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The Map of Time: A Novel [Hardcover]

Felix J Palma
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 28 2011

Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time 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 thereby save the lives of an aristocrat in love with a murdered prostitute from the past; of a woman bent on fleeing the strictures of Victorian society; and of his very own wife, who may have become a pawn in a 4th-dimensional plot to murder the authors of Dracula, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, in order to alter their identities and steal their fictional creations.  

But, what happens if we change history?  Félix J. Palma raises such questions in The Map of Time. Mingling fictional characters with real ones, Palma weaves a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting, a story full of love and adventure that also pays homage to the roots of science fiction while transporting its readers to a fascinating Victorian London for their own taste of time travel. 

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“Strange and wonderful. Magical and smart. Félix J. Palma has done more than written a wonderful novel, he’s concocted a supernatural tour de force. Time travel, tragic love, murder and mystery all combine in what is nothing short of a surprising, satisfying and mesmerizing read.” – M.J. Rose, International Bestseller

"The Map of Time recalls the science fiction of Wells and Verne, and then turns the early masters on their heads. A brilliant and breathtaking trip through metafictional time." --Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Leviathan

"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." -- starred Publishers Weekly review

"Readers who embark on the journey...will be richly rewarded. --starred Booklist review

"Lyrical storytelling and a rich attention to detail make this prize-winning novel an enthralling read." --starred Library Journal Review

The Map of Time is a singularly inventive, luscious story with a core of pure, unsettling weirdness. With unnerving grace and disturbing fantasy, it effortlessly straddles that impossible line between being decidedly familiar, and yet absolutely new.” --Cherie Priest, author of Boneshaker

"Palma is a master of ingenious plotting." --Kirkus Reviews

"A big, genre-bending delight." --The Washington Post

"Palma uses the basic ingredients of steampunk — fantasy, mystery, ripping adventure and Victorian-era high-tech — to marvelous effect. " --Seattle Times

"'Intellectual thriller' is not an oxymoron in this case. Eccentric, informed. Time travel, H.G. Wells, Jack the Ripper, robots, romance, changing history, destroying classic literature. Spot on narration. Good clean fun." --Tulsa World

"A luxurious blend of history, romance, mystery and science fiction, this novel cleverly weaves fact and fiction, keeping the reader guessing to the end."-- Star-Ledger

"Brawny, genre-bending historical entertainment." --BookPage

``Time travel, romance, murder, and magic all play a part in this mesmerizing concoction of historical fiction, steampunk, and mystery set in Victorian England. Comprised of three distinct yet overlapping sections and populated with historical figures (H.G. Wells is the protagonist), this is a thought-provoking and entertaining read.'' –Boston Globe

"Palma uses the basic ingredients of steampunk — fantasy, mystery, ripping adventure and Victorian-era high-tech — to marvelous effect." --Seattle Times

About the Author

Félix J. Palma has been loudly acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. The Map of Time, his US debut, was a New York Times and international bestseller. Please visit and

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at it's finest June 28 2011
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Do you ever start a book , get a few pages in, recognize that you are inextricably hooked already and jump for joy when you realize there are 600 more pages left to savour?

That's exactly how I felt after the first two chapters of Félix J. Palma's novel The Map of Time.

It started off in one of my favourite time periods - Victorian England - with an unknown narrator telling us of a young man's visit to Whitechapel in 1888- the time of Jack the Ripper - and more.

"Yes, I know that when I began this tale, I promised there would be a fabulous time machine, and there will be, there will even be intrepid explorers and fierce native tribes - a must in any adventure story. But all in good time, isn't it necessary at the start of any game to place all the pieces on their respective squares first? Of course it is, in which case let me continue setting up the board, slowly but surely..."

At the heart of it all - Murray's Time Travel. Could the fourth dimension really have been discovered in 1896? ..."what was underneath the world, what was behind reality." Can the Murray Company really take travellers to the year 2000? All of Victorian England would like to believe so. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and their futuristic novels are all the rage.

H. G. Wells plays a prominent role in this tale, as well as other historical figures including the Elephant Man, Henry James, Bram Stoker. Palma creates many other characters, all incredibly well drawn, leaping off the page and into my imagination with ease.

The book is written in three parts, with each part approaching time travel from a slightly different angle, with the third part tying it altogether.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking Good Fun March 9 2013
By Frances
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Until I was several chapters into this book I was beginning to wonder if I wanted to continue. At times I groaned while reading, sometimes smiled, and often stopped to ponder certain paragraphs. It was a story of many things; imaginative, different, strange, but yet, soon became compelling enough to finish. When I finally read the last page, I felt I had been thoroughly entertained and pleased to have read such a creative and unique book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative and Intriguing Aug. 31 2011
Review for 'The Map of Time' by Félix J. Palma (guest reviewer Derwyn Costinak)

Let me begin at the outset by saying that it is difficult to write about this book without giving anything away. The creativity of the storyline and the approach taken by Palma in describing the story is one that I have not seen in any book I can recall. However, to go into much detail about what exactly the author does is to risk setting a new reader up, causing him or her to anticipate the direction of the narrative. I do not wish to do that, so I will be necessarily general in this review.

'The Map of Time' is about time travel in the late nineteenth century. Palma has chosen to tell his tale using fictional characters which interact with historical figures. This particular approach makes for an entertaining read as it brings the reader into a much more plausible world; Palma has worked to ensure that the events he narrates might very well have been experienced by these real people. Divided into three parts, the book tells three stories, each told by the same all-seeing narrator. I must say that the occasional asides the narrator directs to the reader were less than enjoyable for me, interrupting the flow of the story as they do. Starting from a rather small story, the narrative seems to be narrow and slow at first, but broadens as the second part of the book approaches. As it continues, Palma's brilliance in creativity is displayed, causing the reader to keep turning pages, eager to discover how everything is resolved. Once reached, that resolution may or may not be satisfactory, depending on the expectation of the one turning pages. I had hoped for more, but I cannot say that I was disappointed, either.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good March 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was good enough that I went ahead and purchased the second book in the series. I loved the historical figures throughout the novel.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long! June 30 2012
By Neko
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing novel which keeps reader wondering. Do paying customers really travel to the future on a train, or is it a scam? Does HG Wells' time machine really take him back to the past or is that a hoax? Are there really time travellers monitoring the past and repairing mistakes? The plot is well paced most of the time but sometimes gets a little heavy and repetitive. I found the final 100 pages or so to be a real drag as the plot wound down and the narrative ground to a resounding halt. Not a bad book, but I wouldn't read it again.
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