Review: NO TIME LIKE THE PAST (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #5) by Jodi Taylor

no-time-like-the-past

After devouring five books in this series, two things are fairly obvious to me at this point:

  1. Jodi Taylor is a hell of a researcher/historian.
  2. 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.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Cloak of War (Empress Game #2) by Rhonda Mason

NaNoWriMo progress: 10,775/30k words

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: