After devouring five books in this series, two things are fairly obvious to me at this point:
- Jodi Taylor is a hell of a researcher/historian.
- She has also embraced a major facet of writing time travel and run with it rather than fight against it — Once again, this novel had two major climaxes. One for Max personally and one for Max in the greater scheme of the over-arching nemesis plot. And I love that these things keep happening out of order.
As human readers (and one talented human writer), we are limited by a linear view of time. Therefor, Max’s adventures in time travel mean that not only are major events sprinkled liberally through the novel but that paradox means she is more constrained during certain confrontations than we might otherwise wish her to be.
It’s important to note that Taylor has firmly established rules guiding her time travel methodology and that she appears to be sticking to them. I especially like the twist of “a person cannot exist in two places at the same point on the timeline.” In most stories, it’s “oh, it’s a bad idea to meet yourself” or “you can’t affect your own past.” Taylor’s hard and fast rule is a nice change of pace from that. However, I don’t envy the massive spreadsheets she must have for all of her major characters’ travels to maintain this consistency!
This particular novel in the series seemed to be almost a palate cleanser of sorts. Heavy issues and conflicts with old foes are still addressed (and I love love love the parallels that were created between Max and Barclay’s latest meeting), but it ends in a very happy place. I can imagine that this means things will only head back downhill from here.
Currently reading: Cloak of War (Empress Game #2) by Rhonda Mason
NaNoWriMo progress: 10,775/30k words