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on 20 October 2013
Discovered to my delight that the sequel had been published a couple of days earlier than thought and have just finished reading it. It's safe to say that if you loved the first you will also adore the second.

Max and her St Mary's friends continue to rampage their way through the timeline, surviving mostly unscathed (and if there are a few scars ... well, don't boys dig scars anyway?)

As with the first (Just one damned thing after another), I found A Symphony of Echoes gripping and extremely difficult to put down from start to finish. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

It's well worth paying for and having read it on my kindle I now want the paperback for my bookshelf.
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on 1 November 2015
More of the same - great stuff, etc. - but I wouldn't start here. I thought the best part of Book 1 was the hilarious (and hilariously told) set up and preposterousness of the premise. This time, Ms Taylor can jump straight in, obviously, which she does, and suddenly we're back again in the world of Dr Who of the 1980s, which isn't really why we(I) have bought the book.

Also, I have to say, by about half way through this one, if that, the character of 'Max' Maxwell, who I suppose we must now call 'feisty', does begin to wear a little thin.

Don't think I'll bother with #3.
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on 12 June 2017
'A Symphony of Echoes' is Jodi Taylor's second episode in her time-travelling St Mary's series. I read it straight after Connie Willis' 'Doomsday Book', which used the same concept some years earlier (and won many prestigious Science Fiction awards). Jodi Taylor largely ignores the difficulty of blending into a different time period, with the attendant changes in language and customs. She is all about the plot, which she develops at a breakneck pace with a sardonic sense of humour. Connie Willis is the exact opposite! It's down to personal taste really, I prefer more character and plot development at the expense of action so that is why I gave it 3 stars. If you want something that pulls you along and gives you no time to breathe, whilst teaching you a bit about history, you will enjoy this light entertainment. If you want to experience life in a different century and understand its challenges, go for Connie Willis.
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on 31 December 2017
Max and the crew of time-travelling historians are back. We get another series of historical adventures, both of snippets providing scenes of hilarity or tragedy (sometimes simultaneously), and of major events that move the plot forward. Here the snippets include observing the final kill of Jack the Ripper, a team-building exercise with dodos, an expedition to Canterbury Cathedral to record the assassination of Thomas a Beckett, and a trip to the Hanging Gardens of Ninevah. The plot, that of protecting St Mary’s, and all of history, from Ronan, includes a protracted visit to future St. Mary’s, and a trip to imperil Mary Queen of Scots, in order to confound the unhistorical ending of the lost Shakespeare play.
‘Dr Maxwell. Why are you wearing a red snake in my office?’
‘Sorry, sir. Whose office should I be wearing it in?’
The combination of snark, fun, terrible historical incidents, and the tragic fight against Ronan continues. Still compulsively readable.
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I am seriously enjoying this series and having to deliberately limit myself as to how fast I read them so that I can enjoy the journey, hoarding up promotional credits just for these gems. I love the humour and the strong female lead is seriously believable, even with all of her vulnerability exposed. It is so nice to read an everywoman character that doesn't have hidden superwoman abilities and who has believable emotions and reactions. She does what I wish I could do when hurt and angry, it is satisfyingly cathartic. The story here is deepened and widened, new layers added to the original premise which was simple enough to work in the first book as it was. Now we see twists added to twists and other limits being lifted believably all while maintaining a cast of characters who leap from the page and live.
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on 6 June 2017
Review of A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Once again Max and the team from St Mary’s set out to right wrongs in the historical timeline and History is in no mood to make life easy for them. Can they survive Jack the Ripper, an attempt to end their future before they even get there, and will they survive a trip to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? History like space will do its best to kill anyone who ventures unprepared into its unmapped depths, and who can map the unknown.
This story has it all; trips to the future and the past, one of their own turned rogue, love, lust and betrayal. Part thriller, part romance, history, technology, and even demons, what more could you want. Heroes push boundaries, villains are really evil and the story rushes on at a pace to leave the reader breathless and gagging for a cup of tea, (no Historian can survive without TEA).
The characters grow more back story and become fascinating friends and foes. Join them in a romp through past and future but make sure not to leave anything which could alter the timeline or History will hit back with lethal force.
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on 17 January 2017
When I made my review of the first book in the series, I opened with the words 'Jodi Taylor, never heard of her – Big Mistake! How true were my words!!

I have just read the second and third books in the series and will after reading something completely different, buy the fourth and fifth books.

In a nutshell the books are formulaic. Same people, same tasks and same personality traits. But the time periods change and you could well meet someone who you know well or even intimately, but the situation deems that they don't know you.

You have a relationship with someone you meet in the works restaurant that dynamic changes drastically when you are thrown together in a historical hotspot for 6 months obviously.

Jodi Taylor has it all in this series – Humour, pathos, love and even the dreaded/not so dreaded S.E.X. personally I don't mind it in real life, but still at the age of 65 I am not 100% comfortable reading about it. Oh the other thing this series has is it's well written, Imagine you are in middle England today and as you turn the page you are suddenly in Prehistoric times. It would look like that on your personal timeline – but it is written well enough to not be so radical a change!
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on 7 December 2013
I read the first in this series earlier this year, and have been waiting for the second one...so how on earth I missed it when it first came out, I have no idea...perhaps they could lend me a pod so I could go back in time?!?
Max, along with all of the beloved characters from St Mary's are back, fighting Jack the Ripper, losing the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, almost dying (several times!!!) and then setting history right again. This book made me shiver, weep, laugh, weep, and want to punch the air for the good guys....but I was on the bus, so I had to restrain myself!
Jodi Taylor has an enormous love of history, and this comes across in her novels...but she also has a very fine-tuned sense of humour. The dodo-hunting expedition was so funny, and so deftly written that I read it about three times, just so I could experience it again, and yet the incident at the Red House just made me want to weep for both Leon and Max.

This was just as good as the first one, and I can't wait for the next in the series...this time, I'm keeping a very close eye out for the release date...Troy, here we come!!!!!!
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on 22 July 2017
I hate Jodi Taylor! her books are keeping me up at night as I don't want to put them down. A Symphony of Echoes is the second in the Chronicles series and even better that the first. This book provides laugh out loud moments with action and a intrigue. It provides insights and a different take on history (so who/what was Jack the Ripper?) with enough hints to keep you reading "just one more chapter".
Looking forward to getting book three.
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2016
Very easy fun reading. These are the Chronicles of St Mary's, an institution that studies history by means of visiting it. They seek to observe and record, but it is surprising how oftenthings go awry. Into this fragile relationship with history we have Max (Madeleine Maxwell) who has the ability to find trouble and the smarts to generally just get away with it.
In this she has to step up to help out a "fellow" college who have been attacked, but if you read thise for time travel "accuracy" it would be easy to find fauly, but if you are happy to go with the ride for the fun, these are very entertaining books. Witty with great characters they never take themselves too seriously.
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