Customer Reviews for

The Map of Time

Average Rating 3.5
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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

4 out of 4 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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