Sunday, March 31, 2019

Just One Damned Thing After Another

Jodi Taylor
Completed 3/31/2019, Reviewed 3/31/2019
3 stars

This was a fun, light, time-travel novel.  The author is British and the humor is quite snarky.  I enjoyed it for the most part, but I liked Connie Willis’ time-travel books better.  This is the first of a fairly long series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of them unless I see them on sale, or I’m in dire need of something light. 

The story revolves around Dr. Maxwell, a woman fresh out of her doctorate studies in history.  She meets an old elementary school teacher who gets her an interview at a history institute.  All things are hush-hush about what the job actually entails until she signs some pretty serious non-disclosure statements.  She finds out that the job involves going back in time to do research that is then used by the parent university.  She enthusiastically agrees and begins an intensive training program.  Her first assignment is to go back to the Crustaceous Era and film and study the flora, fauna, geology, and night sky.  At the end of the trip, things go horribly wrong, and then it’s just one damned thing after another.

The best thing about the book is that it is generally fast-paced and action-packed.  Five years goes by rather quickly.  I wasn’t quite sure when the five years had passed.  That was pretty unclear, but the book kept me reading anyway and I just ignored the timeline (pretty ironic for a time-travel novel).

The characters were also pretty fun.  The main character, Maxwell, was fairly well created, but most of the other characters were less than three-dimensional.  But this one- or two-dimensionality was part of the fun.  It made for a goofy cast with clear-cut bad guys. 

There is one part I definitely didn’t like.  At one point, the plot gets rather soapy, as Maxwell falls in love with someone she works with closely at the institute.  While the relationship was okay, I didn’t think it was necessary to add what amounted to a melodramatic twist. 

I don’t have too much more to say about this book.  If I did, it would give away a lot of the twists and turns in the plot.  And it’s just not the kind of book you want to analyze too closely.  I believe that to enjoy it, it’s best to take it at face value.  I give it three out of five stars.  It’s good, it’s fun.  I recommend it as light fluff to almost everyone. 

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