“What Could Possibly Go Wrong” was a refreshing return to the kind of St.Mary’s Mayhem that got me hooked on the series in the first place.
Max is on light duties and has become the Training Officer, responsible for shaping five new recruits into Historians. It should be a safe, straight-forward job. How could anyone get into trouble while they’re the Training Officer? Silly question really, this is St. Mary’s, nothing ever goes according to plan.
Max has revamped the training program to give recruits early exposure to actually going back in time, so we pack in a lot of training trips in this novel. Most of them are chaotic fun – what’s not to like about woolly mammoths, even if they are stampeding towards you? Wh0’d miss a trip to the Valley of the Kings – a simple observe and record, at least it was before it all went wrong?
I enjoy these high-spirited romps through history, but what keeps me coming back to St. Mary’s is the way Jodi Taylor offsets the chaotic with jumps to times and places that are fundamentally unpleasant. This time we get to watch Joan of Arc burn. No punches are pulled. The full brutality of the day is made very clear. It was emotionally draining.
In Max’s world, behind the flippancy and the insane experiments that usually result in things going bang unexpectedly, there is always an external threat and the possibility of betrayal. This time the betrayals are from surprising sources and, in one case, for unique and very original reasons.
I think this is one of the best books in the series. It gave me all the enjoyment I expected and a few surprises along the way.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Zara Ramm. She has become the voice of St. Mary’s for me. Actually, she’s ALL the voices of St.Mary’s and she does them very well. I think this is the best way to experience St. Mary’s.