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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

Critic Reviews

"Ramm deftly takes listeners through Taylor's temporal shifts, emphasizing Max's dry wit and sense of the ridiculous.... Ramm's smooth voice pivots to a tone of regret and loss as Max confronts the consequences of dabbling in time. Ramm portrays Max's complex nature in all its flawed humanity." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MJ
  • 06-09-2014

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.

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.

Zara Ramm does a wonderful job of narration--I will look for other books that she reads just to hear her interpretation of them.

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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean the Urban Walker
  • 29-07-2015

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • loralou
  • 03-11-2014

New favorite author found!

Love this series this book was even better than the first one couldnt wait to read the second one finished the third one in a week ( which is a record for me) preordered the fourth one.
Sent to Troy her long awaited destinations causes her to make a everlasting life changing decision.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sheryl
  • 08-10-2014

A series well worth reading

Let me start off by saying that I loved the first two books in the series. So, I was a little disappointed that this book didn't thrill me as much as the others. It started off very slow for me and I actually got a bit bored with all the details about Troy (but then, I'm not a history buff). This book just had a different feel to it and I missed the feel of the first two. The second half of the book picked up considerably for me (hence 4 stars instead of 3). I don't like some of the choices Ms. Taylor made and given the end am not sure why she made them in the first place. It was all a bit too heart-wrenching for me and then totally shocking come the final chapters. Regardless, I am still looking forward to reading the next book to see where the storyline goes. I adore these characters and the audio narration by Zara Ramm. I hope book 4 comes out in audio sooner rather than later.

Just a note- be sure to read the series in order and don't start from the middle. It really won't do the books justice.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tom Coppler
  • 16-10-2015

Could not follow

What disappointed you about A Second Chance?

Taylor's jumping all over between past and present and different parallel time lines without any reason (did not have to be logical or possible) left me lost and very disappointing because I enjoyed books 1&2 and looked forward to the whole series.

Please someone tell me she gets back on tract so I can read the rest.

Has A Second Chance turned you off from other books in this genre?

Probably

What about Zara Ramm’s performance did you like?

Everything she is Max.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 15-05-2015

I love this series!

This is a great series. If you have listened to the previous books, you will like this one as well. It has all of the really dark bits, the really funny bits, the craziness that is St Mary's. This one ended in a way that I'm not sure I like, but I believe that the next one will be amazing and will totally make up for it. Let me be clear, it wasn't badly written, it just went in a direction I wasn't prepared for. It is still Jodi Taylor writing a great story and Zara Ramm narrating in her most excellent and awesome way. Looking forward to starting the next one right away!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gwen K.
  • 20-01-2015

Did anyone notice a change at chapter 16

What did you love best about A Second Chance?

I have enjoyed the first three books in this series and hope it continues for a long while. I love the combination of adventure and humor with a little romance.

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

I think Zara Ramm is a wonderful reader and I have enjoyed listening to her on the first two books and the first 15 chapters of this book, but as I was driving in my car today we switched to chapter 16 and to my ear there was a different reader. The voice was off and the cadence was different. I am still in chapter 16 so I do not know if this continues but I am interested to know if anyone else has experienced this, since I have not seen another reader credited and no one else has mentioned it.

Any additional comments?

I love this series and Zara Ramm and I hope she continues to read, voice act, not sure what the right word is, but she adds to the experience for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robin
  • 30-06-2017

One of the best of this series

I love The Chronicles of St. Mary's. Funny, well written and very smart. This is one of my favorite installments. Doesn't matter if you're a teen or an oldster .... you will have a great listening experience!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • S. stewart
  • 06-04-2017

A Second Chance

I have enjoyed this series of books immense. The narrator is what makes them so enjoyable. She does a marvelous job. This book of the series is not the best though. It's full of second chances. Maybe it's too full . At the end it felt like the author was trying to set up future storylines and like she had not been happy with some story decisions she had made in this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • john
  • 24-05-2016

Nice story but big plotholes

This is a really interesting story line with a unique device for getting into history. Unfortunately just when you relax and start to enjoy it the main protagonists do something completely out of line for their character yanking you uncomfortably out of the suspension of disbelief

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robyn
  • 07-08-2017

Another chaotic, but fun outing

CBC - Concussion By Cheese. It's these little anecdotes that make this such an entertaining series. I'd like to believe that I learn a little bit about history too - even if it is ancient history when nobody actually knows what the real truth is. Still, it always feels quite well informed.

They've been a fun first three books to the series - light-hearted and jovial in tone (even if it's in the middle of the an epic historical battle) and exactly right to cleanse the listening palate after something more gritty.

A cliff-hanger ending, so straight onto book 4.

Narration exactly same as previous books in the series - perfectly reflects Max's attitude.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 18-11-2015

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hevpais
  • 12-09-2015

I loved it

I really enjoyed this book. I stumbled upon the series by accident and have now listened to the first three (plus a short) in four days. Its a good job I can carry it round with me, or I'd be stuck in the house forever! Some other reviews have not been quite so good, but it really worked for me. Maybe that's because I'm a romantic and much, much prefer the happy ending. Made me cry, made me laugh out loud - and when you're out in the garden digging, that can be dangerous! Within one hour of finishing it, here I am back at Audible, getting the next one. What more can I say? Ah, I know - Zara Ramm is excellent too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 23-08-2016

A good instalment

This was a good instalment. I would have marked it four stars but the is a distinctly episodic feel. Perhaps it is being written as a TV series. I certainly can see the BBC doing a good job. And the question in the back of my mind is what is going on in America and why is it only people from the future trying to take the time pods?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • A Friend
  • 25-05-2016

Still very enjoyable, but a bit of a jumble!

Good narration and all the characters are still there, but not as strong as the first or second. The pace is a bit all over the place and the plot loops and turns as stories about time travel are like to do! I'll still listen to the next one though I should think!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vicky
  • 03-04-2016

Great as ever but where has the professors Scottish accent gone

I enjoyed this enormously
As always it was captivating and well read tho I do miss Professor Bearstow's Scottish accent. Where did it go. It made him Stand out from the rest of the department.
Looking forward to the next instalment

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • GlosterLass
  • 08-03-2016

Fun, fast-paced, but confusing

The third in the series, I enjoyed this more than the previous book. Characters become more rounded and events in history better presented. However, still that bland 'the world went white' to indicate a leap in time, to the point it began sounding like school-children droning "Good Morning Mrs . ." at morning assembly.
The latter half of the book moved far too fast and wasn't given enough explanation, so I was left saying, "yes, but how? What? Why?" on more than one occasion.
The narrator fits the tone of the book well but does sometimes put the emphasis on the wrong part of the sentence and mispronounces some classic Greek names, which I found irritating.
On the whole it was a fun romp, a light, easy listen all ages and sexes would enjoy - just don't try to take it seriously.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paul Hamer
  • 20-07-2015

Enjoyable, but a series of short stories

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, but the friend needs to have previously listened to the earlier episodes.

What other book might you compare A Second Chance to, and why?

It compares with Dickens: as it is written in an episodic manner, with a series of cliff hangers and narrow escapes, followed by the next set up and cliff hanger.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The description of the fall of Troy. To say more gives away too much plot, but everyone knows that Troy fell.

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

Out of Africa, or out of time?

Any additional comments?

Horses feature, but so do dinosaurs, blue skinned megalith builders and huge wheels of cheese.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 14-05-2015

Unexpected twist

Builds on the earlier books with new twists and turns an enjoyable listen pushing the realms of time travel.
The ending means you have to go straight out to by the next one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SHADOW smash
  • 04-05-2015

Another mind boggling tale of love and loss

Each book in the series gets more and more tangled in history and now time dimensions! Not a book to fall asleep with - you'll never find where you got to!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful