Tag Archives: Felix J. Palma

Book Review: The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma (4/5)

5 Sep

Years back, I had a page-a-day book calendar that I’ve still been trying to catch up on many years later. This was one of those selections and six years later, I’m finally making time for it.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma

Summary from Goodreads:

Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical 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?

What a blessedly short summary for such a long book! I adored this one and found it really fun to read, lugging this chunk to a wedding with me in the vain hopes of finishing it. The three plots did come together well and I liked reading about each of them and how Wells became the central character of each. I’m afraid of giving too much away about this wonderful book.

The variety of characters Palma created was wonderful. Wells is reserved yet intelligent while Murray is physically intimidating. Though Tom is also physically intimidating, he uses his prowess in a very different way. I really loved how these characters came together and filled this world. Each brought something new to a world in such flux.

Tom was my favorite character and I wish he’d been featured more in the third part. His story was mostly told in Part II and I should have suspected that, like Harrington, Tom wouldn’t be a large part of the subsequent part of the book. I was happy when he did show up again, though. Tom was just trying to get by. He wanted to do as best he could for himself and stumbled into a bad situation. Granted, he didn’t make it any better by talking to Claire, but I thought the way he finished his story with her was smart and caring, in as much as it could be. I would love to hear more about their plotline.

I could relate to every character at one time or another. I related to Wells when he didn’t know if telling Murray the truth about his book was the best course. I related to Charles when he wondered if lying to his cousin to save his life was worth it. I related to Claire when she wanted to escape her repetitive life. I didn’t relate to Andrew or Tom or Jane as well, but I think there was a little something in each one that made their stories hit close to home and move me.

Félix J. Palma
Image via Simon & Schuster

I thought the story really picked up at the end of Part I when Andrew travels back in time and I thought it stayed high through the rest of the book. Keeping the tension hight was one of the things I felt Palma did best. For such a long book, I wasn’t sure how that would go but it was really well done. It’s hard to pick a singular part I liked best.

I thought the section where Wells goes to visit the Elephant Man was unnecessary. All it does is give us his lucky bowl which played such a minor part in the story that I didn’t think it was necessary. It’s the only part I felt could have been cut, though. All other parts of the story were engrossing and had me constantly guessing how Wells would get out of the mess he was in and how Palma would wrap up his plot.

Palma asks us how we can influence the past and how much impact one action can make. Catching or not catching Jack the Ripper may seem insignificant, but who knows how many lives it saved. And when we do touch time, how can we fix it or avoid it in the future? The paradoxes and alternate universes that are created is fascinating and I like how Palma explored them. Time travel exists in a lot of stories and this one takes its own spin. I liked where it went and how much power it gave to our actions to change the future.

Writer’s Takeaway: Palma kept me guessing. The end of Part I taught me to be vigilant about being tricked and Part II had me looking over my shoulder for a trick every second. In Part III, I thought I knew where the trick was coming, but I was dead wrong. I loved how he kept me guessing even when he was repeating (to a degree) what he had done before. Palma’s pacing and surprises were great and kept the long book feeling short.

I really enjoyed this novel and the narrative style which kept me laughing. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
“Map of Time by Felix J Palma | The Book Hole
From the book section: The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma | BritishAisles
Félix J. Palma – The Map of Time | Fyrefly’s Book Blog