You could read this as another installment of a series that only brings you time travel adventure (and misadventure). And if you read the book that way, or if that was all you were looking for, you’d still be in for a great ride. On the surface, this book doesn’t bring anything to the fuller meta plot of rogue time travelers and how the St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research fits into the grand scope of St. Mary’s Institutes up and down the time line.
But that is a rather simplified view, when this isn’t just an exciting science fiction time travel series, but also a well-rounded saga of a woman’s life.
The epic adventure of the history and fall of Troy is well-written and well-researched, and takes up a good chunk of the novel that never seems to drag on. But this ultimately acts as set dressing for the real drama of Max and Leon’s relationship.
This is a very difficult review to write without spoiling the entire end of the book. Without giving too much away, it’s what comes after Troy that is the book’s true story, including the titular reference to Max’s “second chance” with Leon. Except even those are not the actual second chance.
This is a very, very good middle book to a series, where everything seems to have evened out but is eventually going to get flipped on it’s head once again. Because even the events at the end of the novel aren’t the true second chance. It’s fascinating that the book is essentially named after the plot of the next novel, which I picked up immediately.