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Sagas: Book Review

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Elizabeth Cage, Book 2
Jodi Taylor
Fiction, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Headline,
(1 Jan. 2019)
368

Betrayed, terrified and alone, Elizabeth Cage has fled her home. With no plan and no friends, she arrives at the picturesque village of Greyston and finds herself involved in an ages-old ceremony that will end in death.

And that might be the least of her problems - the Sorensen Institute would very much like to know her whereabouts. And Michael Jones is still out there, somewhere, she hopes. No matter how far and how fast she can run, trouble will always find Elizabeth Cage.

Barnes and Noble Editors say: In Taylor’s chilling sequel to 2017’s White Silence, Elizabeth Cage, a human lie detector who can detect other people’s secrets, has attracted unwelcome attention. In order to live as quiet a life as possible and avoid being deployed as a psychological warfare weapon, Cage flees her home in Rushford, England, with the idea that if she keeps on the move, she’ll be able to remain free. After taking a random series of buses, Cage ends up in Greyston, a creepy, suspiciously neat village, which reminds her of one in a TV program “where half the population is dead by the end of the second advert break.” Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Greyston is a matriarchal society led by the Three Sisters, who preside over the annual ritual slaughter of the man designated as the Year King, and she’s told that she must become one of the Three Sisters. While the trope is a familiar one, Taylor makes it her own with both humorous and ominous passages. This supernatural thriller will please fans of the classic film The Wicker Man(Mar.)

My Review

This is Jodi Taylor’s second book in this series. And for my mind this is where the story should end.

Jodi is a storyteller in great tradition of the Icelandic Sagas. You get hooked on the story and the characters and want more – the story is many stories wrapped up in one. Some authors might have been tempted to split it into several books, but for me, it was more satisfactory to read the great saga as one. Jodi gave me the full experience.

Unlike her stories about St Mary’s these are not light and humorous stories, but equally well-crafted and very dark indeed in places that echo traditional myths about the Mother and the Year King and fertility rites.

I thought the ending was a good ending and at present find it difficult to see how another story could be added, but Jodi surprises me a lot with her imagination and story craft so…

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The Worst Always Happens

Plan for the Worst Book Cover Plan for the Worst
The Chronicles of St Mary's #11
Jodi Taylor
Fiction
Headline
April 14, 2020
512

The eleventh book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary's series. If you love Jasper Fforde, Ben Aaronovitch or Doctor Who, you won't be able to resist Jodi Taylor. I would have trusted this man with my life. Until a couple of days ago, anyway. You know what they say - hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Max is quite accustomed to everything going wrong. She's St Mary's, after all. Disaster is her default state. But with her family reunited and a jump to Bronze Age Crete in the works, life is getting back to normal. Well, normal for St Mary's. And then, following one fateful night at the Tower of London, everything Max thought she knew comes crashing down around her. Too late for plans. The worst has happened. And who can Max trust now? Readers love Jodi Taylor: 'Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything... Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine "Max" Maxwell have seduced me' 'A great mix of British proper-ness and humour with a large dollop of historical fun' 'Addictive. I wish St Mary's was real and I was a part of it' 'Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked' 'A tour de force'

So Jodi, I mentioned the yellow puddles to my husband- he wanted to know Why I was giggling_and the answer came back: Liquid dynamics;
pressure flow; pipe diameters and drips. So there you have it.
 I have read every book in this series so the beginning confused me.
I had last read of Matthew being grown, so to have him back as a child was wrong. However, I soon got back into the swing of reading, giggling, and sheer amazement at the characters' behaviour and pickles they find themselves in.
 I should point out though, that the flu pandemic mentioned about Paris, was no doubt COVIDI9.
 Just not recognized in this version of history.
 This is not the book to start the series though, and it really isn't standalone. There are too many characters who appear tangentially and too many past adventures.
 I love this series and the madcap weary disasters and  the strange romances between unusual characters. 
History is explained in a very readable form and thus the books are educational too! And very very funny, but with bathos and pathos, and sadness too.

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Let’s View the past – in contemporary time

Doing Time Book Cover Doing Time
Chronicles of St Mary's
Jodi Taylor
contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, time travel, steam punk
Headline
(15 Oct. 2020)
paperback

Introducing the Time Police, the brand-new series by international best-selling author Jodi Taylor - an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary's series. Perfect listening for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde. 

A long time ago in the future, the secret of time travel became known to all. Everyone seized the opportunity - and the world nearly ended. There will always be idiots who want to change history. 

And so, the Time Police were formed. An all-powerful, international organisation tasked with keeping the timeline straight. At all costs.

Their success is legendary, and the Time Wars are over. But now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future - their own.

This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew - arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything. 

Why is Nothing ever Simple:

A special Chronicles of St Mary’s Christmas short story

It’s Christmas at St Mary’s and time for the traditional illicit jump. Except this one is perfectly legal. It’s Major Guthrie’s last jump. To the Battle of Bannockburn, no less. An important moment in History for two nations – one that warrants everyone’s full attention.

But Max soon finds herself grappling with a near-lethal game of pooh sticks, another avian incursion and two turbulent teenagers intent on piloting their own illegal jump. And that’s all before they even get near fourteenth-century Scotland.

For this is St Mary’s and nothing is ever simple .

My Review
The series continues.

10 books and some small stories, and still more in the pipeline.

It is some time since I picked up this series but found the 2019 Christmas novella and read it immediately! Bannockburn and the removal of  the King’s   head by The Bruce. But did he do it? Major Guthrie wants to know. Who exactly did remove it is part of what's explored here_ and where was Mikey going with the Teapot? And what might have happened if they did go?

I then found 2 more short stories and a complete book I had missed!

'When Did You Last See Your Father?'

'And Now for Something Completely Different?

========================================

Now for Jodi Taylor. ‘Doing Time’.

She is still working her St Mary’s series, but has branched out to take Matthew back to the Time Police, and is starting a spin-off about him and 2 unlikely colleagues becoming Time Police trainees.

As always it is full of humour as per this funny statement about the business of maintenance finding what small parts always roll around and then are lost into an alternative dimension- just like socks I think.  Speak to any woman and they will tell you about how 2 socks go into the washing machine, but when you go to pair them up, there is only l.

I cannot fault Jodi Taylor. Her ST. M. books always make me giggle.

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The Colour of Silence






White Silence Book Cover




White Silence




Elizabeh Cage





Jodi Taylor





Clairvoyance, fantasy, supernatural, thriller, action and adventure, occult




Accent Press




January 18, 2018




400



*The first instalment in the new, gripping supernatural thriller series from international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor* I don't know who I am. I don't know what I am. Elizabeth Cage is a child when she discovers that there are things in this world that only she can see. But she doesn't want to see them and she definitely doesn't want them to see her. What is a curse to Elizabeth is a gift to others - a very valuable gift they want to control. When her husband dies, Elizabeth's world descends into a nightmare. But as she tries to piece her life back together, she discovers that not everything is as it seems. Alone in a strange and frightening world, she's a vulnerable target to forces beyond her control. And she knows that she can't trust anyone... White Silence is a twisty supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

This is her new series about a woman called Elizabeth Cage who doesn’t want to know about the supernatural and clairvoyance even though she is forced to by her innate skills.

I thought that this story was really really good even if it was not in the usual amusing authorial style we know from the St Mary’s series. I heard the author’s voice and it was even better expressed I thought.

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Enter the first Steam Pump! Ever….






The Steam Pump Jump Book Cover




The Steam Pump Jump




The Chronicles of St Mary's Series SS





Jodi Taylor





Historians, action and adventure, sci-fi




Accent Press




(12 July 2018)




Kindle



Not one to let being banged up in Sick Bay stop her, Max has had a brilliant idea. But she needs Markham to execute it on her behalf. The subject of this cunning plan is Peterson, struggling with another bereavement and not doing very well. What’s needed to get him through it is sympathy, sensitivity, tact and understanding.
Step forward Mr Markham, for whom sympathy, sensitivity, etc., are things that happen to other people.
Combine a fanatic from R&D, a head of Security with his own problems, a steam-pump, two historians who can’t even be in the same room as each other, some fractious Protestants and a large body of very dirty water.
Told in Markham’s own words, this is the story of an intervention – St Mary’s style.

Or was it a steam cannon?

steam cannon is a cannon that launches a projectile using only heat and water, or using a ready supply of high-pressure steam from a boiler. The first steam cannon was designed by Archimedes during the Siege of SyracuseLeonardo Da Vinci was also known to have designed one (the Architonnerre). [see Wikipedia]
According to our St Mary’s Chronicles, they wanted to look for a steam pump but its actions was more like a steam cannon, in my mind.. either way, it was a fun thing to go and look at, or so Markham thought.
This is more unusual storyline form Jodi Taylor as it is written from Markham’s viewpoint and in his voice.
I really loved Lingoss’ explanation of why her hair was blue – as someone whose hair is purple and some people have failed to mention it, or apparently notice until it is pointed out to them! i do wonder who the teacher was she talks about. I’m sure that they will be mentioned in future stories as we have a lot of characters at St Mary’s we still know little about and how they came to be there.
After all, History has many years of exploration that can be taken.
So yes, the best laid plans of mice and men, especially when Markham is involved, don’t always work as intended.
A great addition to the series.

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