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A Symphony of Echoes: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2 | [Jodi Taylor]

A Symphony of Echoes: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2

Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas A Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.
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Publisher's Summary

Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas A Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary's - an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

©2013 Jodi Taylor (P)2014 Audible Studios

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4.4 (1004 )
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  •  
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 04-27-14
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 04-27-14 Member Since 2012

    I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed This Second St Mary's Time Travel Book"

    After finishing the first book in this series I went ahead and bought the second. The second novel is a bit episodic, but because of the nature of potential time travel paradoxes the various plot lines all come together in a maddening but entertaining conclusion.

    Based in the near future UK, St Mary's Time Travel institution, has a number of traditions, one of which is that a Historian (time traveling variety) gets to choose his or her last jump into the past before their retirement. In this case Maxwell, with her friend Kal Black, have set out to visit the London of Jack the Ripper on the night that Mary Kelly is mutilated and killed. Black is retiring from active duty. That night has a most surprising conclusion. But it's not by any means the conclusion of the book.

    It's not a soft and fluffy book although at points I thought it was quite funny. It also has some pathos (that's where one star disappeared because I thought that particular character was a bit of a red shirt, although the author may redeem herself later considering how convoluted time travel plots can be.) There is also some sheer horror.

    The narrator is, as I thought with regard to the first book, excellent. I'm hoping that she will also be reading the third book when it comes out on Audible.

    I did wonder if the dodo birds were a nod to Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels.

    I also bought the third novel on Kindle although it was not yet out on Audible. I would definitely suggest that these books be read in order. Now I'm jonesing for the fourth book.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. lewis 04-11-14
    C. lewis 04-11-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Witty and fun"
    If you could sum up A Symphony of Echoes in three words, what would they be?

    Fun time travel


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Max of course. I love her sense of humor and wit. She's a lovable smart ass.


    What about Zara Ramm’s performance did you like?

    Yes, very much


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I did save the last hour for when I got home from work.


    Any additional comments?

    The author and narrator together tell a really entertaining story. The quick pace is a relief. We don't have to listen to tedious descriptions of a month long research team. It's just research this before we go on our mission, then... We jumped to the past.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri 07-30-14
    Sheri 07-30-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trying to Wait Patiently for the Next One !!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved the twist on time travel and the eccentricities of St. Mary's. But probably the most remarkable is that the heroine is not hour glass shaped and has to work at being fit - as most of us do. She gets messy, panicked, makes mistakes and feels occasionally hopeless as we all do. But -- she has the chance to fix it. Give this series a listen to - or two... very entertaining as well as addicting!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    twinsmom 04-13-14
    twinsmom 04-13-14
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    "Read this series! Delightful and original"

    Another fantastic book in the Chronicles of St. Mary's series! Max and the gang at St. Mary's get into all kinds of trouble again in book two. There's something special about this series that I just can't quite put my finger on. I love the richly drawn characters, the narration, the action, the absurdity and the humor. It's fresh and original and absolutely delightful. I enjoy every minute spent reading (or listening) to these books. Narrator Zara Ramm does an excellent job of bringing Max and these books to life. You can't go wrong whether you read them in print or listen to them on audio (or both, like I do). Read them in order or you won't do them justice, but definitely read them!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Armstrong 11-30-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Great time travel sci fi"
    Would you listen to A Symphony of Echoes again? Why?

    I'm sure I will. I'm going to read the whole series again, after I read the next two volumes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mrs. Partridge, aka History (Goddess of). She's one of those Deus ex machina characters that always shows up at the right time and does what you want her to do.


    What does Zara Ramm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I haven't read the books in print, but I can't imagine anyone doing a better job with the narration.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many moments to pick one. The characters are even more interesting (and complicated) in this book than in the first one.


    Any additional comments?

    I love science fiction and particularly love time travel. This series is the best sci fi of this genre I have read in years and I read it all. Witty, sharp, laugh-out-loud funny. Great characters, wonderful concepts, well-executed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 06-20-15
    Linda 06-20-15 Member Since 2012

    snowbyrd13

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fast Paced Story with Humor"

    My favorite thing about this series is the protagonist - Max (a female). She is smart, fearless, and has a sense of humor. I like her a lot.

    I also like the use of time travel to visit different eras. It keeps the stories interesting.
    The author tells a briskly paced, complex story that includes some laugh out loud funny moments.

    Zara Ramm's narration is excellent.

    There are more books in this series and they are on my "Wish List".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 01-27-15
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 01-27-15 Member Since 2007

    Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Narrator"

    Zara Ramm could read Webster's Dictionary and I'd happily listen. She has a warmth and lilt to her voice that are perfect for a book that has sardonic and whimsical undertones. Good thing too, this book needed some redeeming graces.

    This is the second book in the series and relies heavily on the fact that the listener has already heard book one. Too much is left unexplained for this to be a standalone book. The storyline (as is true in the first book also) relies heavily on mini-episodes all strung loosely together in one overall plot. The two plot arcs (rocky romance and a rogue time traveler) come across as background frameworks from which the individual scenarios hang. Once you realize this and don't try to have one episode lead to or explain the next one, it's easier to relax and get into the book.

    The heroine is definitely a mixed bag. She is an understanding and charismatic leader when put in charge. And then she becomes a churlish and destructive young woman when she's crossed by her would-be boyfriend. The two sides of her personality are so extreme that they were hard to reconcile.

    I will get the next book in this series because Zara Ramm is just that good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine 10-04-14
    Christine 10-04-14
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    "A great heroine, much hilarious satire"
    What made the experience of listening to A Symphony of Echoes the most enjoyable?

    The heroine is both a leader but able to see the absurdities of the working world


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Jodi Taylor continues with this series , and Audible l keeps recording them!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 08-21-15
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 08-21-15 Member Since 2008

    jw1917

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Series took a Big Nosedive"

    I loved the first book in the series, so I got the second book. Boy was I disappointed. The series took a dive to the bottom. Except for a different historical period, the events are pretty similar. This book made no effort at all to capture the real history of Jack the Ripper - but instead used the famous Crimes as a tie in to Mr. Bad whom we met in the first book. Now Mr. Bad gets into St. Mary's and tries to destroy it from within. Although supposedly about Jack the Ripper, other than using his name there was no real investigation into Jack the Ripper. It was all about dealing with Mr. Bad.

    All of sudden I recognized an author who has a template for a book, and other than changing the locations or event is basically going to have the same story just a different setting. I did NOT like this book and while the first book in the series is really excellent, it appears to be all downhill from there. I will not get another book in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tai Provo, UT, United States 05-29-15
    Tai Provo, UT, United States 05-29-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little disjointed, but satisfying"

    Zara Ramm is fantastic, and she kept me interested in a book that I might have gotten frustrated with otherwise. It's important to note that this is essentially three books (short ones) in one, brought together with no unifying plot line except casting. Characters in this book feel as though they're there on a timeline that was arranged by their managers, leaving halfway through the season for another gig or just making a guest appearance. The saving grace is that it is actually quite interesting - there are genuine moments of suspense and humor, and what history made it in was compelling and satisfying reading. I love discovering a series when I have more volumes to look forward to, and this was good enough that I'm excited to go on to the next book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Crackdown
    Knighton, United Kingdom
    5/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantasy/Drama/Humour/History. This has it all!"

    Bizarrely, (I am from the UK), I heard about this series off a friend in the USA, even though it is a British author and novel.

    I wasn't disappointed by the recommendation. This has everything, fantasy, drama, humour all wrapped around history. That just about ticks all my boxes of things that I enjoy in a book.

    If you're not too keen on history you might find the passages that deal with important historical periods a bit overbearing. However, give it a try because that aside, the drama, fantasy and humour shines through. Personally I love history, and that love stems from our mother who was a font of knowledge when it came to all things history. It brought up many happy memories, a job well done.

    The narrator also does a really good job, and it was a pleasure to listen through to the end.

    If you're a fan of works from authors such as Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman then this should appeal. Although not quite the same in the sense that you don't have the fantasy animals or people, (this is based on time-travel for its fantasy), it is still well written.

    I enjoyed the first book so much I immediately downloaded the second book in the series, and although the third book isn't available from Audible, I did download that to my Kindle to read. I hope the third book is added to the Audible catalog soon, because these are a series of books that work *really* well as audio books. In fact, they worked so well I didn't sleep until I had listened to both books back to back. I was slightly knackered by the end, but a very happy knackered.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    8/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertainig and gripping."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Symphony of Echoes to be better than the print version?

    I like both print and audible formats for different times and places, especially driving.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I love the light-hearted humour that is quirky and doesn't take itself too seriously. However, you do get to side with the characters and end up not being able to stop reading or listening.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator has a wonderful voice and puts the story across in exactly the way I imagined it would sound.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karyn
    3/9/15
    Overall
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    "Great listen"

    Looking forward to reading book three in the series, have enjoyed book one and two, when I started book one thought I'd started a Dr Who plot, but thankfully I persevered as couldn't turn off, one negative thought about the narrator she seemed to draw breath a lot annoying at times, a light hearted travel in time with entertaining plots .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Happy and Smiling
    London, England
    7/7/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "great sequel"

    If you liked the first book in the series, then this is for you. If you haven't read the first one, get that one before you attempt this one. The narrator is spot on for this book and embodies the voice of Max just as I would imagine it. The book is a witty fast paced tale of the the time travelling hisorians of St Margarets that have to investigate history and occasionally set things right that have gone amiss in time. They have an arch enemy - Roman - a former member of staff who has gone bad to fight again, as per the first book. There is romance between the staff, humour, suspense, death, tragedy and ultimately a happy ending, all delivered with funny one liners and a quirky sense of humour. I preferred the first book, but this is a superb follow up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eyeandears
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another winner"
    What made the experience of listening to A Symphony of Echoes the most enjoyable?

    Unlike many other female narrators Zara Ramm is excellent. Her voice has an element of Bridget Jones diary but the story line is darker. Brilliant combination . I suspect if you liked the first book, you will love this sequel..if you haven't listened to it then give it a go. If you love history and sci fi this is the book for you


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Mary Stewart. Storyline


    What about Zara Ramm’s performance did you like?

    She has an excellent variety of oral characters


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end of Leon's car...You go girlfriend. Say no more


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a fan of the Peter Grant stories. Rivers of London ETC. This has a similar rhythm

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane again
    Oxford
    8/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    I wasn't sure whether the storyline would work beyond the first book (which was different, funny and very well read). It did!

    The narrator is perfect for the main character and complements the writing beautifully. The writing is quirky and funny.

    You won't like it if time travel is not your thing, you won't like it if you are looking for lots of navel gazing or existential angst. You will like it if you like a feisty main character, a non-conformist organisation and some interesting storylines.

    I confess - I'm not in to history and was worried this aspect of the story would put me off. It hasn't and I suspect that if I was more knowledgeable I would be reading well researched material. I apologise to the author for my dim-wittedness.

    And now on to the next one...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • judith
    7/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "addicted"

    thoroughly engrossed with this series now. interesting with violence, history, romance and intrigue all mixed up together. a great way to pass long journeys!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J E ELLIS
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Time paradox"
    If you could sum up A Symphony of Echoes in three words, what would they be?

    Confusion, more confusion,resolution


    What did you like best about this story?

    Strong female characters in abundance all with human failings scattered through history


    What does Zara Ramm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Zara copes with heavy breathing whatever the cause


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Could you kill Mary, Queen of the Scots?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the first book"

    I didn't enjoy this as much add the first book, and I find the writing a little confusing at times. But if your after a very light comedy sci fi then look no further

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Donohue
    Manchester, UK
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Brilliant - What a Ride!"

    Got this in a 2 for 1 sale & what a bargain it was. I listened to it in a day & straight away bought the next one. Cannot praise this series enough. If you like Sci - Fi with humour this is for you.

    The very English very eccentric St Marys is a place I loved immediately, this is not Dr Who this is time travel with a whole new slant. I really don't want to spoil anything for anyone but one thing that struck me and I really liked was there wasn't the traditional beginning, middle & end of this story it goes, setting the scene, adventure, conclusion, adventure, conclusion and so on. I love the detail in the descriptions of everything, you really can imagine it.

    The narrators voice is just right for the lead character and really brings it to life. Cannot recommend enough. Working my way through the series now and it gets better and better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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