As you know, if you read my last post, the series is to investigate whether independently published books can be as professionally written, successful and enjoyable as traditionally published fiction.
I chose Jodi Taylor's first novel for my first piece because I when I first read the ebook - and thoroughly enjoyed it - I was unaware that it was a self-published piece and so judged it against every other traditionally published work I had ever written without prejudice. I am happy to report that it faired very well indeed. Well written, well edited and enjoyable enough for me to go straight to Amazon and download the second book in the series. I have now read three of them!
So what do you get for your money? Here is my review:
“History is just one damned thing after another”
History, time travel, and tea - a collection of my favourite things, it's hardly surprising that I loved this book.
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.
Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake...
A story of history, time travel, love, friendship, and tea. Meet the disaster-magnets at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around history, observing, documenting, drinking tea and, if possible, not dying. Follow the catastrophe-curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. Discover History – The New Sex.
An addictive premise handled with skill and humour. I gobbled it up in a couple of days. I was immediately charmed by the foul-mouthed redhead who it seemed had a love-hate relationship with authority - a woman after my own heart. The dark-haired brooding hero and the evil but elegant femme fatale, together with many other colourful characters added zing and humour to the story, as did the journey into the Cretaceous period and the introduction of the inevitable T-Rex.
Maxwell is a fun character with a contagious humor and enthusiasm. “Surveying myself in a mirror, I looked like a small, excited, ginger sack.” Her winning combination of spunk, personality and sass won me over and I chuckled all the way through. An action focussed plot and dynamic story line only added to my enjoyment. Though there was little science, and as a science nut, I would have liked a bit more of an explanation as to how the time machine worked. It is a sort of science fiction 'lite' book that devotees of the genre may find a little frustrating and of course, there are the inevitable and practically unavoidable disparities with the timeline. However, I am not one of those sci-fi geeks that will look into those with any seriousness - there lies madness!
Overall, in my opinion, this amazing first novel - self-published or not, it more than holds its own with similar, more traditionally published books.