Title: The Map of Time
Author: Felix J. Palma
Genre: Historical fiction, paranormal fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
First line: 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.
While each section of this book has it’s own protagonist, H.G. Wells, the author of The Time Machine, is the thread that wends his way through all three and brings them together.. Set in Victorian London, The Map of Time presents the reader with a cast of characters that include authors Wells, Henry James, and Bram Stoker, Jack the Ripper, and a multitude of fictional characters, mixing them together with entertaining results.
The best thing about The Map of Time is the writing style. Palma has a wry sense of humor, throwing in short asides that aren’t necessary to the plot, but that had me grinning from ear to ear and often chuckling out loud. He does away with any pretension that the author doesn’t exist, and speaks directly to the reader, a convention that can be fun or fail miserably, depending on the skill of the author. Fortunately, Palma is a master. He has captured the Victorian period perfectly and sprinkled it with amusing and sympathetic characters.
This book is a wonderful combination of sci-fi and historical fiction, and will appeal to readers of both genres. I am hoping that this book will met with such success that more of Palma’s work will be translated and available here in the US.