Doing Time Review

  • Author: Jodi Taylor
  • Series: Time Police #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi
  • No. of pages: 480
  • Year Published: 2019
  • Publisher: Headline
  • Dates read: 02.11.19 – 11.11.19
  • Rating: 3 stars

I had mixed feelings about this one.

Plot: 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.

The dialogue in this book was great. I actually laughed out loud a few times. The dialogue was very witty and hit the nail of the head in terms of my sense of humour. I enjoyed reading the battle of witty remarks between characters.

I really enjoyed exploring the different points of history and time we got to visit and our characters’ reactions to being in that environment. It was interesting to watch them try to navigate the people they meet, the obstacle they come up against and how they apply their training to a real-life scenario. I felt that Taylor did a good job of capturing the setting and making you feel like you were there with them which was very good.

I was fascinated by the Time Police as an organisation. I love learning how the police functioned, how the teams were set up, how they managed to time travel. I felt like I wanted to be apart of it and experience what they are experiencing.

I really enjoyed the character Luke, the classic playboy narcissist at the beginning of the book. We go on a journey with him and I feel like he had a good character arc. I was worried we weren’t going to get much from his character but I was shocked to find out he was the character who would grow the most and I enjoyed reading about the most.

The side characters of Major Ellis and Officer North I enjoyed. I loved Officer North especially as a woman with ambition who knows where she wants to be within the next X number amount of years. She was probably my favourite character.

Sadly, there were a couple of misses for me. I put this down to it being the first book in a series.

We first meet Jane, one of the 3 main characters in the story, whose only personality trait is being a wimp. While we do get a character arc I found it to be very predictable and something you see in books all the time. I found some of the decisions she makes in this story to be really frustrating and made me want to put the book down. I do feel however she got some really good moments and she was a sweet character I just don’t think she was a very original character.

Finally, we have Matthew. A character I am guessing is from the author’s original series this new series is based on. He lacked the least amount of growth out of all of them. This I put down due to him being an already established character within the book’s universe. Estentially, it came across that since he had already been in the previous series the author had done all the character growth he needed and just let him be with this book. Subsequently, because I knew nothing about him and there was no really progression within his character, I found him to be dull.

Following on from Matthew being an established character… Do not read this book before the St. Mary’s series. A lot of content was mentioned that I can only assume was from the original series. Characters who have died, major villains defeated, Matthew’s entire childhood revealed and a lot of St. Mary’s misadventures. A lot is mentioned and framed in a way that makes me think it was written for fans of her original series. If you are very spoiler sensitive do not read this book.

One of my major gripes with this novel was more to do with the plot structure. What I expected from this novel was with each assignment completed we would get more and more hints to a bigger plot/conspiracy and along the way, we would be putting together the pieces. This came across as what was intended but it wasn’t executed as well as I had hoped. Many plot points are left unmentioned and/or forgotten about. The big moments which is meant to hint to the overarching story are not emphasised enough for you to think they are poignant and it felt like the author only thought of the overarching narrative about halfway through the novel. Especially with a major event in the novel that made no sense at all and came out of the left-field which in my opinion brought the plot into chaos. I can’t talk to much about it due to spoilers but it is WILD! I gasped LOUDLY when it happened.

Also, the pacing was a bit all over the place for me. One moment the pacing is very slow and hard to get through and then it’s really action-packed and then it’s incredibly slow-paced and then up again. It was a rollercoaster of pacing and while I don’t mind the changes the slow-paced parts of the novel were hard to get through.

Overall, I feel like this series has a lot of potential and it just started off with a few teething problems. I am not sure if I will be continuing this series I will have to see the plot of the next book.

The next book I will be reviewing will be the latest instalment to the Lady Hardcastle Mystery series, Death Beside the Seaside by T.E Kinsey. I am very excited to jump back into cosy murder mysteries. A perfect read for the cold evenings.

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