Doing Time (The Time Police, #1) By Jodi Taylor


New Jodi Taylor series, or I should slightly different one than the St. Mary’s. This deals with the dreaded Time Police that have caused huge issues with their totalitarian approach to resolving time issues by basically dealing with rule breakers the old-fashioned way: shoot first and ask questions later…or not as the case may be. I'm rating a little higher than usual as I feel a three stars doesn't reflect the entertainment value the series promises.

In Doing Time, the Time Police been reformed just the teensiest bit which is how they get the three misfits this book is about.

Jane whose “Ummm,” precedes every sentence she gets the nerve to say is fleeing from indentured servitude under her tartar of a grandmother.

Luke, the handsome, skirt-chasing arrogant son of an arrogant billionaire, who’s been shipped off to the Time Police to learn his lesson.

Mathew, son of Max and Leon, a Time Map whiz who is hair challenged.

Team Weird as they call themselves bungle through Time Police experiences with an incomplete team and budding working chemistry. Things change as they accomplish their missions in unapproved fashion and a femme fatale is thrown in their midst. There is time travel, a murder and a cover up.

All in entertaining if not impactful shenanigans that are helped by Zara Ramm’s amazing narration. English In the beginning, in the future, the discovery of time travel became known to all. As a result, chaos reigned, history was written and re-written and the world nearly ended in the Time Wars.

In order to stop this, the Time Police were created. An international organisation with near-unlimited powers to perform their duty, to keep the timelines straight. Time travel is now punishable by death, the sentencing of which by the Time Police is now accepted  without question.

The work’s not easy and many Police have died in the process, which means that the need for new employees is always there. The ‘new blood’ doesn’t even have to be good, as they are seen as expendable.

Enter Jane, Luke, and Matthew – three of the most useless recruits ever, who have ended up as newbies, not always of their own choosing. Jane is “the wet one”, scared of her own shadow as a consequence of an overbearing upbringing from a dictatorial granny. Matthew is the enthusiastic geek – too young and inexperienced in life to be an obvious talent, and Luke is the indolent playboy put in the Time Police by his father 'for his own good'.

Just in case you haven’t realised, this is the first in a ‘spin-off’ series from Jodi’s very very successful The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. Set in the same world, Doing Time has that same tone, a combination of wry humour and action that the original series (ten novels, nine novellas and counting) had.

Whereas the early books of St. Mary’s are written around the focus of Professor ‘Max’ Maxwell, Doing Time is mainly written in the third person, but with individual chapters as from Jane, Luke, and Matthew. The recruits are not nasty or cruel. Matthew is enthusiastic yet very young and naïve, Jane is a self-conscious dreamer searching for a meaning to her own life whilst Luke is determined to get through training with as little effort as possible - to start with. This broader scope has clearly given the author a bit more room to flex her writing skills and broaden this book out a little, which is refreshing.

Of course, St. Mary’s makes an appearance too. There are references to things that have happened at St. Mary’s before and characters who readers may know from St Mary’s, but on the whole it is not essential to know details.  Perhaps the most overt link is that Matthew is the son of two very famous St. Mary’s historians that many readers will recognise and love their reappearance. Fans of the St. Mary’s books will gladly welcome a brief return to that world as well time spent at the headquarters of the Time Police (which looks remarkably like Battersea Power Station).

It’s probably never a good thing to give an organisation unlimited power, for whatever reason, and so it proves here. Reading this from a different perspective, it would be easy to see the Time Police as temporal fascists, maintaining world order through manipulating events in time. It is true that  those given the power are often doomed to use it in unusual and unwarranted ways, something not unnoticed here with typical humour. Matthew’s parents are horrified by his decision to join up and do good, for example:

“… if you want to join a bunch of mindless thugs who can’t get anything right and ruin people’s lives, why don’t you become a politician?”

I imagine that it is rather like happily admitting you’ve agreed to enrol as one of Darth Vader’s henchmen. And yet the skill of the writer is such that the reader gains a degree of sympathy for those doing a tough job, like our hapless heroes. Things are changing for the Time Police, and our characters are at the front of such change.

The general plot is nothing particularly new to regular genre readers, but it is great fun. With such broad and varied backgrounds, and relative inexperience, our group of trainees are regarded as a joke by the older veterans -  freshmen who will either crash and burn or who will scrape through their induction and then be shifted off to something innocuous and mundane. Their first mission involves tracking down and arresting someone who has managed the heinous crime of building their own time machine. The novice's methods of doing so are unorthodox but are successful, and from this it seems that this will be another story of outsiders making good against all challenges.

For much of the time it is. The murder of a Time Police officer, however, makes things go rather Agatha Christie and become more serious, especially when one of the group appears to be the culprit and another seems to be covering up for them. Rather expectedly, there’s consequently a chase through time with our runaways hiding in Ancient Rome before things are resolved at the end with a marvellous flourish and the return of some well-known characters.

Summing up, then, Doing Time is another wonderfully imaginative story, filled with warmth, humour and bureaucratic ineptitude. Think Police Academy with a sci-fi slant (although with a good deal more wit), reading Jodi's books is like the feeling you get by snuggling down in a duvet with a lovely hot cup of tea on hand. Whilst there are some worrying aspects of the practicalities of such a role – time travel usually manages a default reset option, for example – these can be safely ignored in return for some good-humoured entertainment (and some really bad puns.)

For those looking for a comparison, it should be seen as a compliment if I say that Doing Time reminds me of Jasper Fforde at his finest. It is fast, funny and literate, another thoroughly entertaining read from this talented author that I found difficult to put down. Fans of Jodi’s other books will not be disappointed. Bloody marvellous – please give me more.
English I got a bit lost in the Chronicles of St Mary's, in the way of long running soap type series, but this author is usually highly enjoyable so a new series starter seemed like a good idea. It's massive fun, with an obnoxious rich jerk, bullied mouse and traumatized genius weirdo forming a team in the Time Police to much sarcasm. Suffers a little bit at points with referring back to St Mary's characters and plotlines but nothing impossible to grasp.

I will say, Luke's intro is really grating and makes him seem an intolerable misogynist twat, which may put some readers off though he does improve. And there's a lengthy early sequence which really rubbed me the wrong way (laugh at the fat poor people!) and jarred enormously with the overall feel of the book. It's a punching down sequence in a book that's otherwise got a lot to say about kindness and difference and not fitting, and it left a nasty taste tbh in what was otherwise a hugely enjoyable romp. English This is the comfort read I have been needing recently, and it worked wonders. I have been finding it a real struggle to want to read or to focus on reading at the moment, and this book was flipping fantastic as a distraction and a story, I highly recommend any Jodi Taylor in this time :)

This is the first in a new series about the Time Police. If you've read Jodi's other work you will know that this is a follow-on series to the Chronicles of St. Mary's series and that she's now writing about a different group who patrol time. These people are feared across time, and yet the three new recruits we focus on are the misfits: Jane, Matthew and Luke.

Jane is a lonely and timid young woman who has always been under the thrall of her grandmother. One day she decides to run away and she joins up with the Time Police, the best decision she ever made.

Matthew is a character you'll know if you've read the St. Mary's books as he's the child and I loved getting to see a bit more of his life now he's getting older. I think he's always been fascinating because of how he was brought up, but now even more so as he's embroiled in the Time madness.

Luke is a privileged idiot who is loved and adored by everyone. He's always been able to do whatever he wants and get away with it, until his dad tells him that he's been bought a place in the Time Police and he will do two years there or else. He's a fop and not best pleased at first, but as the story develops so does he.

These three characters had a lot of room to grow when we started the story, and I think they do that very well and believably. I really enjoyed following their plots and I can't wait for the next one to come out in this series and the St Mary's. I highly recommend this to everyone, and even if you've not read St Mary's you can read this, it has only pretty minor spoilers for most of the actual events in St. Mary's. 5*s
English Obviously a five-star. It's Jodi Taylor. *duh* English

More rollicking good times from a slightly different perspective. We got to see quite a few of the St. Mary’s team too as this book follows the perspective of Matthew Farrell, Leon and Max’s son. Other familiar faces are Ellis and North. I was a bit resistant to a new series as I love the St. Mary’s series so much, but this was just as good! English Audible Daily Deal 20Jul20: $3.99

The Historian’s relationship with the Time Police has always been precarious and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like a book specifically about them. I mean they are not St. Mary’s and I love all the shenanigans those historians get into.

The Time Police dealt with Time; St Mary’s with History – and each of them regarded themselves as of prime importance and the other as being a menace to society in general.

Still I saw that Matthew was one of the recruits so I was completely in.
‘You didn’t meet his mother?’
‘No, why?’
‘Oh – no reason. It always amuses me to think that one day some unfortunate woman is going to find herself with the mother-in-law from hell.’

It is sometime later from the Chronicles of Saint Mary’s books and Matthew is of an indeterminant age but has just signed up to be part of the Time Police. As a recruit he doesn’t really fit in but that is okay since there are a few other kids in the same boat, the don’t fit in boat, not the I was kidnapped as a baby and sold into servitude by a mad man who hated my mom and so now we aren’t really sure how old I am boat. The new squad of three is a little short and so Ellis is going to help them out through their six months of grunt work, what could possibly go wrong.
Matthew pointed. ‘See that bit over there?’
Luke squinted. ‘The 16th century and its immediate surroundings? Yeah.’
‘It kind of . . . fell off.’
‘Did it bounce?’ enquired Jane, before she could stop herself.
‘Of course not,’ said Luke. ‘It’s the blood-soaked 16th century, Jane. Trust me, I did history at Uni. It would have been more of a squelch.’

I do always like the beginnings of a new group, especially one of misfits, as they figure out how to be a team. It is a fun story in that way. There are ups and downs, run ins on the time line with St Mary’s, an escape, a cover up, a mutinous plot and so much more in this story. It might not have been the crazy of St Mary’s but it was still a lot of fun.

I have a really great time with Matthew and crew. Seeing Ellis and North from The Chronicles of St Mary’s series was nice and they held their own well in this book as mentors to the misfits. I look forward to seeing how team weird does with the rest of their training in future books. English I started this feeling a little anxious. I mean, after all, I'm a fan of St. Mary's. It kinda feels ... icky... going over to the other side that always shoots first and ... well... shoots first.

I thought I would be missing my favorite time-traveling historians who most definitely do not have a clue.

Fortunately, Jodi Taylor hits all the right notes in this spin-off series. I immediately thought I was reading a Police Academy mixed with time travel. And then I realized I was reading a mix of time travel with NCIS.

And then I realized that the bunnies would destroy Australia.

Between a mousy harangued woman who joined the Time Cops just to get away from her domineering grandmother to the billionaire playboy son who was sold into slavery to the Time Cops, or Matthew, the son of Max from St. Mary's, this is a team-building exercise of fine, fine humor.

It's pretty much everything I didn't know I was wanting in my life. Think Hot Fuzz with time travel.

I'm SOOOOO glad I gave it a shot. :) English I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars

Doing Time is a new 'spin off' series from the popular historical science fiction St Mary's novels from Jodi Taylor, and follows new Time Police recruits Jane, Luke and a certain Matthew Farrell.

In the not too distant future, the world has discovered time travel. Countries, people and historical events blink in and out of existence as vigilantes seek to remake history to their own advantage. To combat this, the Time Police were born. Charged with setting these 'anomalies' right, they blast their way up and down the timeline, seeking to preserve time. They're not subtle. Think blasters, black cloaks and a menacing authoritative voice. Even if you haven't read any of Jodi's previous novels, this stands well on it's own with a suitable amount of background information and a whole host of new characters (and some very familiar ones!) to satisfy science fiction and history fans. If you have read all of the St. Mary's books to date, this is set a few years on from the conclusion of Hope for the Best, with Matthew deciding to leave St. Mary's to join the Time Police. Past events that are relevant, such as Matthew's back story are fleshed out here, but other things are left deliberately vague so as not to spoil any future St. Mary's novels.

In Doing Time, we're introduced to our very own 'Team Weird' in mousy Jane, arrogant Luke and the enigmatic Matthew Farrell. They're the outcasts of Time Police HQ (TPHQ), thrown together because no-one else wants them on their team, and forced to band together and cooperate in order to pass their six months 'grunt work' before they can qualify as fully fledged Time Police officers. Through various assignments through time, ranging from the early 20th century Britain to 19th century South Australia and beyond, we see the team come together despite all their superiors beliefs that none of them are cut out to be Time Police. Amidst these assignments, we also have a wider arc involving the development and changing methods the Time Police are trying to employ - moving away from brute force to provide a more intelligent, creative and 'softer' side to policing the timeline. This comes with it's own difficulties, as we see Commander Hay start to loose her grip on some of the more 'old school' officers. Could a mutiny be on the horizon?

I needn't have worried about warming to these characters, or comparing them less favorably to their St. Mary's counterparts. One of Jodi's immense skills as a writer is her ability to make lovable, believably flawed characters. Jane is the ultimate wet weekend. She's one of the sole female officers in the Time Police, who has spent the majority of her life being repeatedly put down by her grandmother. After an incident with a stuffed seagull leads her to the Time Police doors, we see her really grow and come out of her shell as the book progresses. I particularly loved the chapters which document her feelings of loneliness and isolation following the introduction of Sarah Smith, and how she deals with this.

Luke immediately comes across as the polar opposite of Jane. He's cocky, confident and has had everything handed to him on a platter until his father sends him to TPHQ as punishment for his many misdeeds. He's constantly on report, and doesn't care about anyone or anything. To see his character progression was also really nice, with some particular scenes away from TPHQ which helped to make his character more likable and relatable. By dedicating various chapters to the main characters like this, the protagonists are able to flourish and be more than one dimensional. They jump from the page, and manage to get under your skin in just the right way.

The plot, as always with Jodi, is fast paced and chaotic- but this has a structure to it that I sometimes feel is lacking in the St. Mary's novels. There's a definitive overall arc, with a conclusion that is satisfactory yet also open to further novels. It's also highly atmospheric at times, with a real creepy and suspenseful feel that I wasn't expecting. I did think that some of the finer plot details had some loose threads that could have been expanded on and resolved , but on the whole I thought this was brilliantly done, a welcome and fresh approach to the expansion of the St. Mary's novels, and I can't wait for more adventures with Team Weird. English *** 4.35 ***

I absolutely adore the world Jodi Taylor has created and cherish every opportunity we have to return to it! This is a new series in the same world as St. Mary's Chronicles, and we even get some cameos, but it is about three very young people who under different circumstances end up joining The Time Police, an organization created to regulate and enforce responsible Time Travel and punish all who violate the rules. All three main characters are misfits and the book goes through their struggles to build a real team and find their places in life. All on the background of the Time Police itself going through some power struggles and the challenges of redefining their mission, having been formed to function during the Time Wars and now having to redirect their mission for peace time... Still, craziness ensues 😃👍

If you are a fan of The Chronicles of St. Mary's, this is a must read! If you have never had the chance to read about our St. Mary's historians in contemporary time, you can still read this book and find it perfect for a first time Jodi Taylor read. There is plenty of information for a newbie to feel perfectly in control of the narrative. Check it out 👍😃✌️! English

At some time in the future, the secret of time-travel became available to all. Chaos ensued as people sought to take advantage. Because there will always be nutters who want to change history...

And so the Time Police were formed. Internationally sanctioned thugs whose task it was to keep the timeline straight by any and all means possible. And they succeeded. The Time Wars are over. The Time Police won. But who will win the peace?

Doing Time follows three hapless new Time Police recruits - Jane, Luke and Matthew - as they try to navigate their first year on the beat. It's all going to be fine. Obviously.

Doing Time (The Time Police, #1)

Jodi Taylor · 5 Download