The Map of Time (Trilogía Victoriana #1) by Félix J. Palma, translated by Nick Caistor
Overall, I thought this book was spectacular. This is a long, heavy book, not for light reading…More likely to be read during a snowstorm where you cannot leave your house or turn on the tv, but no less brilliant for its length. The one vice I found, was that the author takes time to speak to the reader. Although it isn't an unusual tactic, and in some books it is even necessary, in a book written with an omniscient narrator I don't feel the dialogue between narrator and reader added anything… Because he only interrupted the flow to remind the reader that he knew everything… Which the reader already knew due to the story being written in third person. Although I should note the interruptions were comical enough that they didn't detract anything either.
Book One was by far my favorite of the collection. It sucks you right into the story by introducing a main character who is determined to kill himself, but refuses to give up the answer to why he wants to die without any sort of brevity. Then the author begins to weave in his recurring themes, Time travel, the mysteries of the human brain and heart, Jack the ripper, and time as an ideology…
Book Two was probably my least favorite, simply because of the naivety Victorian Era women were taught to possess. The main heroine, Clair thinks she is least naïve of all but that belief turns false. I can't really relate to her -- I am by no means a feminist, but I think anyone can agree, that women have changed over the decades-- but I can understand her co-character Tom… Everyone at some point has a moment where they want something out of reach, where they dream to be better, to be loved…
Book Three made me smile despite the violent imagery. HG Wells, “the father of science fiction” who was merely a player in books 1 & 2 is cast in a leading role. And despite all the speculation of “guardian of time” between the three stories, I feel he is the only character who doesn't receive an epiphany, but the reader is allowed to feel what he cannot… That if there is a guardian of time, HG Wells may be that guardian…even if he’ll never know it. The one thing I didn't like about Book 3 was that character Gilliam Murray talks too much...In books 1 and 2 his narration is needed to explain things...and while I understand he is the villain recounting his master plan to his arch nemesis...it probably could have been shortened.
Originally post date:
Mar 26, 12