Just One Damned Thing After Another

Just One Damned Thing After Another History Is Just One Damned Thing After Another Behind The Seemingly Innocuous Fa Ade 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 QuietMeet 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 Questionsand 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 FightingFollow The Catastrophe Curve From Th 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 The title unfortunately describes the way this book is plotted Things happen, and they are sort of loosely slung together, with very little sense of time passing at one point the protagonist notes she s known another character for five years, and I genuinely thought only a single year had passed since their meeting at the beginning of the novel and with absolutely no character development No characters at all, really Taylor s creations seem to turn on a dime, depending on whatever the plot plot dictates Out of nowhere, one character is suddenly revealed to be a sexual predator, because Taylor needs the reader to hate him now The love interest up and screams at the protagonist, also out of nowhere, forangst I guess Oh and some rando background character suddenly calls the protagonist a slut andsexually attacks her Of course I see of a pattern here than to the plot and it s gross.The main character has no personality except to be perfect at everything and drive evil people to fits of revealing rage classic Mary Sue stuff I get annoyed with the overuse and misuse of that term, but it really applies here Max feels like a self insert She, her love interest, and the innumerable interchangeable secondary characters are all amazingly under characterized and flatly written I couldn t describe a single one of them to you, nor could I tell them apart much of the time Which one was Markham and which was Murdoch again Early in the book, Max notes that she often does not react to things in a normal way, but this is never used to make a point about her history or to develop her character as the story progresses instead, it feels like Taylor simply did not know how to write realistic reactions to situations and was using this as an excuse.And nothing else makes sense either You have a secret but not all that secret if it s known by a major university and receives assignments time travel organization, which for some reason is severely understaffed At one point they only have four historians a.k.a time travelers working for them, and don t hire but no real qualification seems necessary Like Max makes a big deal about how rigorous the training is, but without actually conveying that in any way, and it s also not explained why they can t just recruit people for the training in the first place Max s specialty as a historian is brought up, but then she never works on anything related to it They send her back to study dinosaurs when her speciality was ancient Greek and Roman civ You guys couldn t recruit some paleontologists As a time travel book, this novel makes poor use of its subject In fact, nearly no use the main conceit of historians using time travel in their studies was done better many times over by Connie Willis the big twist is the starting point for many other time travel narratives, and seemed so obvious that the characters not figuring it out sooner just makes them look dumb On the most basic level, St Mary s does not seem like a fun or exciting organization to work for, so why would I want to read about it This book was baffling for me from start to finish I kept waiting for it to get going, then to get better It didn t Now I wish I could go back in time and not bother. What a surprisingly delightful Time Travel novel I mean, if it wasn t for the great characters, and there were a ton of them, this book was still full of snark right down to the foundations And even sometimes under the foundations But even so, no one could hold a candle to Maxwell I ve never read a character so simultaneously dense about sex and love and so very, very brilliant and adaptable than her, while all the while being brainy, clumsy, and eventually able to go out and kick ass with the best of them.Because, after all, nothing says Historian than a woman with a big gun Right Right And raptors really are a bit tiny than she expected But, of course, the real predators are other Time Travelers Do you like plot OMG there s so much plot, and so much happens, and all the while I m like the author s touching upon so many great periods and so many historians are dying because they re idiots and how the hell were they trained and that s NOT RIGHT, but hell that s funny and I found myself telling myself that this has got to be one of the most comprehensively well thought out time travel novels I ve ever read At least, it s a lot stable and a lot less outright weird than most, firmly rooted in all the things we know or we think we know, while focusing on being damn realistic about achievable goals, keeping the tech out of the public s hands because we know they ll fuck it up anyway, and just HOW did St Mary s come to be Oh, lordy.I ve read good Time Travel books, to be sure, but none of those had quite the breadth or the wide stretch of character change and development as this Have I finally found my modern go to SF series for plain frolicky fun and hijinks Perhaps It s a bit complicated than most of the Time Travel books I m used to, and while it has a lot of light moments, it s packed to the gills with the serious, too, and not always about personal safety It s clever right down to the core.And exciting I can t wait for . Light, fun and adventurous time travel romp Just don t think too hard about it and you ll have a great time 3.5 stars Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature Just One Damned Thing After Another was a wild roller coaster ride It s a time travel tale, but doesn t care to get hung up on the theory or mechanics of it The plot careens wildly around from place to place and event to event, and I just raced around with it Mostly it s about the adventures explosions dinosaurs conspiracies but there s occasionally some deeper introspection, though Jodi Taylor never lets it get in the way of the story.At the invitation of a former teacher, Madeleine Maxwell, known as Max, applies for a job as a historian at St Mary s Institute of Historical Research, a rather secretive part of the University of Thirsk It s a little unclear what exactly her job will be, other than that it offers poor pay, worse conditions, and a less structured existence Despite this unpromising description, Max decides to take a chance She soon finds out that she ll be part of a time traveling team of historians, investigating major historical events in the past It s a dangerous job the mortality rate among historians is alarmingly high, and there s something strange going on in the hierarchy at St Mary s itself.One of the first things I noticed was how much Just One Damned Thing After Another owes to Connie Willis OXFORD TIME TRAVEL series, with university researchers using time travel to experience historical events first hand, and even with a key plot turn at the end As in that series, history resists any deliberate or inadvertent attempts to change its course, but in THE CHRONICLES OF ST MARY S, history s resistance to change is rather personally threatening Dr Bairstow, the Director of St Mary s, tells Max Think of History as a living organism, with its own defence mechanisms History will not permit anything to change events that have already taken place If History thinks, even for one moment, that that is about to occur, then it will, without hesitation, eliminate the threatening virus Or historian, as we like to call them.And it s easy How difficult is it to cause a ten ton block of stone to fall on a potentially threatening historian observing the construction of Stonehenge Another cup Although Just One Damned Thing After Another completely sucked me in while I was reading it, in the cold light of morning its shortcomings became apparent There are several inconsistencies in plot and characterization, particularly where one character, at a key point in the story, acts in a way that seems completely out of character for him The plot focuses much on action than depth several events get glossed over that really could have benefited from details, like the main character s abusive childhood, which is referred to only in the vaguest of terms, but has a lot to do with the person she s become.Still, Just One Damned Thing After Another is indisputably a fun, exciting ride, as long as you don t think too hard about it Max is enjoyably obstinate and mouthy, especially toward those who try to push her around or take advantage of her She narrates the story with a chatty, informal voice, and her banter with other characters is witty and sometimes very sexy Read it, not for any particular intellectual benefit, but for the sheer fun of the escape.Content advisory Violence, some F bombs and sexytimes. Crappy Review Time I loved it The description says madcap and disaster magnets and that describes this perfectly Miss Maxwell Max gets recruited to be part of a team of historians who go back in time to study and observe famous events Nothing ever goes right, but it always works out in the end Maybe a few people die, but hey, this is a dangerous business Who knew being a historian was so dangerous I adored this It was very satisfying humor, action, good pacing, likeable main character, romance there were complex plots and surprises told in an easy to read manner The romance was complex, but in a believable way, without never ending angst Villainy villains who were a bit predictable, but it was fun to see them fall and the team prevail.This really surprised me I had no expectations and only read this because it was voted for my group s Book of the Month I devoured it in one day I will definitely be continuing the series I can t wait to see what happens next Oh, one thing I will add is that the style of writing is a little unique and might not work for some people Events are strung together with little explanations sometimes Time passes from one paragraph to another There isn t a lot of information given to some events and then there might be some info dumping on the next page or two It s quirky and a little erratic, but it worked for me, and fit the pace and vibe just fine Buddy read with the MacHalo group in January Madeleine Maxwell has had two pivotal moments in her life to date Her second moment arose after a former teacher suggested applying for a job as a Historian at St Mary s Institute of Historical Research During the interview, St Mary s is cagey about the exact nature of their work, but once Maxwell accepts the job, she discovers they are historians who use time travel to correct historical inaccuracies St Mary s has a certain eccentricity about it that appeals to her own rebellious nature We finished with a tour of the grounds Even as I opened my mouth to ask, there was a small bang from the second floor and the windows rattled Hold on, said Chief Farrell I m duty officer this week and I want to see if the fire alarms go off They didn t That s good, isn t it I said.He sighed No, it just means they ve taken the batteries out again The rest of my topical but undeletable review like the ginger haired Maxwell, I will insist on marching to my own beat At some point last year, I must have been on a kick to enter tons of Goodreads Giveaways in the hopes I d get a bunch of free books Included in that over zealous moment was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor I tend to get lucky in terms of winning a giveaway once each month, and earlier this year, I won this book When I received the email, I looked the book up as I couldn t remember anything about it and for the life of me, I couldn t understand why I picked it given it s science fiction and fantasy I reasoned out that it had a cool premise where historians time travel to the past to see what happened, and well, that does kinda raise my interest So trying to clear off my list of ARCs I ve got 11 left almost there for my 5 31 deadline and I punished myself by not allowing any new ones until these are done I slotted it for this week, and wow It was such a surprise and fantastic read.It s the first except for a short prequel in a series with 10 books already and it s only been 3 or 4 years since the author started writing the series from what I can tell A group of modern history buffs work for a secret organization who travels back in time to either correct any interference from criminals trying to alter the timeline or to study and learn the reasons why things happened that we never really understood In this initial book, we visit dinosaurs, great library fires, epic wars and battles, and other great historical events Throw in some romance, many suspenseful moments, the classic good versus evil battle, some interesting history lessons, and a really fun and easy to read style, and you ve got a winning book series.It was a difficult start because the two year old inside me kept saying but what about, or how did this happen, and then you never explained yet truthfully it s the kinda book and topic where you will never have all the answers as it doesn t exist in reality Time travel isn t a real thing as far as I know, but clearly I don t know everything so there s some potential I am dead wrong , so why should I feel the need to invent all these rules and structure The book has several already to give us appropriate constructs within which the historians can move around We don t learn how the machine was built, what it can can t do, etc We just know the researchers can get in a pod, punch in coordinates and voila, they are there That s good enough for me as I don t read this genre often If you get hung up with needing all the specifics, then I don t think this book is for you unless in future ones within the series, it s clearly explained That said, it s such a fun journey, I really don t think you need to worry about knowing everything Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as the historians do.The main character changes jobs and is at the end of her rope when a former mentor invites her to a mysterious meeting Fast forward five years later to when she s a leading member of the historian team jumping through time She s smart and spunky, but definitely has a few flaws It makes her likable and human When she battles the evil characters, I kinda laughed at how she just survives anything thrown at her, but it s good drama I really can t encourage you enough to just let it flow and think about the fantasy aspects of this opportunity It s not real life, so if she can kill a few people and walk away without worrying too much, then I suppose I can do that for a few hours, too Thank you to the author and publisher for including this in a giveaway You ve got a new fan and I will pick up another in the series this year. Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says History is just one damned thing after another Arnold Toynbee A mapcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone s cup of tea Behind the seemingly innocuous fa ade 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 questionsand 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 eleventh 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 wakeA story of history, time travel, love, friendship and tea Meet the disaster magnets at the St Mary s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around history, observing, documenting, drinking tea and, if possible, not dying Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria Discover History The New Sex.My Review With a healthy dollop of the Old Sex tossed in for good measure.Addictive.Crack level addictive This book was free still is, last I looked on for the Kindle I ve gently recommended stop laughing that others would do well to avail themselves of the free goodness I slurped it up in one long day Because, well, how does one not fall under the spell of a short, buxom, foul mouthed redhead whose purpose in life is to cock a snook at Authority and go about the business of making the Cretaceous safe for Dinosaurkind despite the fact that we all know how it ends for them While, not incidentally, nourishing a serious and well requited pash for a dark haired omnicompetent quiet dynamo of a man, fighting most satisfactorily against the evil hearted plotting of a seriously tall and elegant femme fatale in the best and most literal senses of that term and battling to save THE LIBRARY AT ALEXANDRIA And so much Does anyone remember the Paratime series by H Beam Piper Darn good fun, similar in nature to this series in that the Paratime Police dash about trying to maintain the intended course of History The difference is that this series assumes there is One History, as opposed to Paratime s many many historys in a multiverse Both have their strong points, from a narrative structural angle, and their weaknesses.Knowing how pantiwadulous so very many people become at the merest whiff of a spoiler eyeroll , I will say that Taylor s History has a verypersonalstake in the Universe Go find out fer yer darnself Now Nothing is flawless No book is absent goofs, errors, infelicities This one is no exception The only one I feel it necessary to mention in this context is that age old problem of time travel stories, getting it all to hang together Several characters are set up with a specific backstory that, to the reader, would lead them to know of their own personal knowledge certain other characters Yet they don t But they do know other things that fit within the backstory That s an oops moment.The others, merest minor gaffe lets Punctuation spacing errors, the odd repeated word, blah blah blah Nothing that merits than a grunt of annoyance And each of those is measured against several laughs, a few giggles, a large number of grins, and the odd sniffleback at moments of sentiment The less disciplined will shed a tear or two, or stand accused of heartlessness.In short Excellent fun for the reader in need of fun, thrills, and a larger sense of significance that can easily be ignored if the mood is light Free Now, what on earth are you waiting for Free Go GO This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 4 A buddy read with the MacHalo Freaks We believe that discovering history is the new sex At least, this is what Max, Madeleine Maxwell, the young historian from the St Mary s Institute of Historical Research, would like us to believe I kind of agree with her history is almost as good as very good sex, but only if you can relate to it And in this book, the researchers at St Mary s are doing than relating to history they are reliving it Time travel pods are the means of transport to any desirable point in time and many rules need to be followed if one is to travel in that manner No traveler should ever try to involve themselves in the historical time they are visiting and no emotional attachments are advisable, since after all, they are from the future and the history is in its proper timeline This super secret Time project is very secret, and very underfunded So, not all of the involved parties have honorable intentions as far as the Institute and its survival are concerned Because if we have learned one thing from historical data, greed and power have always been stronger in the human character then the desire for uncovering the truth and living in near obscurity, while trying to do your best for humanity deep sigh Alas I certainly wasn t where I should be and it would be the cautious, the sensible thing to do But, for God s sake, I was an historian and cautious and sensible were things that happened to other people Max, Doctor B and Chief Farrell are three of the good and hilariously funny guys in the crew Most of the story is told from her, Max s point of view and we get to follow her training, her friendships, her frenemies, and her propensity for disaster which obviously follows her around as a faithful puppy I liked that the way the author let us acquaint ourselves with the main players was through their actions and banter, rather than being spoon fed descriptions and assurances about their characters The writing stile was a bit different, but very pleasant overall and had a wonderful undertone of humor, without making the seriousness of curtain parts of the story fall flat There were moments I was surprised by the starkness and bleakness of the mood, since I had expected just a humorous and fantastical tale of not much debt or substance Here is for low expectations being topped It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt I enjoyed the book very much and am definitely planning on continuing with the series It is a perfect read for fans of Time Travel and some sci fi Strangely, I found the conclusion quite liberating When you re fucked, you re fucked Things really can t get much worse Now I wish You all Happy Reading and Many Wonderful Books Unfortunately I seem to have enjoyed this read a lot less than the rest of my MacHalo buddies I really wanted to like it, based on trusted buddy reviews, but nope.The premise fascinating Especially the part about history fighting to preserve itself, like a living entity.The characters a brilliant variety of realistic freaks.The storyline fast paced and creative So what s the problem The writing If I had to describe it in one word and this is just what I refer to it in my head please don t take me too seriously , it would be British Namely, dry, wry and matter of fact If ever there was emotion involved in the plot, you wouldn t know it from Jodi Taylor s tone all throughout her book Sometimes, this wordy style really works to the advantage of the storyteller and gives humor and personality to every scene my best example for a successful pull off of British style writing would be Terry Pratchett Unfortunately, Jodi Taylor s attempt didn t sit as well with me and because of that, my enjoyment of Just One Damned Thing After Another was seriously dampened Too bad Perhaps I will give To Say Nothing of the Dog a try, as I ve heard Jodi Taylor may have gotten her inspiration ideas from this very similar series. I enjoy a well written time travel story, and I really, really thought that Just One Damned Thing After Another might be one But it wasn t, I just read for educational, scientific purposes and kept urging the plot Come on, give me my bone, I m digging for No bone, no happy reader.But let s start from the beginning At first I was struck by the lack of some punctuation marks or just missing letters I thought that it was a bad edition or smth, but nope, two other editions, I tried, had the same problem But if the story is good and gripping I can live this that But again it wasn t The biggest problem in this book for me was that the time travel wasn t presented in a full I know what I m writing way The historical base had no deep background, I couldn t fully imagine the past, the traveler s visited Maybe it was because of so much going on in than three places I found the scenes of the Dinotopia better described.I quite liked the don t dare to change anything in history or you ll be destroyed thing, but I needed such warnings But anyway they try to change history in some way the accident in the hospital Also I was eager to wait for some results from trying to change history in saving some stuff, which was doomed But I guess it was meant to be kept do nothing and be quiet Oh and the so called time travel machine pod aka a small stone hut It always landed so conveniently, no tension, like for example landing in the middle of some battle or on the butt of some dinosaur Or smth wicked Also it was so convenient that nobody found the pods huts accidentally I would have liked for some bad wanderer from the past to trip accidentally on some of the pods thinking Tra lalaa, I m just going to have some free time peeing around And voila ups, sorry, wtf what is this stone hut some modern toilet doing here, I gonna bang somebody on the head or smth Of course there were a lot of speculations and worrying for anything bad could happen while landing, but it never happened Damn, why do we need safety in landing during time travel What is I felt a lack of mean and clever villains The biggest part of the ones in the story bad colleagues or the evil captain of the other time travelers were simple and quite predictable Though I liked the creepy colleague, Davey Sussman, he was created quite skillfully I didn t expect how the things turned involving him.The main character, a shy historian, was quite likable Her behavior was interesting to observe her actions and emotions being in danger , also she was funny, even racy sometimes, though bossy and quite slow witted sometimes I have diverse feelings about this book I don t hate it, but I don t love it either D