The Map of the Sky: A review at last!
1898,New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry millionaire Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the extraterrestrial invasion featured in Wells’s War of the Worlds.
I was thrilled at the opportunity to visit Palma’s world again. Thanks to Atria Books, I would be once again reading and reviewing one of the literary world’s best kept secret. Felix Palma proved himself to be a master storyteller with his English debut The Map of Time. You can read my review here: http://wp.me/p28tJt-d0
With The Map of Time, Palma almost reinvented the omniscient narrator. His narrator turns to the reader in a way that pulls us deeper into the story. He makes us feel as if he is telling this story just to us. As if the lone reader is his only audience. It connects us to him so that when we realize we have been conned, our anger is at our self, not him. Oh, he gets us all right, but we laugh because it is a con within a con. The Map of Time is layered with twists and turns. The three novellas come brilliantly together to form one rewarding novel. In the end we are happy we bought into it, and if the reviews are to be believed, we also happily bought The Map of the Sky, his second in a trilogy.
What science fiction fan wouldn’t pick up a book whose main character is H G Wells, with Poe showing up in the first story? That it is a love story first, is inconsequential, the action is what pulls his readers in.
The first story is one of action and suspense, more of a horror story than sci fi, but oh is it good! An Arctic expedition is stranding in the frozen wasteland where a terror beyond anything they could imagine awaits them. This is Palma at his best.
The other two stories however, do not seem to live up to his first novel. Oh, the storytelling is wonderfully done, and his characters are compelling, yet some how it fell flat. I think it is because these two stories are really one long “run for your life” tale; it was to long. And as with most time traveling tales left me with some unanswered questions.
This is not to say I will not be reading the third one. Oh, I will eagerly await it. Palma is truly a gifted storyteller that I will not let my small disappointments cloud my judgment of him. I just hope his next installment leaves me in as much awe as his first.