Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of the first book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Just One Damned Thing After Another.
Trigger Warnings: attempted sexual assault, slut shaming, miscarriage
“History is just one damned thing after another.”
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.
Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
The lovely Fiona over at Fi’s Bibliofiles has been encouraging me to read this series for a while now, as she knows what a passion I have for history, and I should have listened to her long before I did! She was also a brilliant resource for me, giving me the heads up for triggers throughout the book, which I’m hugely grateful for.
I fell instantly in love with Max, as a witty, sarcastic, tea-fuelled protagonist. Right from the very start, she had me laughing, but also had me thinking. She’s a passionate barrel of energy, who feels strongly, and reminded me, somewhat, of myself. It was impossible not to relate to her with everything that occurs, and my heart went out to her as a character who felt so vividly real, I almost felt as if I could wrap my arms around her, or at the very least make her a cup of tea.
The idea of time travel as a blog device is something I’ve seen used in different ways, but this is the best use of it I’ve seen, feeling believable and plausible, especially once Max is given an explaination for everything. The little prods and nudges she’s given along the way to point her in the direction the book ultimately ends up in are brilliant, and the way the whole book forms is just superb.
The different points in time that the crew visit were all fascinating in their own right. What was equally fascinating was just how clearly the amount of research that had gone into it was. Everything from types of dinosaur grazing fauna to Shakespearian scrolls; it was just brilliantly executed. I’m a proud history geek anyway, but came away from this book feeling like I’d been both entertained and educated by it, which is a great feeling.
It’s going to be another series that I find myself abosolutely lost in, and I can’t wait to dig into the next book already.
Thanks for stopping by today for this review. I’m tagging along with the St Mary’s crew for the forseeable furture (and past!), so keep an eye out for further posts.