I was just not in the mood for nonfiction, and there wasn’t a new Laundry or Rivers of London installment out, so when Kindle recommended this, I gave it a try. I’m glad I did – I found it an interesting story, and it had a tweak for time travel stories that I really liked.
Like Laundry and Rivers of London, there is a British organization that does something outside the the normal world – here it is a group of historians at an institute referred to as St. Mary’s which regularly travels back in time to document and study historical events. But in the same way that a good vampire story might tweak the rules applying to its version of the classic characters to advance the tale, here Taylor makes a significant modification to the well-worn genre of time travel. In her story, time aggressively reacts to neutralize any intrusions that might damage the timeline. So instead of worrying about whether two or three time travelers might inadvertently disrupt time and destroy the collective future, you can relax because time – I should probably say Time – has guardrails. If, say, the historians intervene to prevent a mugging or a murder that might damage the timeline, stone blocks will conveniently fall off a nearby building killing said historians. Or a police officer might react. However it happens, Time finds a way to protect the integrity of the timeline, so the usual “did we change the time line” really isn’t a thing here. At least not in the first book of the series anyway.
To say any more would risk a spoiler, but I can say that that makes time travel stories a lot more enjoyable to read, for me at least. I enjoyed the first book in the series, and am already deep into the second.