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Publisher's Summary

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 ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC - concussion by cheese. 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. So, make the tea, grab the chocolate biscuits, settle back and discover exactly why the entire history department has painted itself blue.
©2014 Jodi Taylor (P)2014 Audible Studios
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Customer Reviews

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By MJ on 09-06-14

This series is just gettihg better and better.

Any additional comments?

This series is fast becoming one of my favorites. I love the lead character, Max, for her snarky humor, and she is surrounded by a wonderful cast of characters at St. Mary's. There's humor, adventure, history (some interesting re-tellings and speculations) and romance. <br/><br/>Do yourself a favor and don't start with this book--go back to the first in the series, Just One Damned Thing After Another, and get to know these people from the beginning. You won't be sorry. <br/><br/>Zara Ramm does a wonderful job of narration--I will look for other books that she reads just to hear her interpretation of them. <br/><br/>Highly recommended! I can't wait for the next one, which is due out in print in January 2015. I'm hoping the Audible version won't be far behind.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful


By Jean the Urban Walker on 07-29-15

No one can get enough of Dr 'Max' Maxwell

Where does A Second Chance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Outstanding storyline & the narration is {pun intended} pitch-perfect. Zara Ramm IS Max; you can hear how much she loves her character as she bring her to life time & time again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Second Chance?

The great cheese roll. I'd like to get my hands on one of those 'I survived' tee shirts. They could write 'duck' on the rear and make it an instant best seller. Followed by the 'Smurf' episode. I listened to both more than once as I started laughing so hard I could not concentrate initially.

Which character – as performed by Zara Ramm – was your favorite?

Max - hands down.

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

Yes. I actually walked totally out of my way several times to get more listening time in. This needs to be a movie.

Any additional comments?

I THINK I purchased the first book, 'Just One Damned Thing After Another' during a special sale. It made such an impression on me that I wanted to hear more from & about Max. I already have book 6 on pre-order and starting to mildly panic as I am already starting Book 4 and it's only been a little over two weeks since I first met Max and the quirky crew at St Mary's. Max is such an identifiable and wonderful character; you just want her to be your friend/boss.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Roobarb on 05-14-15

this made me cry

I cried twice!

but saying that, I just can't leave it alone. where's the next one?

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Mike Murphy on 11-18-15

Great balance between fun and fear

The Historians at St.Mary’s have a straightforward approach to discovering what really happened at an historical event, they get in a POD, travel back in time and take a shufftie at what’s going on.

Of course, that means that they risk getting abducted, maimed or killed by the locals or simply by their own clumsiness, but they are a plucky lot who are willing to take their chances and get on with things in their own anarchic way.

The lead Historian, Madeleine Maxwell, “Max”, is the embodiment of what a St. Mary’s Historian should be: insatiably curious, unthinkingly courageous, capable of great compassion but implacable in dealing with those she sees as evil.

She’s come a long way from her rookie days in the first book, “Just One Damned Thing After Another” when she had “damaged misfit” written all the way through her like “Brighton” in a bar of rock.

She is a leader: doing the detailed planning, wrangling the St. Mary’s mob into almost acting as a team, winning the respect and even the love of her people. She’s getting her personal life together after a series of disasters.

Of course, in a Jodi Taylor novel, where every silver lining has a cloud, this degree of happiness and accomplishment can only mean that Max is doomed. Which indeed she is, though I won’t disclose her fate here.

The St. Mary’s books really are chronicles, describing events in the order that they happened, although, with time travel involved, the timeline can still have twists and turns in it. In “A Second Chance”, we follow the intrepid Max to Sir Issac Newton’s London, the fall of Troy and the battle of Agincourt. There are also a few unexpected side trips that you’ll have to read the book to find out about.

Troy has been a long-term obsession for Max. She wants to know if Greek soldiers really hid in the belly of a wooden horse and how they stayed hidden and how they got out and whether Helen’s face really launched a thousand ships, and hundreds of other things, so going there is a big deal and is described at length. What I enjoyed most about this part of the book was that, while original, plausible, surprising answers are given to all these questions, their importance fades as the scale of human suffering becomes clear. Max and her team spend months in Troy before the siege, sharing the way of life of the people only to it strangled by the siege and shattered by the assault on the city. The killing, rape, enslavement and greed-driven destruction hits home hard. This is not some Homeric glorification of war, but a description of the human cost of the phrase: “Troy fell.”

Towards the end of the book, after Agincourt, Max’s life takes a strange, world-changing, series-altering turn that finally explains the title, “A Second Chance.” This twist makes me certain that the next St. Mary’s book will be different from its predecessors. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jodi Taylor does with it.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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