A skeptical H. G. Wells investigates time-travel mysteries including an aristocrat's love affair with a murdered prostitute from the past, a Victorian woman's escape to the future, and a plot to murder celebrated authors to steal their written works.
Set in Victorian London, with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time is a page-turner that 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, and he weaves a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting, a story full of love and adventure that transports readers to a haunting Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.
ANDREW HARRINGTON WOULD HAVE GLADLY died several times over if that meant not having to choose just one pistol from among his father's vast collection in the living room cabinet. Decisions had never been Andrew's strong point. On close examination, his life had been a series of mistaken choices, the last of them threatening to cast its lengthy shadow over the future. But that life of unedifying blunders was about to end. This time he was sure he had made the right decision, because he had decided not to decide. There would be no more mistakes in the future because there would be no more future. He was going to destroy it completely by putting one of those guns to his right temple. He could see no other solution: obliterating the future was the only way for him to eradicate the past.
He scanned the contents of the cabinet, the lethal assortment his father had lovingly set about assembling after his return from the war. He was fanatical about these weapons, though ...
Palma is clearly an accomplished storyteller - the novel's fast pacing, imaginative exploits, and unexpected twists and turns make each story a fascinating piece in its own right; combined, the work is both an utterly perfect summer read and an extended meditation on the permeability of time and the limitations of technology, as seen through the lens of the Victorian age. Palma's narrator is sophisticated, an amalgamation of Dickensian omniscience and the knowing wink of postmodernism.
(Reviewed by Norah Piehl).
Full Review (525 words).
H. G. Wells is not only a prominent character in The Map of Time; he's also a famous novelist, sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction." Born on September 21, 1866 in Bromley, a small town southeast of London, Herbert George Wells grew up quite poor but, after an incident in 1874 in which he broke his leg and was forced to rest in bed, became an avid reader, which, later grew into a passion for writing. He attended a small local private school from the age of seven but, due to his family's financial troubles, he left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice draper (a dealer in fabrics and sewing materials).
Three years later he was fired from the job and shortly thereafter earned a scholarship to the Normal School of Science ...
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Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets realand all life's givens get given a second chance.
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