would be quite good. I think one of my favourites is ‘Downloaded this by mistake. Couldn’t be bothered to read it. One star.’

On the other hand, there are my other favourites. This one is for The Nothing Girl and from a gentleman who simply wrote, ‘If you ever tell anyone I read this book then I will freaking kill you.’ He goes on to describe it as awesome, so he’s obviously an extremely intelligent and perceptive person – as, indeed, are all my readers.

As I say, I love them all – although some more than others, obviously, but occasionally, I receive one that really hits the nail on the head. Thank you, Nicola, for this thoughtful review.

review

So thank you to everyone who takes the trouble to review my books – even those who consider the plots to be non-existent, the characters to be no more than cardboard cut outs, and the dialogue clichéd.I do try to vary the tone of my books. Some are fairly light-hearted and some are definitely a little darker. It’s interesting to see which readers prefer. Some begin their reviews with, ‘I loved this one – it’s a little darker than the others …’ Others say, ‘I loved this one – it’s not as dark as the others …’ One day I think we should run a competition for ‘Favourite Book of the Series. And Why?’ Note to self – speak to Accent Press.This was exactly what I was trying to do. Throughout the series I have tried to grow the characters. To make them seem like real people by having their lives move on. Relationships – some that work and some that don’t. And deaths – I didn’t want to have a core of characters that readers know will always survive no matter what happens. I want them to feel that anything could happen to any character at any moment. That yes, people might live happily, but not always forever after. Life never stands still and death is always waiting – I wrote cheerily in bed this morning, as I stowed my empty mug in my underwear drawer so the ants can’t get at it. Which was why I was so pleased with this review of ATTT. This is the book in which they all grew up a little – well, those of them that survived the battle of St Mary’s.

And especially thanks to my readers who continually forgive me as I stray towards The Dark Side … Again … As Ronan remarks to Max in Book 8, ‘You dance on the edge of darkness, Max, and I don’t think it would take much for you to dance my way.’

Now I just have to decide whether she will … or whether she won’t.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Five Star Amazon Review

Mayhem abounds at St Mary’s once again, Several new recruits, some surprising revelations, and an exploding pig all combine to make this another rollicking adventure with some rather dark bits thrown in for good measure.

I think the genius of Ms Taylor’s writing is all the stuff lurking between the lines: the relationships between the characters are so well defined that they – as well as us – all know what someone is thinking just by a look, or a gesture. The silent conversation between Max and Mrs Partridge is truly a class act.

Less classy, but entirely wonderful is the indestructible, Markham. I think of him as more socially acceptable,far more adept Corporal Nobbs – without the shoving.

I love Max – her character just expands and grows. She’s a fascinating creation and it was interesting to see her a little more introspective this time around. Leon is as delicious as ever.

Glorious. All of it. More please.

5 Star Amazon review: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Review for Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Series)

This book is a great read, and for me it became a real page turner. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it but after following the protagonist and her colleagues through training and early jumps, I found I was really enjoying the read. Taylor is clearly a talented writer and was able to keep me interested all the way through, which is why I’ve given a 5* rating.

The concept of historians using time travel to investigate the past in real time was definitely
a new idea. It was something I could relate to as I hold an MA in history and would love to go back to many events of the past to see what it looked like. I was definitely jealous of Taylor’s choice of location for the ‘Big One’. It was beautifully developed and described, and I felt like I was there. This theme followed through in the subsequent plot twists. There are some good characters but all the major development is focused on Maxwell.

I would recommend this as a good adventurous read that is a bit different and has great pace. It doesn’t even matter if you’re not into history because the jokes are still funny and the story still exciting.

Unfortunately I had a couple of gripes, not enough to lose a star but they did irk me. Firstly, the title of the book is awful, I thought it was going to be about ‘The Damned’, i.e. the undead, it’s
definitely not about that and that was very confusing.Secondly, Taylor says that Maxwell is a historian, but speaking from experience, that team sound MUCH more like archaeologists, so by the end of the book I was thinking about them as archaeologists and it worked much better for me. Trust me, there is a difference…Lastly, I felt Maxwell as a character just needed a little more
smoothing out, she’s been through some serious trauma but still comes out with some major sarcasm and confidence. Perhaps in the next book the cracks will start to show.

I’ll definitely be interested in seeing what happens next at St Mary’s, I’ve got an idea of what is shaping up for their future but I’m sure Taylor’s story will be exciting and fun and I can’t wait to find out.