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Blog Tour & Book Review – Hard Time by Jodi Taylor!

Team Weird are back causing havoc in the Time Police in this irresistible spin-off series by international bestseller Jodi Taylor, author of The Chronicles of St Mary’s. If you love Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde, you’ll love the Time Police.

A time slip in Versailles, problems in the Ice Age and illegal time travellers in need of rescue. Must be a job for the Time Police.

Luke, Jane and Matthew are back and ready to cause havoc – inadvertently or otherwise – in their latest adventures.

Review!

Thanks to Headline books for the review copy & for having me on the blog tour!

I love me a good literary squad and team 236 or as they’re affectionately know ‘team weird’ are becoming a firm favourite. Luke, Jane and Matthew certainly don’t fit in with the ‘regulation’ style Time Police, but you can’t say they’re not effective. As their training is coming to an end they are all expected to choose which division of the Time Police they want to apply for, but they are a little reluctant to leave one another. Luckily a distraction comes in the stranding of a Politicians daughter in 17th Century. Team 236 are sent to retrieve the girl only she is a little reluctant to return… no thanks to having a past with Luke Parrish. The Time Police are determined to stop this little illegal time travel operation and so they need to send people undercover, people who could never be accused of being Time Police… you can see where I’m going with this right? Unfortunately, the deeper they get into the organisation, the true depravity of it comes to life and team 236 end up in a whole heap of trouble.

Luke, Jane and Matthew certainly make for a unique team. Lead by Major Ellis, they are the laughing stock of the Time Police, more likely to end up in a corridor brawl than actually working, but when they do get into the field, their differences and strengths come to light, and team 236 might just be taking the Time Police in the right direction. Luke has certainly not changed from book 1, still philandering, thinks too highly of himself and never knows when to shut up. BUT when the shit hits the fan he can, at times, be an effective leader… mainly because he doesn’t give anyone else the chance. Jane is the character I’ve seen grow the most from book one. She still blushes at the barest hint of praise, and might have slightly schizophrenic tendencies, but clearly being accused of Murder in book one has done wonders for her confidence, slightly more bolshy and not afraid to take Luke down a peg or two she is quickly becoming my favourite character. Matthew just wants to break away from St Mary’s and his parents legacy, he is a wonder with the Time Map ( even if he broke it that one time), and that seems like a logical place for him to head after graduation, but he is hesitant to leave his friends, this unlikely band of misfits where he fits in. His is another character whose confidence has definitely grown from book one and I enjoyed him being a little more talkative and assertive. Taylor also manages to bring us well built up side characters, each with their own individual personalities and traits. Some you like, some you don’t but they are all effortlessly brought to life.

I found the whole concept of ‘Time Police’ really intriguing and we definitely get to explore it in more depth in this book. Sounds pretty straightforward right? They Police Time? And they do, they make sure that nobody tries to go back and alter any important historical events (man the amount of people who have tried to kill Hitler!), they try and catch rogue time travellers and they also look for any inconsistencies such as time slips. It should get repetitive, but instead Taylor makes every book its own adventure, think The Librarians mixed in with Indiana Jones (only less impressive) and she makes the humour in the books so utterly British, I defy you not to giggle your way through them. I still really need to read the St Mary’s Chronicles because I feel a little of the backstory is lost on me, but not enough to affect my overall enjoyment.

Want a book both historical and modern? One that is both character and plot driven? Then look no further. Taylor manages to get us as the readers to jump from 18th century France to the Pleistocene Period and back to modern day London without breaking too much of a sweat, whilst also giving us both characters and a plot that jump off the page and completely immerse you as a reader. The amount of research Taylor must have put into these books, not just for time travel in general but the quirkiness of the era’s she picks for us to travel too and the detail with which they are described. These books make my little Sci-Fi loving heart jump with joy and never fail to get a few giggles out of me.

Like ‘Doing Time’ this book was filled with a multitude of twists and turns, and this book tends towards the darker side in some ways. But not too dark, don’t worry! If you’re here for a fast paced read, adventure and utterly hilarious one liners, you wont be disappointed. This is a series I will definitely be carrying on with and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next adventure with Team Weird.

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