Book Review: The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

 

                                                        2014-08-27 23.53.32-2  

“In short, no other pleasure gave Wells could think of gave him a greater sense of well-being than adding the final full stop to a novel. This culminating act always filled him with a sense of giddy satisfaction born of the certainty that nothing he could achieve in life would fulfill him more than writing a novel, no matter how tedious, difficult and thankless he found the task. Wells was one of those writers who detest writing but love ‘having written’.”

The Map of Time interweaves three stories which takes place in London 1896. The first is of Andrew Harrington whose lover, Marie Kelly, has been murdered by Jack the Ripper. Andrew is desperate to go back in time to prevent the murder. The second storyline is of Claire Haggerty, a wealthy socialite who dreams of a life beyond the rigid Victorian era that she’s confined to and of a great love that she’s convinced can’t be found in her own time. The third is of the author H.G. Wells who is dealing with a scorned aspiring author that wants to prove to Wells that his vision of the future is plausible.

London in 1896, time traveling, H.G. Wells…This book has all of the elements that I like and that immediately intrigued me when I read the summary of the book on Tumblr, which compelled me to buy it. I think the three stories were skillfully interwoven, though it takes awhile to fully understand everything. The third person omnipresent narrator was a little annoying at first, until I finally understood who he is and what he represents at the very end of the book. I was a little disappointed halfway through the book when it seemed that none of the time traveling is actually real but I liked the characters well enough at that point to not feel truly misled. And I really think the ending makes it all well worth it, though it may all seem really convoluted. The important take-away really is that we all make our own choices and our own stories. 

I bought the sequel The Map of the Sky today. I’m happy that H.G. Wells is still a main character, as it was his story and the way he connected with the characters that I enjoyed most of all. It might take me awhile to read Map of the Sky as my TBR pile really is outrageously huge but I’m excited about it and I hope it’s even better than Map of Time.

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