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A Second Chance

(The Chronicles of St Mary's #3)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  9,558 ratings  ·  764 reviews
History happens all around you. And, occasionally, to you.

‘I could have been a bomb-disposal expert, or a volunteer for the Mars mission, or a firefighter, something safe and sensible. But, no, I had to be an historian.’

It began well. A successful assignment to 17th century Cambridge to meet Isaac Newton, and another to witness the historic events at The Gates of Grief
Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Accent Press
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River In the future, Leon is devastated over the death of his family and is ready to quit St. Mary’s. Mary’s and be with Max. When Max is kidnapped and take…moreIn the future, Leon is devastated over the death of his family and is ready to quit St. Mary’s. Mary’s and be with Max. When Max is kidnapped and taken to the cretaceous period, she meets the younger Leon – the Leon from the future who is still devastated and about to give up. When Max gets back to her time and Leon leaves and goes to his time, she takes her photo out of her personnel files and writes on the back “I will always find you” (or something like that). So, that is the picture and note he sees when he gets back to his time and is what gives him the will to go on. The will, to go back to the St Mary’s in his past to help and meet Max.
It’s the whole time is more of a circle thing. Seeing the picture is what made Leon decide to go back in time to St Mary’s. But Max didn’t write the note on her picture until after they had met (which happened in his future).
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Tracy Barnes
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Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my lord, this series is kicking my ass.

I mean, sure, there's tons of truly hilarious events going on, just one after another, and I love it. Plus the time-travel simply plays second fiddle to the historical accuracy displayed, but here's the real kicker: the emotional impact.

It's always bad enough to see people die that you didn't know very well, and then this series keeps on throwing people we're beginning to love under the bus. And then. I mean, shit!

Fine, Troy burns. Women and children s
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's nearly 1 o'clock at night and I have been a sobbing mess for hours. I'm gonna find the author's address, drive up there and kill her!

Review to come (if prison has internet I'll be allowed to use).


Since I wanted to sleep in a little, I only got up at 9:20 this morning. To calm my still raw nerves, I tried to read the (in comparison) rather dull Mr. Bulfinch, which didn't work at all. So I then proceeded to take care of kittie's litter box, water
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalos, because we love to travel in time...

Liked it even better the second time around:)

This author has decided to first bamboozle us with humor, attract us with the interpersonal relationships of the characters, intrigue us with the time travel for historical research to different important events in time, in this case The Fall of of Troy and The battle of Agincourt, as well as a very vigorous cheese rolling festival in the 19th century, and then destroy us wi
Robin (Bridge Four)
This was more like two books than one in my mind. There is the first half which pretty fantastic with its wild madcap adventures and a trip to Troy which was as fantastic as it was tragic and then there is the second half of the book which is some relationship angst I didn’t get and a death and a not-death and…..a very interesting ending.

The first half totally gets 4.5 Stars and I was loving it. Max takes an aged professor back in time to see Isaac Newton and everything goes wrong as usual and s
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
Outstanding!! Oh my! Ms Taylor has outdone herself.. This story wrung me out and messed with my head... I LOVED it! ALL THE STARS! All the feels! All the hilarity! All the weeping!
Carefully crafted and plotted, rich in historical detail. One of my favourite series, I've just decided. Can't wait to read the next. Definitely going to need some rationing as I don't want to run out of her books.
This series is SO recommended. But start with the first one. These are definitely not stand alones.
Richard Derus
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it’s just one damned thing after another.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese-rolling fertility ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC – concussion by cheese. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe
Dear Author,
There are better ways to kill your readers than make them die of sensory overload and emotional upheaval.
The reader of this series shall be blissfully ensconced in the literary world but soon would be chewed up, swallowed and then spat back, left to flounder. And be helpless to deal with real life.

This instalment was bloody brutal and brilliant.
I am exhausted. But in a good way.

Am already halfway through the next one.
Holy effing craziness, Jodi Taylor. What did you do? You completely demolished every expectation I had. I didn't see anything coming, other than one tiny little bit of inconsequentialness....

Jeez, if you haven't read this series and you like time travel and snarky, strong female leads, then you need to pick up The Chronicles of St. Mary's.

Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read at BB&B.

This is a weird series for me. I like most of it and am curious enough to keep coming for more and yet I want to tear my hair out when the relationship angst hits. But that'll come later.

The Iliad was one of my favourite mandatory reads back in school. I always loved the Greek Mythology and the story of the Trojan War fascinated me even if my side ended up losing. The depiction of the war in this book is probably a lot closer to what a war in those times would have been and th
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A Second Chance is the third instalment in the St. Mary’s series, which follows a maverick bunch of reprobate historians as they travel through time, studying major (and minor) events in history, while trying not to die in the process.

This book feels like a turning point for the stories to date, and you can see a marked improvement in the writings structure, while maintaining all of the wit, humour and wonderful characters as befo
Having loved the St. Mary's #1 more, I still enjoyed this read.

This is one of those series that just fills my every need to hear the historic "real" without interpretation, To see Mary Stuart, or Achilles in real time with visual "eyes". OUTSTANDING.

But I'm so bummed at the character development and general level of the tone of the narrator (Max)- that I also cannot take these in large doses. In fact, maybe a year between the sequences? That's about all I can stand.

Because the concept is outsta
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this was fabulous :) In fact I think it's my favourite one in the series so far and there were even a few scenes where I was listening along to the audiobook at work, and I got all EMOSH and had to cover up a few teary-eyed moments.

This is the continuation of Max's story where she has joined the St Mary's departments of...well.. time travellers. She's a fantastic lady who has a way with words and is not afraid to call people on any judgements and stereotypes they may have. She's also very
Wing Kee
Torn torn and torn.

Every time I read this series I am awfully torn. In one regard, I love the writing, the dialog and the scenarios I find this book taking place in. However, I am also certainly annoyed with the emotional development and character depths. As I said, torn:

World: Wonderfully dense and fun. The history is researched in detail, the world is described vividly and feels alive and the world of St. Mary's is a hoot. This is the best part of Taylor's writing, her love of history and the
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guys, there's some gripping parts of this (the opening third builds to a pretty good climatic sequence), per usual, and Max remains a compelling voice. The silly humor and hijinx are here and some pathos when you've given up hope of it. It would make a good episodic show. Flaws, sometimes really upsetting relationships, messy as usual. More detail later.
J.A. Ironside
This is easily the greatest time travel series I have ever read. I love Taylor's combination of humour and gravitas, the rich historical detail and of course the characters - Max, Leon, Markham, Peterson and many others. In this episode, Max finally gets to fulfil the ambition of a lifetime; document the fall of Troy and the Trojian war. Of course it's a long term trip and impossible not to get somewhat attached to the people whose lives the time travelling historians know will come to a horrifi ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this. Max is a great character and well used by the author. The whole concept of St Mary's is fun and well worked. I do understand those who feel this one is a bit disjointed - I'd probably say the same. At times it feels like a number of stories that are eventually linked rather than something planned. Still enjoyed it and will continue with the series from time to time.
Feb 14, 2014 added it
Shelves: ebook-purchased
So, I read this just a day or two after it was released, rushed through it as quickly as I had the previous two, finished it, and couldn't make up my mind whether it was the best thing ever or a bit of a mess. That was back in February, and now writing it up is twice as hard, of course. (There's no point making a note to self at this stage, as my brain is covered in virtual, brightly-coloured stickies already!) So, I'm going to make a few rather random notes and maybe hope to reread and then dec ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jodi Taylor’s wildly entertaining historical time-travelling series continues in her most ambitious story to date.

Max and her team plan an immersive, full court press project on the Trojan War – yes, the bronze age siege of the great city ending in Greeks falling out of a fake wooden horse.

Taylor has here, like she has in other historic scenes, made some artistic license changes to our popular ideas about what really happened and that is part of the charm of this world building. We also visit Ag
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-travel
This book. This book broke my soul. I think I cried through the entire thing. It surprised me at every turn. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that ending.
This series just keeps getting better.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 3 of the Chronicles of St. Mary's took no prisoners. I read this in less than a day and damn. I came to this series for the sass and the not-time-travel, but I stayed for the whirlwind adventures and emotional gut punches, and will doubtless continue because that ending!!??
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
3.5 that I’m rounding up for Taylor’s style and the great narration on the audio book. This one carried a few too many twists and turns for me to really love it, but it does certainly set up for an interesting new plot line!
I enjoyed books 1 and 2, but I'm having a harder and harder timer ignoring the inherent weaknesses of the premise of this series. Honestly, I'm not sure how all the historians aren't dead by now and why there continue to be new candidates to fill their shoes. The whole idea that "historians are wild and crazy" only takes the story so far.

That aside, the habit that Jodi Taylor has of hinting at the eminent catastrophe that's coming in subsequent chapters has me actively fighting the urge to rifl
ARGH!! The End of this book!! This series is just soooooo amazing. I love it so much. Obviously since this is my 3rd read-thru of the series in a year. LOVE THESE BOOKS!!

Well, shit!! Was gonna rate this book a 4 through most of it, but then the damn end happened. I knew something was coming, but it didn't turn out the way I thought it was, so nice touch.

In this book Max was the bitch, big time, then tries to turn around and do what she forbade? Bad Max! I was pissed at her. LOL! B
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-urban
When I wrote my review for the first book, Just One Damned Thing After Another, I observed that just when you think things can't possibly get more gut wrenching, they do. When I wrote my review for the second book, A Symphony of Echoes, I remarked how it was interspersed with several I-did-not-see-THAT-coming moments. In this one, all of the above, including more than one moment, Ms. Taylor, that I really, really hated you. Oh. My. Word. What a freaking brilliant book. Just how are you going to ...more
Ula (The Lost Library)
I'm struggling to rate this. It could be a 3 or a 4, so I'm going with 3.5 stars.

Firstly, what the fuck. It started in typical St. Mary's fashion, accosting Isaac Newton and possibly starting the next big bang. Then it starts to hit you in the feels. There were definitely parts I liked less than the first two books, the entire drama that's central to this book was simply unnecessary. It made it complicated, but the thing I loved about these books is that they were simple. In a good way. They wer
Anita Reads
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an ending. Really enjoyed this again. 4.5 Stars
The silence was deafening. The weight of the heat was unbearable. The world held its breath. The gods were poised.

* * *
3 / 5

A Second Chance was a solid four star read right up until the end when I put the book down and wanted to tear my hair out. Ugh. Definitely threw me for a loop. I'm currently approaching the next book in the series with extreme caution.

I've never seen a city die before. I never want to again. 

The big boy of this book is Troy. Troy of the Trojans and the Mycenae, of Patroclus
Adventure/Romance This is why I read

Book two left me with an aching hole in my chest where my heart used to be...starting to heal, but still gun shy. After this one, I'm having a whole different reaction. My whole torso is wound so tight, breathing seems like something I used to know how to do.

I understood early on why it was so difficult for Max, our heroine, to risk loving someone. But with Leon being a man of so few words, I had no idea how much harder it was for him.

I'm writing this the ne
I like books that make me laugh. I like books that make me cry. And I especially like books that make me laugh and cry. If that happens at the same time, all the better.

For me, the series just gets better and better. There are times when the narrative made me feel uncomfortable or tense, or uncomfortable and tense, and that's a good thing. The action sequences made me feel the way a good action film makes me feel - shoulders hunched, breath held, anxious.

This series is beginning to break my hear
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: A Second Chance [June 2018] 79 44 Jul 05, 2018 11:47PM  
Play Book Tag: Second Chance by Jodi Taylor - 4 stars 1 16 Jul 02, 2016 08:16PM  

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Jodi Taylor is, and always has been, a complete history nut. It takes vast amounts of chocolate to get her out of bed for anything after 1485. And if it's raining, there's no chance.

Habitually tongue-tied when asked to talk about herself, she gets round this by describing herself as tall, incredibly beautiful, witty and technically proficient.

The Chronicles of St Mary's -

Just One Damned Thing Aft

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of St Mary's (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1)
  • A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #2)
  • A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #4)
  • No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #6)
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and History (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #7)
  • And the Rest is History (The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #8)
  • An Argumentation of Historians (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #9)
  • Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10)
  • Plan for the Worst (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #11)

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75 likes · 19 comments
“Helen, in a white coat and stethoscope, effortlessly achieving the sort of discipline for which lesser women would require black leather and a hunting crop, indicated we should form a line. Being St Mary’s, we formed several clumps and a rhomboid.” 13 likes
“This was my favourite moment – everything stretching out in front of us, gleaming with promise and excitement and we hadn’t yet had a chance to screw it up.” 12 likes
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