Thursday, April 10, 2014

THE CHRONICLES OF ST MARY'S #2: A Symphony of Echoes, four more stars!

(Chronicles of St Mary's #2)
Accent Press
$3.99 Kindle download, available now
Night Shade Books
$12.99 trade paper, available now

Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, withess the murder of Archbishop Thomas a 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.

**UPDATE** Night Shade Books is reissuing the series in trade paperback editions!! At LAST!

My Review: You know how, as you're watching Star Trek in any of its incarnations, you end up wondering pretty darn quick what the heck they keep talking about this Prime Directive for since they seem not to have any intention of following it? Yeah, that. The whole book is that. The St Mary's tea-soppers are set the one really big intervention that will make History match itself. It is a matter of the survival of St Mary's, so we're told, so it's okay to monkey with History. Kleio will approve.

Getting to the magic moment is, however, quite entertaining, and the key discovery made at the end of the first book is called into play very frequently. Pay attention to the details in this book, and I assume you'll want to read it after the delirious romp of #1, because some things are larded in to the chat and background that will cause a veritable street light to go on over your head when you read #3. Which I also assume you'll want to read after the sobering and still very fun events of this book.

So you've read #1, have you? Then read on: The team goes to Mary Queen of Scots' court to fix the gargantuan error in the timeline of Elizabeth Tudor dying at the chopping block instead of Her Scottish Majesty which they discovered upon sneak-peeking the Shakespeare play that the Director coerced from the Bard's pen. It is imperative, for their time to exist at all, that the error be corrected and Mary forced...or so we marry Bothwell, which seals her doom. Needless to say, the task is accomplished, but it brought up two issues for me. One I dealt with in the opener. The other is the nagging problem of all time-travel books, to wit the competing and mutually exclusive notions of A History, one divinely ordained way for Kleio to design and her sisters the Fates to weave; the other is the Eastern philosophical and string theory-supported proposition that we live in a many-dimensioned multiverse where all things that can happen have happened are happening will happen. (English is a titanically flexible tool, and ever willing to bow to Queen Norma Loquendi, but time travel is gonna bugger the prescriptive grammarians HARD. Come to think of it, Douglas Adams mined that vein for some laughs in Hitchhiker's Guide, didn't he.)

It would seem Ma Taylor plumped for the "One True History" solution, based on the events in this book. The Timeline must be restored!

Go with it. Even if you don't think that's the case, go with it. I promise you it will pay off.

And why the hell should dodos say "grockle"? Well, why the hell not.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.