Customer Reviews for

The Map of Time

Average Rating 3.5
( 144 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(20)

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(20)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

One of the best books of 2011. Don't be the last to read it.

How does one review a book without talking about it? This is my dilemma as I try to persuade you to rush out and pick up Felix Palma's book The Map of Time. This from Publisher's Weekly:

Spanish author Palma makes his U.S. debut with the brilliant first in a trilogy,...
How does one review a book without talking about it? This is my dilemma as I try to persuade you to rush out and pick up Felix Palma's book The Map of Time. This from Publisher's Weekly:

Spanish author 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. In the opening chapter, set in 1896 England, aristocratic Andrew Harrington plans to take his own life, despondent over the death years earlier of his lover, the last victim of Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Claire Haggerty plots to escape her restrictive role as a woman in Victorian society by journeying to the year 2000. A new commercial concern, Murray's Time Travel, offers such a trip for a hefty fee. Finally, Scotland Yarder Colin Garrett believes that the fatal wound on a murder victim could only have been caused by a weapon from the future. Linking all three stories is H.G. Wells, the author of The Time Machine. Palma brings Wells and other historical figures like Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, plausibly to life.

For those of you who are not familiar with Victorian England you must keep in mind this is a period of time that saw science advance even though many still believed in fairies and magic. For many, science was the greatest magic of all and would easily believe anything they saw. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man behind Sherlock Holmes believed two little girls had take pictures of fairies, while others spent time in salons communicating with the dead. What happens in this book could have easily happened during this period.

This is as much as I can say about book without giving anything away, for you see half the fun of the book is not knowing what is really going on. Instead of writing about the plot and characters I will instead, write about my first experience with Palma.

I received an ARC from Simon and Schuster after requesting it from an online blurb. The day the book came in I opened it up, wondering what I had gotten myself into. It is 612 pages long, and I had already agreed to review a couple of other books. After only two pages, with wide eyes I slammed the book down. "oh, oh" I thought, this may be a book I cannot put down. I quickly finished the other books then started The Map of Time last Friday night. By Monday afternoon I was finished. I read it over the weekend ignoring everything and everybody.

The book reminded me of a visit to a large carnival. There were rollercoaster twist and turns, wonderful characters to watch, savory sentences and then there is Palma, part showman, part con man, part ringleader. You know he is in charge and although he may be putting you on, you gleefully follow anyway. I would bet B.T. Barnum and Plama would get along famously! There came a time in the book that under almost any other writer I would have groaned and said "oh, come on!" Instead I laughed as it became clear he had conned me and I joyfully kept reading, breathlessly wondering what would come next. This is much more than a book, it is a ride, it's a show and above all, it is something you may remember for a long time.

posted by Sarijj on May 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Interesting book

There is a quote by Albert Einstein at the beginning of this novel that says "The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion but a very persistent one." I don't think the author, Felix J. Palma, could have found a more perfect quote to fit The Map of T...
There is a quote by Albert Einstein at the beginning of this novel that says "The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion but a very persistent one." I don't think the author, Felix J. Palma, could have found a more perfect quote to fit The Map of Time. The threads of time are so intrinsically woven its' hard to separate what is real and what is an illusion in this novel.


This novel takes place in London during the reign of Queen Victoria. This is an interesting time period because so much progress in the area of science was being made. Society was more acceptable to new discoveries. Also it was a frightening time because the infamous Jack the Ripper was making his presence known throughout England. Andrew Herrington loses his lover, Marie Jeanette, to the abominable crimes of Jack the Ripper. Andrew is distraught over his loss. The only thing he wants out of life is to see Marie Jeanette again. His cousin Charles discovers a way that might be possible but first they must seek out the one person who started it all, H.G. Wells. This begins the adventure that takes readers into the past, present and future.

The Map of Time is broken up into three parts. There are many interesting characters and several story lines that intertwine together. However all three parts and all the characters seem to center around the author of The Time Machine, H.G. Wells. Wells's book about time traveling is well known. He seems to be an authority on the subject of time traveling. Many people seek him out to answer questions about time traveling. His book, The Time Machine has opened up the door for time traveling to be accepted into society. I really liked reading about H. G. Wells. I think that Felix J. Palma did an excellent job mixing fact with fiction. After I finished reading this book I did a little research on H. G. Wells because I wanted to know how much liberty the author took when writing this novel. Felix. J. Palma put so much detail of Wells's life that it was hard to differentiate between fact and fiction at times. There are also many characters in this novel that readers might be familiar with such as, The Elephant Man, Bram Stoker, and Henry James.

This book had its ups and downs for me. There are some parts of this novel that I absolutely loved. There were parts of this book that I found rather boring. I had to push through those parts and I'm glad that I did. Palma addresses some interesting questions in this novel such as "How much personal responsibility do we have concerning the future of our world?" "If we know what will happen in the future, should we try and change it or just let things fall to fate?" There are also many themes in this book that deal with division among the classes and science versus religion. This is definitely an interesting book and I'm glad that I read it. This book takes a dark tone at times and is a bit gruesome at others. It is fascinating to read about this time period. There are times that I found myself saying "whoa, what?" The Map of Time has adventure, mystery and humor. If you like historical fiction with a sci-fi twist, you should definitely read this book.

posted by Marcie77 on August 26, 2011

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    One of the best books of 2011. Don't be the last to read it.

    How does one review a book without talking about it? This is my dilemma as I try to persuade you to rush out and pick up Felix Palma's book The Map of Time. This from Publisher's Weekly:

    Spanish author 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. In the opening chapter, set in 1896 England, aristocratic Andrew Harrington plans to take his own life, despondent over the death years earlier of his lover, the last victim of Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Claire Haggerty plots to escape her restrictive role as a woman in Victorian society by journeying to the year 2000. A new commercial concern, Murray's Time Travel, offers such a trip for a hefty fee. Finally, Scotland Yarder Colin Garrett believes that the fatal wound on a murder victim could only have been caused by a weapon from the future. Linking all three stories is H.G. Wells, the author of The Time Machine. Palma brings Wells and other historical figures like Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, plausibly to life.

    For those of you who are not familiar with Victorian England you must keep in mind this is a period of time that saw science advance even though many still believed in fairies and magic. For many, science was the greatest magic of all and would easily believe anything they saw. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man behind Sherlock Holmes believed two little girls had take pictures of fairies, while others spent time in salons communicating with the dead. What happens in this book could have easily happened during this period.

    This is as much as I can say about book without giving anything away, for you see half the fun of the book is not knowing what is really going on. Instead of writing about the plot and characters I will instead, write about my first experience with Palma.

    I received an ARC from Simon and Schuster after requesting it from an online blurb. The day the book came in I opened it up, wondering what I had gotten myself into. It is 612 pages long, and I had already agreed to review a couple of other books. After only two pages, with wide eyes I slammed the book down. "oh, oh" I thought, this may be a book I cannot put down. I quickly finished the other books then started The Map of Time last Friday night. By Monday afternoon I was finished. I read it over the weekend ignoring everything and everybody.

    The book reminded me of a visit to a large carnival. There were rollercoaster twist and turns, wonderful characters to watch, savory sentences and then there is Palma, part showman, part con man, part ringleader. You know he is in charge and although he may be putting you on, you gleefully follow anyway. I would bet B.T. Barnum and Plama would get along famously! There came a time in the book that under almost any other writer I would have groaned and said "oh, come on!" Instead I laughed as it became clear he had conned me and I joyfully kept reading, breathlessly wondering what would come next. This is much more than a book, it is a ride, it's a show and above all, it is something you may remember for a long time.

    25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Keep reading!

    I had to write a review bc of all the bad reviews on here. The beginning of the novel is super slow, for around the first hundred pages.but the rest of the book is well-paced with detailed characters and an interesting plotline. Its set in Victorian times and deals with the idea of time travel, with H.G. Wells as one of the main characters. Honestly one of my favorite books.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    Exciting and interesting

    This book is actually several stories woven together. I liked that i was never able to predict where we were going next. It takes some patience when it stops and starts a few times, but it's definitely worth a read!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Plots & Sub Plots

    I am a quarter of the way through The Map Of Time and have never seen so many twists and turns. Very entertaining and will keep you guessing about the way things turn out. This exudes Victorian England without being 'flowery' in the least.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting book

    There is a quote by Albert Einstein at the beginning of this novel that says "The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion but a very persistent one." I don't think the author, Felix J. Palma, could have found a more perfect quote to fit The Map of Time. The threads of time are so intrinsically woven its' hard to separate what is real and what is an illusion in this novel.


    This novel takes place in London during the reign of Queen Victoria. This is an interesting time period because so much progress in the area of science was being made. Society was more acceptable to new discoveries. Also it was a frightening time because the infamous Jack the Ripper was making his presence known throughout England. Andrew Herrington loses his lover, Marie Jeanette, to the abominable crimes of Jack the Ripper. Andrew is distraught over his loss. The only thing he wants out of life is to see Marie Jeanette again. His cousin Charles discovers a way that might be possible but first they must seek out the one person who started it all, H.G. Wells. This begins the adventure that takes readers into the past, present and future.

    The Map of Time is broken up into three parts. There are many interesting characters and several story lines that intertwine together. However all three parts and all the characters seem to center around the author of The Time Machine, H.G. Wells. Wells's book about time traveling is well known. He seems to be an authority on the subject of time traveling. Many people seek him out to answer questions about time traveling. His book, The Time Machine has opened up the door for time traveling to be accepted into society. I really liked reading about H. G. Wells. I think that Felix J. Palma did an excellent job mixing fact with fiction. After I finished reading this book I did a little research on H. G. Wells because I wanted to know how much liberty the author took when writing this novel. Felix. J. Palma put so much detail of Wells's life that it was hard to differentiate between fact and fiction at times. There are also many characters in this novel that readers might be familiar with such as, The Elephant Man, Bram Stoker, and Henry James.

    This book had its ups and downs for me. There are some parts of this novel that I absolutely loved. There were parts of this book that I found rather boring. I had to push through those parts and I'm glad that I did. Palma addresses some interesting questions in this novel such as "How much personal responsibility do we have concerning the future of our world?" "If we know what will happen in the future, should we try and change it or just let things fall to fate?" There are also many themes in this book that deal with division among the classes and science versus religion. This is definitely an interesting book and I'm glad that I read it. This book takes a dark tone at times and is a bit gruesome at others. It is fascinating to read about this time period. There are times that I found myself saying "whoa, what?" The Map of Time has adventure, mystery and humor. If you like historical fiction with a sci-fi twist, you should definitely read this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2011

    JUVENILE ADULT BOOK

    So much hype yet again, with no substance. Gets boring about 1/3 in, silly story with no depth, juvenile writing style..basically, pass it up and find something better.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Don't waste your time

    Had a great premise, but the author never delivered, period.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    Tiresome

    I'm halfway through and find myself skimming quickly past the background stories - ie. the story behind the automatons. The cover immediately caught my eye. The synopsis made it sound like a run through Victorian times after Jack the Ripper. The first part of the book was good, but the conclusion for it and then moving onto another story was a huge disappointment. I had no idea that the story was fragmented this way. The background stories by Murray (Captain Shakleton, the automatons, the time hole in Africa, etc... ) I found tedious to get through and silly.
    Really disappointing.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Finally Gave Up

    After reading the synopsis of this book, I thought it would be one that I would really like and would have a hard time putting down. However, the synopsis, in my opinion, is misleading, at least when it comes to the first two thirds of the book. While H.G. Wells does play a role in the story, it has nothing to do with investigating time travel, not in the first two parts anyway. There were a few places that I wanted to find out what happened next, but for the most part I basically had to make myself continue reading. After about 400 pages I just didn't have the desire to continue. Maybe one of these days I'll pick it back up and finish, but not likely.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Stop whatever else you are reading and get this one!!!

    Any human being will LOVE this book. It has it ALL! ADVENTURE! ROMANCE! ACTUAL INSTANCES OF TIME TRAVEL! If you liked Drood, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, or any kind of scifi/history smashup, this book will blow you away. It starts off strong and just gets better until you are bursting at the seams to tell everyone you know about it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Victorian goodness with some sci-fi and mystery thrown in for good measure.

    First, a bit about the story itself. Andrew Harrington has fallen in love with a prostitute by the name of Marie Kelly. Andrew comes from money, so falling in love with a working girl was not what his father had in mind. Nevertheless, he falls hard for her. Unfortunately, she is Jack the Ripper's 5th victim and Andrew arrives too late to save her. Staggering away from the murder scene, he is stricken over what's happened and plagued by his inability to save her. Eight years later and influenced by books such as The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, he decides to travel back in time to change Marie's fate. What follows is a genre-bender like no other. This book is either brilliant, or a total sham! At 624 pages, it starts off innocently enough, but then by the end of book one, it takes a completely different turn and then heads into the future with a new set of players. Although the story seems to shift underneath you, it's clear that Palma has something up his sleeve and that the stories are in fact connected in some way. This book is far from predictable. Every time I turned the page I pondered what just happened. Not because it was confusing in any way, but because I could not imagine how the author kept it all straight while writing the story. There are trips to the past, trips to the future, trips to parallel universes, there's a murder (actually more than one), thuggery (I came up with that term), fraud, a budding romance.okay, more than one and appearances by all sorts of folks including: The Elephant Man, Henry James, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells himself. When I say that this book was a wild ride through time. I am not kidding. It was an adventure and from those very first pages, I found myself hooked. Mainly because I HAD to know how it ended, plus I love Victorian London and sci-fi. However, by the end of the book I was left with my mouth gaping open. I read this with another blogger and we were both either incredibly impressed or royally ticked. We weren't sure. I'm still not sure. If you like the elements I mentioned, enjoy a genre-bender every now and then, and don't mind being pulled through a lot of different subplots to partake in the adventure, then you'll love this book. After spending some time thinking about it, I am leaning more toward it being brilliant, but it's was a slow realization for me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Very entertaining

    I loved the way the three stories are related and the fresh approach of the genre. At some point I felt I was reading one of the shakespearean plays. Definitely recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Too Damn Long

    It was a nice try and there are some really engaging parts but the last section just seems endless.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    A++

    A must read! Could not put this one down. Well writen & poetic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    The book summary is misleading

    Ever go to a movie, described as one type of story, only to see a completely different story then expected. Or go to a magic show where the performer just wants to show he is more clever then you! Thats the way the first two thirds of this book make me feel.
    I have set this book done for weeks at a time in disappointment. The story is interesting, but the plot twist at the end of the first two st

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Slow!

    Could not get into this at all. Slow, ponderous writing. Do not recommend.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Read this book!

    I agree. One of the best books of the year, fun to read and I can't wait for the next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    No bueno

    Too much sex. Dissapointed

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great story and amazing twists

    This is one very uniwue book that kept me guessing the whole way thtouhh. Judt as I thought I'd figured it out a curve bsll is thrown. I loved how it's 3 separate stories that all tied in so wonderfully. The author fid an excellent job bringing it all together. I particularly liked how even the author himself was almost a part of the story. The changes in point of views, where in some novels may totally confuse some readers, here worked really well. Finally I enjoyed how the story really addresses the questioj of should we mess with time and events if we had the opportunity to and risk creating effects that may inadvertently cause more harm than what the original event caused. We all would love to go back and change some things in our past, I'm sure, but shiulf we.? Anyeay I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best for 2011

    With all the mixed reviews I was afraid to read this book. I see where the divide is, but I enjoyed the book a lot. Do you like a magic show even though you know it is sleight of hand? Can you enjoy the style of a book more than the plot? Is it fine to you when the narrator is a part of the story? Do you like Neil Gaiman? Did you like the movie The Prestige? Pan's Labyrinth? If you find yourself nodding yes read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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