Set in Victorian London, with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history? Félix J. Palma explores this question in The Map of Time, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports listeners to a haunting setting in Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.
©2011 Felix J. Palma (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Palma makes his U.S. debut with the brilliant first in a trilogy, an intriguing thriller that explores the ramifications of time travel in three intersecting narratives." (Publishers Weekly)
Mommy of twins
THE MAP OF TIME: A Novel is a true work of penned art. The way Félix J. Palma seamlessly weaves the multiple stories, timelines and characters together is absolutely impressive.
And although Palma had me under his spell from start to finish with his clever composition of famous writers like H.G. Wells, Henry James and Bram Stoker as well as appearances by iconic personalities Jack the Ripper and Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man); it was the ‘unknown’ cast that stole my heart. In particular, I was completely captivated my by society girl, Claire Haggerty and small time thug, Tom Blunt’s unconventional love story. The storyline of the unlikely pair was both hilarious and over the top while, oddly enough, wholly romantic in its own way.
In my opinion, Palma’s execution, of what could easily have turned into a mess of names, places and dates, is flawlessly told and fully entertaining. THE MAP OF TIME: A Novel is one of those reads that continues to occupy your mind long after the last page has been read and a solid add to my “favorites” shelf.
I could not remember what the publisher's summary said about this book, so I was going into it somewhat blind...which I love to do. It was a mystery and a surprise - very nice ones at that. I found part one to be the weakest of the three parts, but all were fantastic and by the time part three came around I was looking for ways to continue listening. Narration was excellent as well.
Set in Victorian London, this is a collection of three different tales of "time travel" that are interrelated, each influencing the other. HG Wells is the central character that weaves the three tales into one broad story arch. The book is well written and the characters are engaging. I particularly enjoyed Palma's involvement of the narrator as a self-conscious participant in the telling of the story. The audio narrator also does an excellent job of bringing the story to life.
Another reviewer was concerned that the story isn't a thriller and lacked some of the action he would have liked, I found an adequate degree of action for my tastes and there were plenty of twists and turns in the story; however, what I really enjoyed was the development of many of the main characters in the story. They drew me in and got me to care for them (or dislike them--the villians, that is). After about 20 hours and the story was drawing to an end, I was sad that it was time to leave Felix Palma's fantasy world and wished for a bit longer stay in his version of Victorian England.
If you enjoy good acting, then you will probably appreciate "The Map of Time" in audio. James Langton does and excellent job narrating this audiobook. For me, the actor depicting the characters can make all the difference, frequently elevating a book that might, otherwise, lack thrall. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a science fiction audiobook, this one might disappoint you a bit. It only contains one science fiction -- or, more accurately, fantasy -- element, introduced late in the story. Some credit for the popular success of this novel should probably go to the overlooked translator, Nick Caistor, since Félix Palma wrote this novel in Spanish. Without having read "The Map of Time" in its original language, I will say that it is either well-written or well-translated, or both. It features lyrical, sometimes almost poetic, descriptions of settings and time-travel conundrums. It also demonstrates a deeply-researched understanding of Victorian times and personages. With the exception of one self-indulgent episode of male sexual fantasy, I recommend "The Map of Time" to anyone who enjoys Victoriana, good acting, good writing, and the contemplation of time-travel paradoxes.
Intensity, thy name is Map of Time. Three separate but interwoven stories, each one compelling and intriguing. It starts off as the story of one of Jack the Ripper's victims (and the subsequent arrest, trial, and execution of Jack the Ripper - I know, I thought he'd never been caught, either. Turns out there's a satisfying explanation for that, but not until the third story. Use your skills at suspending disbelief and accept the premise; it all comes around right in the end). Quite brilliant in its crafting, this story has whetted my appetite for more of Felix J. Palma's work. Highly recommended.
Well written, cleverly constructed, but no excitement, no real surprises. Not really a thriller or a mytery at all. Had to force myself to finish it...
I am a writer from Toronto. I am 34 and hooked on audio books.
This is a true adventure. The narration is first class. I know it is only one credit, but it is worth two. Buy this book and enjoy. This has my full stamp of approval.
Felix Palma did a great job of really capturing the "air" of Victoria London. His method of interweaving stories kept my interested and I was pleasantly surprised at how they wove into one another.
James Langton, did a fantastic job bringing this story to life. Where Palma captures London with words, Langton captures the Victorian feel with his tone and pacing.
The story itself is just plan fun. With Jake the Ripper, H.G. Wells, and a method of travel to the future, how can you go wrong.
The constant tease of is it real or not in the story, keeps you reading to find out.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of early science fiction stories. It's well worth you time and money.
I read through to the end of this book, and the last part (less than about 1/3) was Sci-Fi. The first two parts are not, although they do in places appear to be Sci-Fi of the most simplistic kind. The first parts are in fact historical drama, concerned with Sci-Fi literature in its infancy (H.G. Wells is a prominent character throughout).
The Sci-Fi of the last part left me cold. The issues have been dealt with in a far better way in The Time-Traveler's Wife (paradox), The City at the End of Time (multiverse), and The Number of the Beast (fiction as window into multiverse). Although the last part was moderately interesting, it's not worth the effort of slogging through the first parts to get there.
The narrator occasionally drops into the first person (speaking as narrator, who knows he is omniscient, etc.). This is cute the first time, more than enough the second, and grating after that.
If you like historical fiction of this period (Victorian London), or are interested in the birth of Sci-Fi as a genre, then get this book, otherwise, give it a pass.
I am certain that a lot of people interested in the time period and some of its interesting writers may find this a good book and has the patience to listen.
I highly doubt it his writing style is not my cup of tea.
James has a good voice and is pleasant to listen to. I doubt I would have gotten past the first chapter if I was reading it.
In the book Wells claims another person's book is over written and that describes this book. It could have been an interesting book but it plods on and on. So just about every scene could use some editing.
The second part was probably the best. I found myself not caring about the main character in part 1. Part 3 is really the story described in the description on this page.
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