The Map of Time: A Novel

The Map of Time - FĂ©lix J. Palma The Map of Time appears at first to be a collection of only loosely connected segments with no overriding theme or predictable approach to (whatever) the subject at hand. Is it a novel of Time Travel? A period romance? Is there larger meaning in its oddly related pieces? The third section, with the help of a few very clever clues placed earlier in the book, finally brings to light the novel's purpose amid a whirlwind of ingenious overlap and crafty surprise. One downside to this construction, however, is that certain concepts pooh-poohed in the first two-thirds create suspicion upon their reappearance. The reader isn't sure who to trust, or for that matter, who is even real. The result is a book that could go one way or the other: its remarkable plotting, populated with terrific characters (Jane Wells steals every scene she's in), makes you wish you felt a greater sense of gravity at novel's end, but at heart, The Map of Time is escapist fare -- well done, but questionably memorable. One saving grace with this edition, however, and what might just push it to four stars here, is that the inclusion of H.G. Wells's original novel, [b:The Time Machine|2493|The Time Machine|H.G. Wells||3234863], gives the reader the opportunity to appreciate how skillfully Felix Palma has recreated the tone of the era, and something of Wells's tenor. Then again, at 116, Wells's Time Traveler has put more than one love-letter to bed, even ones as attentive as this.