This is the third book in The Chronicles of Saint Mary’s. I have been listening to this book for a about a month, which is a long time in audiobooks. I started listening to the audiobook in February during a brainless task at work. That task stopped while I was mid-book and since then I would occasionally listen to it on my drive home, but not with any consistency. I think after three books, even if they are from the same series, I can conclude that I just do not like audio books. They are fine, but there are things I just do not like about them. I get annoyed at having to listen to long sections that I would normally just skim over for example. That being said, if I continue with St. Mary’s it will be in audiobook format. Consistency is important you know.
So, with my complaining about the format over- format only- Zara Ramm is a pretty amazing narrator, let’s get on with the plot. In this book, our intrepid time travelers go to Troy and that is about the bulk of the book. Troy, and the aftermaths of what happens there. For once, the romantic impediments between Maxwell and Leon were the results of grown-up actions and not stupid adolescent stuff that they should be far beyond, seeing as how they are actual grown-ups. The fight between them was real and excellent and then Taylor went and fixed it in the most aggravating way possible. It is a huge, HUGE spoiler so I won’t go too in-depth, but I am questioning whether or not I will be continuing with the series. I don’t like the deux-ex-machina that she pulled out this time. I think it could be an interesting choice- it gives a new spin on St. Mary’s for sure but in general, I thought it was kind of a lazy way to fix the very honest fight that Leon and Maxwell had, a fight that really does stem from the very different people that they are. Essentially, that fight is never resolved and those differences continue to go un-addressed. Taylor had her fight and then wiped it out. I spent the last chapter of this book gritting my teeth in irritation.
That irritation aside, I enjoyed the book. I still think there is way too much emphasis on European/Western history, in fact there is one jump where they go back to when humans leave Africa that I found particularly distasteful. During this assignment, Max spends the majority of her time thinking about how the whole of civilization stems from this one crossing and how important it was for all humans, which completely obliterates and erases all of the human history that happened in Africa. Yes, the historians have specialties in history and thus are assigned various things depending on their specialties but I can’t recall a single mention of anyone going to visit anything non-European/Western (they do mention going to see the assassination of Lincoln, so I have to make it Western-but it’s still white people history) history.
I’m making it sound like I didn’t like the book, because I keep picking out all the things that I didn’t enjoy. But I did like it. It is funny, and I like the various looks at historical events. It is clear that Taylor does her research, and so her explanations of what happened during X event do make a lot of sense. It’s a fun book and I recommend it.