What a ride that was. So many emotions, so many laughs.
With the Time Police series we find Jodi Taylor rolling her proverbial writing muscles by extending the already great St. Mary’s universe with more insights from the other side of the fence. To be fair, there is relatively little world-building going on in this series, just enough to make the story work and provide an idea of how a future UK would look like. I like the whole idea of using Airships and Water Taxis to get around town, and the hyperloop for the ‘less
rich fortunate’. But don’t expect there to be any explaination for why things are as they are, it just is.
Despite that, it’s never an issue, things are explained just enough for the story to carry on and everything else is left to the imagination. Although I do quite like the idea that in the future, tea is no longer an acceptable standard beverage, it has been replaced by the much better alternative, Coffee.
But dang it, I really want to know how energy-generating pavement works, and how and why it produces “credits”.
The much less crowded streets meant the use of energy-generating pavements produced more credits.
It’s highly entertaining to find that the Time Police also has their fair share of iconic characters, just like St. Mary’s has.
There’s the ever patient and dry-wittted Captain Farringdon who is paired up with the also ever-in-control Commander Hay. Their daily briefings crack me up everytime.
A small selection of my favorite moments:
“‘All information is to be suppressed. I don’t want a word of this getting out anywhere. Put Records on it . . .’ She stopped. ‘You already have, haven’t you?’ ‘I’m rather embarrassed to admit it, ma’am, but yes. And I instructed them the job was top priority and to draft in any resources they might need.’ ‘Spare no expense, Charlie.’ ‘Absolutely, ma’am. I threw the entire budget at it.’ ‘The entire admin budget?’ ‘The entire everyone’s budget, ma’am. We now cannot afford to buy so much as a new pencil until the year after next.’”
Commander Hay was back at her desk dealing with the aftermath. ‘Not one of my favourite words, Charlie.’ ‘Worse even than harbinger, ma’am?’ ‘At the moment, yes.’ ‘Well, I shall do my best, ma’am, obviously, but I think it only fair to warn you that my update is conspicuously lacking the words pink, fluffy, delightful, heart-warming . . .’ ‘Never mind that, does it include the word success?’ ‘Partially, ma’am.’ ‘So just succ?’ ‘I feel that may be somewhat understating our succ. We achieved most of our objectives.’ ‘Very well, Charlie, upgrade to succe.’
“‘Oh God, is he in a St Mary’s pod? He hasn’t brought his bloody mother with him, has he? Tell her I’m out. Or better yet – get Grint to shoot her. Tell him I’ll sign the report saying it was an accident.’”
Then there’s the never colorful Lt. Grint, who has apparently caught the love-bug somewhere in the past weeks and is now trying to deal with that and the fact that he has absolutely no capacity to actually deal with it.
Luckily, he can always fall back on his thrusty Time Police training.
Arriving at the top of the house, he was confronted by a headless seagull. The headless seagull, he presumed. The one Jane had told him about. The one whose inadvertent decapitation had led to her joining the Time Police. The one used to terrorise a young Jane. Hmm . . . Even without the head, it was an evil-looking creature and obviously constituted a major threat to the success of his mission. Pulling his sonic from his rip-grip patch, he aimed it at the glass case. With surprisingly little fuss the case crumbled into hundreds of tiny pieces. The seagull – rather more impressively – exploded in a shower of feathers and filler. Grint replaced his weapon. Threat neutralised.
Of course this wouldn’t be a Time Police novel without our three protagonists. They’ve been through the ringer in the previous books and it looks like their fortune is not looking up again.
Even Max makes an appearance:
“Obviously, there were a number of questions to be answered. Actually, there were an even greater number of questions to be asked. Max, however, seemed unable to get past, ‘How? What? Who? Why?’ And then back to ‘How?’ again.”
Despite most all characters being setup as overly exaggerated, Jodi Taylor still manages to have them grow and evolve during the story. Even Lt. Grint, or maybe he was the easiest one.
I really enjoyed the storyline, there’s delightful little segways and dalliances that somehow always are woven into the tapestry that is the main storyline. I’m very pleased to see the storylines spanning the entire trilogy and the continuity being kept throughout.
Saving Time does put you through an emotional wringer though, I found myself physically choking up (and maybe, just maybe, a few tears might have flowed) during the rougher parts and warm and fuzzy during some of the more heartwarming parts.
The story isn’t grand or complicated, in fact it’s quite easy to follow, and yet all the feelings are there. Even when you can see things coming, you’re still right there in the moment.
Much has already been said and written about Jodi Taylor’s writing style. It’s sharp, consize, with just enough prozaic descriptions to get you through, but above all, it’s incredibly funny in a dry and stiff-upper-lipp kind of way. The narrator of the audiobook really brings the characters and the humor to life.
I loved every minute of this, as I must say I do with every book Jodi Taylor puts out. It’s the combination of a good story, with great characters and a LOT of wordplay and dry wit that keeps me entertained for hours.
5 easy stars, again.