A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3), Jodi Taylor

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The silence was deafening. The weight of the heat was unbearable. The world held its breath. The gods were poised.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

* * *
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 and Achilles and Hector and Paris and Helen. Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships. Virtually everyone knows the story of Troy, it’s a huge chunk of our history, a story that has resonated down the ages. St. Mary’s wants to find out how much the famed battle of Troy is just that – a story. This is Max’s long-held dream and now she’s in charge and I delighted in it. They take a huge team to spend nine months in the city of Troy before the war broke out and it’s such a lovely few chapters – Taylor communicates this foreign-ness, of being in a city built thousands of year before your birth, drinking wine that isn’t wine.

I love how Taylor writes about the historians doing the every day parts of their jobs. It isn’t all gunfire and limbs being hacked off. It’s looking at commerce and trade and politics and setting up a dusty camp and never being clean and worrying that that chicken in the road is really a temple offering and can’t just be taken. Then they flash forward to Troy itself and Taylor just brings these people to life, their small intimate moments. I particularly loved (and hated, because that poor, poor woman) what she did with Kassandra, daughter of Priam.

Troy was the end of many things and the beginning of others. For everyone in that part of the world, after Tory, nothing was ever the same again.

Aside from Troy, there’s a number of smaller and exciting missions including Isaac Newton, Gloucester cheese-rolling, Agincourt, and the Gates of Grief. We also go back to the Cretaceous period and Ronan shows up for about ten pages, which is great because I think it was about time he vanished.

A Second Chance is just as witty and funny and intriguing as its predecessors. The only big point of contention for me was the ending, which I found both ludicrous and frustrating.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of A Second Chance. 

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