Just One Damned Thing After Another
When Madeleine Maxwell is recruited by the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research, she discovers the historians there don't just study the past - they revisit it. But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And she soon discovers it's not just History she's fighting.
Reviewed on 31st May 2021
I was tempted into starting this series after reading someone describe it as something that fans of Terry Pratchett would like. It’s certainly not similar in content, but the statement turns out to be accurate for me, as I really enjoyed reading this.
It’s the tale of a youngish historian, who in seeking a new job finds herself at an interesting and slightly odd institute. There’s an element of Harry Potter training, but that’s over with quickly and we’re onto adventure after adventure after adventure.
For one book, it does pack a lot in. I read that it was originally released online before finding a publisher - and the book does actually have the feel of a classical serialised story, almost Dickensian in that regard, being constructed in a very episodic manner. I’m intrigued to find out if this structure continues in the rest of the series, as it’s also quite a breathtaking pace to move, and a lot of ideas for one author to come up with to keep packing so much in.
It’s probably worth a content note, as there are some unsavoury surprises - moments of assault that come out of nowhere - so readers might want to be aware of this going in.
Overall, it’s a great concept - my only criticism is that I wanted to spend more time on some parts of the story, but given I already own the next nine books in the series I feel like that need will easily be satisfied in the future.