The Chronicles of St Mary Book 1 of 7

Publisher: Accent Press

Publication date: 21 November 2013

Page Count: 334 pages

Publisher’s synopsis:

Time travel meets history in this explosive, bestselling adventure series.

At St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, the historians don’t just study the past, they revisit it.

Behind the strait-laced façade of a conventional academic institution, the secret of time travel is being used for ground-breaking and daring historical research taking the historians on a rollercoaster ride through history: from the destruction of Pompeii to the Normandy trenches; from the Great Fire of London to Bronze Age Troy and even to the time of the dinosaurs…

Meanwhile, within at St Mary’s itself, there are power struggles and intrigues worthy of a book in themselves.

In Book One, we follow new recruit Max as she rides the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to the First World War, 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 …

This book was recommended to me by a fellow bibliophile and when he said it contained time travelling historians visiting dinosaurs I knew I had to read it and of course review it for the Bookasaurus Blog. It is the first in a series of which there are seven novels to date and also several short stories.

Wow, just wow! This is a rollercoaster of a book with exhilarating highs and soul crushing lows complemented by humour and romance. The book follows the fortunes of the intrepid Dr Maxwell and her crazy colleagues at St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research. This is a top secret research facility where a small group of historians travel back in time in pairs to observe and record past events. We see Maxwell and a group of new recruits go through the extensive training needed before becoming field historians which is when the trouble and danger really starts.

Once they have gained some experience Max and her partner Sussman are given the opportunity to travel further back in time than has ever been attempted before. They travel to the Cretaceous period, 67 million years ago, and the time of the dinosaurs. Things do not go entirely to plan however and the dangers are not limited to the dinosaur predators.

Time travel has always been perilous and Max’s is not the only present from which people time travel resulting in dangers in both the past and from the future where it appears that time travel is not so closely controlled. Or perhaps it is just that those in control do not have the same moral compass as those at St Mary’s. This results in secrets being revealed and the remit of St Mary’s having to adapt to the threats facing it and history itself.

This is an adrenaline filled adventure novel full of chaos and catastrophe which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I was completely unprepared for a book about historians to be so electrifying and I was quickly enthralled and swept along. The title really does suit the book very well and while I breathed a sigh of relief at the end that the disasters were over, at least until the next book, I really enjoyed it. I go back to my analogy that this book is like a rollercoaster, so if you like that kind of ride and time travel then I highly recommend this to you.

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