I love Jodi Taylor. I love Max. (I also love Zara Ramm.) (It’s especially fun to hear her say “Caer Guorthigern”.) But the premise of this installment in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s is … not what it could be.
When Max’s team brings back the location of an extraordinary artifact, the information is passed on to Thirsk, St. Mary’s funding partner, who promptly and happily recovers it and locks it up for future study. And almost immediately terrible things begin happening to the area from which the artifact was taken, and a member of Max’s team is certain that the run of bad luck is entirely due to the removal of that artifact. So they decide to put it back.
Technically, to steal it and put it back.
Aaaaaand of course things go pear–shaped. “I tied up my hair and surveyed my team: Marcus, Evans, Lingos, and me. What could possibly go wrong?”
And here’s the thing. A couple of times in the planning phase someone says “couldn’t we just ask them to put it back?” And as everyone in the book said “no” I was saying “but –” – because … couldn’t they? Granted, having the artifact in storage is awesome – but I could completely see the whole “asking” thing working. If spun right it could have been a media bonanza.
But that’s not the route the story took, and you know? As long as I get to hang out with Marcus and Evans and Lingos, Max and Leon and all the rest of the St. Mary’s team; as long as the pods still smell of cabbage and now and then the world goes white, all is well. All is better than well – all is grand.
Welcome, Matthew Edward Farrell. Every child should have a bear to watch over them. You might need six or seven. (I make teddy bears, Max – *makes “call me” sign*)
Quotes that will probably work their way into my everyday speech, whether it makes sense or not:
…I was well down the road to self–recrimination and despondency and slightly miffed that no one was coming with me.
“You should employ more girls.”
“We used to, but they made the boys cry.”
And best of all: “Is it like terrapins?” – Markham