There’s always a vague worry when picking up the second book in a series that it won’t quite measure up. That the first amazing novel was a flash-in-the-pan fluke, sucking up all of the author’s creativity and leaving only the dregs of inspiration for future installments.
Luckily, I loved A Symphony of Echoes at least as much as Just One Damned Thing After Another, if not more!
The other fear when reading the next installment in a series that features the time travel trope is that the second novel will just be a retelling of the first, using the same plot elements even if the adventures take place in different time periods. However, Taylor expanded upon her world-building by continuing the meta plot of rogue time-travelers while also introducing time travel in to the future into the mix. Since this novel takes place at least a few years after the first, Max doesn’t waste time with angst about the philosophic ethics of knowing the future. Instead, she is a highly trained historian who gets down to work to help out this future incarnation of St. Mary’s.
It’s important to note that this novel also includes many humorous interludes that don’t detract from the overall plot of the novel or it’s pacing. In this case, it’s dodos.
Once again, I had both laugh out loud and tearful moments while I read about Max’s adventures. She and Leon don’t live happily ever after, because relationships require work and evolve with time. Their romance is an integral part of the overall plot without ever detracting from the central idea that this book is an adventure story.
Some threads are left untied by the end, which only makes me eager to read more. I’ll be quietly waiting for a suitable explanation for the Jack the Ripper situation, but I’m content to wait a few books to get my answers.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
Currently reading: Under the Empyrean Sky (Heartland #1) by Chuck Wendig (18%)
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