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A Symphony of Echoes (Chronicles of St…
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A Symphony of Echoes (Chronicles of St Mary's) (urspr publ 2013; utgåvan 2013)

av Jodi Taylor

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9155923,384 (3.95)171
"Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don't call it "time travel"--these historians "investigate major historical events in contemporary time." And they aren't your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets. The Chronicles of St. Mary's tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots--Director Bairstow, Leon "Chief" Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more--as they travel through time, saving St. Mary's (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea. In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary's--an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it"--… (mer)
Medlem:simon211175
Titel:A Symphony of Echoes (Chronicles of St Mary's)
Författare:Jodi Taylor
Info:Accent Press (2013), Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****1/2
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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A Symphony of Echoes av Jodi Taylor (2013)

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Book 2 in the series continues in the same disjointed vein as the first. To begin with we have the "real story" behind Jack the Ripper except that it is pure fantasy and no real explanation at all. We veer straight from that into a scenario where Max's beau, Chief Leon Farrell, is kidnapped by the time travelling baddies and taken back to the future - except it seems to be a different period than the one from which he came because someone else was apparently the Director, rather than the man who came back to found St Mary's. There is then a nice holiday interlude where Max stays to help out the future organisation's finances and also assist them with a dodo rescuing mission and a mission to witness the murder of Thomas a Beckett.

She and Farrell are then sent to an expensive clinic on their return home - which precipitates a crisis in their relationship. I'm afraid I couldn't relate to what Max does here and it emphasised my difficulty with this character. She is all wise-cracking joker on the surface and a volcano of seething emotion underneath, except as written I just can't believe those emotions. But the fallout of this is never explored because the book soon jumps months ahead. Meanwhile a minor character is gratuitiously killed off. A large section of the rest of the book then deals with the characters having to visit sixteenth century Scotland to prevent the leader of the time travelling baddies from changing the course of history.

One major problem with the series so far is that we are told early on in book 1 that "History" will act against any time traveller who tries to change anything. Max has experience of this herself - at the building of Westminster Abbey she just steps forward to look more closely as two men creep up behind another and is nearly flattened by a building block. But the major villain - who is early in his career in Scotland - seems to have managed to keep two people apart Mary Stuart and Boswell by influencing other characters to talk against one of them, and has been allowed by History to carry on. There is some talk about this being to avoid a paradox because if he is killed earlier in his life, he can't then menace the existence of St Mary's much later in his life. It is a good reason for why St Mary's can't kill him, as it would mess up their own past - but it isn't any explanation of why History allows him to interfere with the timeline centuries previous and why it has to be up to St Mary's personnel to try to reinstate the proper events.

One very dodgy aspect of this volume is that a character who is a wheelchair user following a car accident - he was originally an historian but has become Max's assistant - is so negative about his circumstances that he refuses treatment when he develops a chest infection that eventually becomes pneumonia because he prefers to die rather than live with a disability. I couldn't help thinking that any reader with a disability would find that really offensive.

I enjoyed the historical aspects of the romp but have the same problem as I had with volume one that some of the characters are such non characters that it is hard to keep track of who they are, and that Max is not at all likeable. So on balance a 2 star rating. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
{second of 14(?) in Chronicles of St Mary's series; fantasy, history, adventure, time travel}(2013)

Max and co continue to careen from adventure to adventure up and down History when what they're supposed to be doing is observing. Even the slightest attempt to intervene is punished by History by, say, a broken arm or an extinct Historian.
People think we historians are lightweights. They think we whizz up and down the timeline, document a couple of battles or the odd revolution, swan back to St Mary's, and spend the night in the bar. To some extent, that's true. However, when it goes wrong for us, it really goes wrong.
A friend's last tour to observe Jack the Ripper turns into something quite nasty - and that's just the appetiser. Then they have to rescue Max's paramour, who's been abducted into the future; where they learn that someone has been messing around with the past. So they follow that up with an excursion to the Edinburgh of Mary, Queen of Scots to ensure that the timeline doesn't go awry - after taking a break to get stuck in time at the Hanging Gardens (not of Babylon, apparently).

Oh; and they learn that their adversary from Just One Damned Thing After Another is still making a nuisance of himself. Phew! No, wait - did I mention Thomas à Becket and the dodos? Not to mention Max's spectacular revenge when she feels humiliated by a certain someone (though I did feel sorry for the innocent car).

And if you want to know where the title comes from;
No incident, however seemingly trivial, is unimportant in the scheme of things.
One event leads to another, which triggers something else and before you know where you are, the ramifications spread far and wide throughout History. Echoing down the ages. Getting fainter and fainter, but never completely dying away. They talk of the Harmony of the Spheres, but History is A Symphony of Echoes. Every little action has huge consequences. They're not always apparent, and sometimes, in our game, sometimes effect comes before cause, not after.
As madcap and entertaining as ever, with just the right amount of snark. I enjoyed this book a lot though there were some details from JODTAA that I didn't remember, it having been quite a while since I read it (yes, you do have to read this series in order) but that didn't alloy my enjoyment.

I love the concept of the Historians going back in time to observe and record things as they actually happened. I've often wondered, when reading about historical events, how the people involved actually felt and behaved especially when there's a lot of speculation and uncertainty. Mind you, Max never keeps it that simple. Of course.

And then, off to Troy we go - but that adventure is saved for A Second Chance.

(September 2023)
4 stars ( )
  humouress | Sep 14, 2023 |
Complete romp, loved it. The writing style has tightened up from the first book and for that I'm glad.

One note, and I'm not sure if it's because I read this as the ebook version but, there are some spots where a section break space seems to be missing and I found that really threw me off a few times. ( )
  beentsy | Aug 12, 2023 |
A bad guy is fiddling with the timeline, killing and destroying history. St Mary’s to the rescue (after a raucous dodo hunt as a stress reliever and team building exercise). Our heroine, Maxwell, and team head to Scotland to ensure events happen so the Queen loses her head and find the bad guy. Is history set right? I’m looking forward to book 3. Hilarious, dramatic, a little of every genre—history, sci fi, romance… such a rip-roaring good time. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Mar 11, 2023 |
I don’t know what it is about this series but it makes me cry, laugh, scream in frustration, and hug it at the end. Following Max throughout time and watching her discover herself while also being kick ass is fantastic. I have purchased the next 3 in the series. I will be binge reading the rest of the series. ( )
  Courtagonist | Aug 15, 2022 |
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Ramm, ZaraBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses.

Charles Angoff
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This book is for Connie and Martin who had faith.
And for Dani who actually did it.
And for Christine.
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One of the best things about our job is that if you live long enough, you get to choose your last jump. (Prologue)
Eines der besten Dinge an unserem Job ist die Tatsache, dass man sich seinen letzten Sprung aussuchen darf - falls man lange genug am Leben bleibt.
God only knows where we were, and we couldn't see a thing.
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"Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don't call it "time travel"--these historians "investigate major historical events in contemporary time." And they aren't your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets. The Chronicles of St. Mary's tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots--Director Bairstow, Leon "Chief" Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more--as they travel through time, saving St. Mary's (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea. In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary's--an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it"--

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