Audible is delighted to bring you an exclusive, author-read production of The Very First Damned Thing. Hear it here first, months ahead of the EBook publication.
Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary's series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary's as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war.
Ever wondered how it all began? It's two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning.
How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come? How can he overcome the massed ranks of the Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings? How do stolen furniture, a practical demonstration at the Stirrup Charge at Waterloo, students' alcohol-ridden urine, a widowed urban guerrilla, a young man wearing exciting knitwear and four naked security guards all combine to become the St Mary's of the future?
©2015 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible Ltd.
I get bored quickly so take ages choosing my books. Preferred authors are Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, tho' C Harris makes me laugh too
I heartily agree with other reviewers:
1 ) Don't start the series with this book - it's not the best first impression and may well turn you off the other books - which are really fun stuff.
2) Narration is fine, but better left to Zara
This book is very much a prequel, setting the back story to St Mary's, however, in order to appreciate the little bits of humour, you do need to have listened to and have an appreciation of the normal antics of St Marys - otherwise the humour / references will seem flat and out of place.
Jodi Taylor narrates her own work, which is admirable, and there is nothing obviously wrong with it - however, if you've listened to the other books in the series, it's immediately apparent that this narration lacks some of the energy and quirkiness which Zara's narration lends to the series. Given that the other books are told from Max's point of view, and this one told by Dr Bairstow, it makes sense to have a different narrator, however perhaps a male narrator would have been more appropriate? Jodi does a good enough job though, and as the author, I respect her choice to narrate it herself.
If you're a fan of the series, then you'll enjoy the back story, and the first meetings with some of the future key characters. It was a freebie download from audible, and therefore worth topping up my St Mary's catalogue with. Not sure it would be worth a full credit on its own though.....
I loved that it filled in gaps I hadn't even realised existed!
As others have said, she's not Zara Ramm, and it takes time to acclimatise. Jodi reads the book perfectly well, but she reads it, where Zara perfomrs and brings it to life. As I got into the story, I forgot that and it was fine.
Do not start the series with this book. Read them in the order they were written. This book would make abvsolutely no sense iff you hadn't read the others.
I really enjoyed listening to how some of the regular St Mary's team came to belong. As other reviews have mentioned this is read by Jodi Taylor so it may take a bit of adapting to a different voice reading the much loved characters.
This is a nice little filler story giving the background as to how St Mary's was set up.
Really the summary given by Audible sums it up, so I won't add anything further on that.
What differs this time is the change in narrator. Up until now Zara Ramm has been the narrator for these stories. Yet this time the narration is taken on by the author herself. There are always pitfalls whenever an author does this, but actually, despite the fact Jodi Taylor is not a professional narrator, it doesn't detract too badly at all. I've heard far worse, including some so called professional narrators who couldn't narrate their way out of a wet paper bag!
What Jodi Taylor does is keep it simple. So, for example, there are no false tries at creating different accents for different characters. Also, (if you've heard the other stories) once you've been listening for a while you don't try and superimpose the accents you associate with the characters that Zara Ramm has placed in your head. And by the end that also makes it more enjoyable.
Plus, let's face it; this story is currently being listed free, and for a freebie there is not really any cause for complaint.
Yes, because the St Marys Chronicle are so enjoyable
All of the stories are enjoyable
I love the humour in these books and with the deletion of some "yes sirs" are fast and witty. The historical pieces are so original but please, after all the stories and the incredibly generous freebies I have become so used to the quick, theatrical narration, leave it to the very excellent Zara Ramm
The narration was so very poor, and did not flow, resulting in a disjointed story
I love Jodi Taylors books by the original narrator
Jodi Taylor may be a very good writer but her narration was amateur, with pauses in the wrong place, the intonation in her voice was all wrong, There was no emotion in the narration, and it left me feeling cheated
no characters, just the narrator
Two arms, two legs and all my own teeth!
The back story, as good to know a bit of background. The thing I liked least was the narration by the author.
I'm sorry to say did not like Jodi Taylor narrating her own book, just didn't sound right. Best leave the narration up to Zara Ramm.
I'd love the whole series to be made into films so yes would defiantly want to see it.
Being a prequel it was good but disappointing as I wanted to know more about the British revolution as to why it happened and also about America as is alluded to in latter books. Her narration is OK but dull compared to the original narrator
What we can surmise from this book is that the majority of historians are mad. But Jodie Taylor gives us the first book in, what I hope, a promising new series. Long may historians dig for an understanding of the past.
"Loved the story. The narration was ehh..."
Maybe I got spoiled with Zara Ramm's narration, as I read the entire main series before starting on the short stories. I know, I should have checked the reading order first, but didn't. Zara Ramm is a great narrator. In books 1-6, she did an excellent job with the different voices, the emotion, the sarcasm. While I love Jodi Taylor and she has a fan for life, it was difficult to listen to M.s Taylor after the exceptional job that Zara Ramm did in her narration of the other books. If I had listened to this one first, maybe my expectations would not have been so high, but... Jodi is articulate, clear and easy to listen to, but all of the voices and accents are the same, so they are very hard to differentiate. Other than that, I enjoyed hearing how Dr. Bairstow recruited all of his people and established St. Mary's.
"Beautifully phrased and clearly stated"
A treat for the ears to listen to, and a story of romance and daring. I think I have just gotten hooked on another series.
"Wait for it on Kindle. Not the best on audio"
This is a delightful short story "prequel" to the St. Mary's series. Any fan of the series should enjoy this short foray into St. Mary's past. Do NOT start the series with this title, however, as it will likely make no sense and not be very interesting. It really is meant for those who are already familiar with the series. That said, I would recommend waiting for the release of the kindle edition of the story rather than listening to the free audio on Audible. I'm very thankful to Ms. Taylor for offering this for free and I feel very bad saying it because I love her as an author, but reading the story herself did not do it any justice. She has a very pleasant voice but she does not do anything to distinguish between characters nor does she put much (if any) emotion into her voice. It makes for a rather dull reading and often a rather confusing one, as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish who is saying what. 4 stars for the story, but only 2 for the audio.
Everything, the story is like a roller coaster, it's exciting, dramatic, funny. I can't wait until the next episode.
Malcolm, he is so funny and he is always getting into trouble.
She brings her story to life, more authors should narrate their stories.
Yes. I almost did.
Love this fun series.
"Too short . Loved it."
Highly recommend Jodi Taylor's The Chronicles of St. Mary's series- which are cleverly written & ,highly entertaining
All Jodi's novels are marvelous, and very addictive.
In her time travel series you will find humor , adventure, history, romance , & lovable characters .
Her Frogmorton Farm series is just as entertaining and fun . Once you start , you can't get enough.
"Building of a Legend"
WOW! I am so hooked that I am actually writing this after I finished all 7 books and 5 of the novellas. I refused to take the time away from my iPod to write a review let alone anything else.
Jodi Taylor has created a wonderful world of insanity with purpose and a huge variety of outstanding, though not totally sane characters that make me yearn to work with them. Dr. Bairstow’s journey through the creation of St. Mary’s from nothing to the wonderful “not a time traveling” institute it becomes is full of hilarity with some very poignant moments; and this all happens about a decade before Max joins St. Mary’s ranks.
Jodi Taylor also did the narration for this first story. She does a wonderful job at giving the book the feel that something special is in the wind and also gives us our first look at the characterizations of some of St. Mary’s finest.
I eagerly wait for the next installments because it gives me the perfect excuse to re-listen to the entire series again and I am sure I will glean a lot more out of this book on subsequent reads. Who am I kidding; I will most likely re-listen to it much sooner.
"Time travel with a slightly twisted sense of humor"
First, I need to say up front that I'm reading this in the wrong order. It is by internal chronology the very first story, in which Dr. Bairstow gets funding for time travel, secures the premises of St. Mary's, and recruits the team vital to the St. Mary's project. At the same time, in fact, this story was written after several other, "later" stories, where St. Mary's is up and running, and the characters are settled into their roles. So it's safe to assume that those who have read those "later," previously written stories will find additional pleasure and satisfaction in seeing the team gathered and the project begun.
Despite the fact that I doubt I'm getting the full pleasure of it, I really enjoyed this story. It's a great look at the importance of history, accompanied by a certain gallows humor that tickles my own twisted sense of humor. I especially love the way Dr. Bairstow cheerfully promises his prospective recruits that yes, the working conditions will be hard, but on the other hand, the pay will be really awful.
It's just a short, perhaps novella in length, and as I've clearly warned, there's an assumption that you've read at least one or two of the others. Despite that, definitely recommended. It's a lot of fun.
Audible was (maybe is?) offering this one for free.
"A Great Start!"
I love St Mary's and all who live there ! Excellent work, Ms. Taylor ... with both writing and reading. History has never been so alive for me.
"Start at the very beginning."
If you love St. Mary's, you'll love this prelude to the place. Fun and funny with a dry wit. This is a delight.
"story shows promise, narration not so much."
I enjoyed the storyline love the humor but the narration put me into a stupor, not in a good way.
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