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A Symphony of Echoes Audiobook

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

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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (38 )
5 star
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4.3 (36 )
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Story
4.6 (36 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • C. lewis
    11/04/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Sires
    Chesapeake, OH, United States
    27/04/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Marilyn Armstrong
    Massachusetts
    30/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sheri
    college station, TX, United States
    30/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sheryl
    Las Vegas, NV
    13/04/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Chalis
    Eden Prairie, MN, United States
    20/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tai
    Provo, UT, United States
    29/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    2593 Whitechapel Place , Thousand Oaks CA 91362
    4/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy F.
    Sierra Foothills, Northern CA
    27/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Robin
    MADISON, WI, United States
    10/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good continuation of the series"

    This is still a fascinating blend of time travel, action, humor and romance. The narration is excellent, with Zara Ramm's pacing and intonation really creating Max as a wonderful character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Robyn
    Malmesbury, United Kingdom
    9/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More entertainment"

    Some of my recent listens haven't had quite enough pace for me.... not so with this book. It cracks along at full tilt. So much going on that I got lost occasionally (I'm blaming my previous slower listens where I could let my attention wander without consequence. Nod off here, and you'll certainly miss something!)

    This is pure entertainment from start to finish - even the car destruction scene made me grin.

    I'm really enjoying the characters in this. And even learning a little about history too - I assume some of it is based on real occurrences....

    Narration is exactly right.

    Will be downloading the next instalment shortly.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • S. Donohue
    Manchester, UK
    20/07/15
    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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria Elizabeth
    23/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Better than the first book"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this - the story, writing and narration was better than the first book, which had a good premise but flagged a little for me. Just enough to encourage me to get the second and I am glad I did! In fact I actually went straight to get the third after reading the second... <br/>I've grown to quite like the way the story seems to be in episode format as it means when very tired and busy I don't have to concentrate on a long, complicated storyline - there is an ongoing story with decent character development but the characters have various adventures within this, that are quite self-contained, so easy to follow. <br/>Gentle, enjoyable entertainment, with no saucy bits in this one - hurray.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • David
    19/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Despite jumping through time, nothing much happens"

    The concept is great, but there is never any sense of real tension. It's like these novels were written for those with a nervous disposition.

    The characters leap through situations that in other books would have had much more tension and time spent in those scenarios.

    Its all just a bit too easy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ballboy
    20/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nice idea, very badly done."

    nice idea, very badly done. the first book was OK but the second was just awful. I won't be trying the third.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    20/07/15
    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mike Murphy
    Switzerland
    27/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A darker St Mary's emerges"

    The first book in The Chronicles of St Mary's, "Just One Damn Thing After Another" was a triumph of originality, introducing us to the world of intrepid, if chaotic, British historians risking their lives to witness past events first hand.

    Chronologically, "A Symphony of Echoes" carries straight on from where the first book left off but the tone of the second book is quite different and, sadly, not quite as satisfying.

    This is a darker book than its predecessor. There is less games-playing and amusingly clever trickery and more killing and death.

    In this novel, Max, the plucky if unstable woman the first book followed from Trainee to Historian, has become part of management and shows an allegiance to St. Mary's that borders on the fanatical. Under her leadership it becomes clear that although St. Mary's appears to be an institution filled with eccentric individuals who muddle through while creating madcap mayhem, it is actually capable of being ruthless, even murderous. Its enemies are hacked to pieces, shot in the back, abducted and executed. It is even willing to go to great lengths to throw a woman in harms way to ensure that the "right" historical path, the one that protects St. Mary's, is taken.

    I found myself thinking that this was a St Mary's that I would not be inclined to support.

    "A Symphony of Echoes" shares many of the same strengths as its predecessor: it is witty, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and it is depicts bravery and loyalty in a way that made me want to be brave and loyal. Whereas the first book read as a novel, with a beginning, a middle and an end, this book abandons that structure and is the worse for it. "A Symphony of Echoes" is literally a chronicle, a record of important events in the order in which they occurred. It is a picaresque piece, following whatever happens to Max, without imposing any deeper narrative thrust or emotional or intellectual leitmotiv. While each episode was well described, I found the lack of unity frustrating.

    I also found that some of emotional trauma Max was pushes through seemed contrived and distorted.

    "A Symphony of Echoes" is still a good read, but unless the third book returns closer to the form of the first, "The Chronicles of St. Mary's" and I will part company.

    By the way, the title refers to another definition of history: "History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses. Charles Angoff"

    I'm hoping that this novel has some echoes I haven't heard yet and which the third book will make clear.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick
    MORPETH, United Kingdom
    31/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Becomes tedious"

    Book One a good idea and then in Book Two the steam ran out, I have just noticed there is a Book Four, diminishing returns has set in, listeners could always not buy them?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Eyeandears
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    12/05/14
    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

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Theodore Kopoukis
    27/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
    What would have made A Symphony of Echoes better?

    A better author perhaps?


    What will your next listen be?

    Certainly not anything in the same series.


    What didn’t you like about Zara Ramm’s performance?

    Characters with little to no differentiation, made following the dialogs a chore.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Symphony of Echoes?

    Anything that didn't made sense, which would be more than half the book. Also, any self congratulating reference of "we're St. Mary's" from the entirety of the book. (We're St. Mary's and drink tea all the time - We're St. Mary's and we leave no man behind - We're St. Mary's and we're badass - We're St. Mary's and we're geeks etc. etc.)


    Any additional comments?

    I tried, I really tried to get into this series, seeing as they get so many great reviews. And I feel baffled by the fact. Really, what is it that makes people believe it's any good?<br/><br/>Characters come and go without reason, plots existing only to fill pages, little to no connection with any of the people I'm supposed to care about when they die (example, the assistant dies and there's only a passing reference to the funeral service, and then completely forgotten), and a constant "we're St. Mary's" that is as cringe inducing as basic b***es shouting "Girl Power!" when taking a selfie every 3 minutes to upload on Instagram.<br/><br/>This series is a fail on so many levels, it's not even funny. Not science fiction, as there is no science involved. Not historical fiction, since no descriptions of different eras is given. The romance is ludicrous. The jokes are unfunny. And the list goes on and on.<br/><br/>This is really bad, I'm staying away from the rest of the books, and I suggest the person who reads this review does so too. I wish I hadn't even bothered with the first one (and prequel) to begin with. Such a loss of time.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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