Map of Time
by Felix J. Palma
Genre: YA Science/Historical Fiction
(Way upper YA if not adult in my opinion)
Pages: Hardcover 624
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon and Schuster)
Enter a world of wonder, intrigue and adventure …
London, 1896. Andrew Harrington’s beloved has been murdered by Jack the Ripper. Claire Haggerty longs to escape the constraints of Victorian society. For both, time is the problem: to escape it, to change it, might offer them the hope they need. As their lives become entangled with that of H.G. Wells — who is basking in the success of his novel The Time Machine — all three set off on a desperate flight through the centuries.
But what happens when we alter history? That is the question explored in this epic page-turner, which will take you on a dazzling ride back and forth in time.
Upon first glance of this book, one would that that it is a juvenile book. However, the more I read the more I realized that it was quite far from that. The book begins with us following the thoughts of a man as he is contemplating suicide. His journey to this point takes us to an area of London known for its prostitutes and scandal. There was quite an explicit sex scene in the beginning of the novel which I really didn’t feel necessary to the plot and decided at that point that I definitely couldn’t put this book on my classroom library shelf. That is not to say that this novel isn’t a good novel, I just cannot put this in the hands of my 8th graders as a teacher or a mom. I know that there are other books out there that deal with sexuality and sex, but I just feel that this cover is misleading just a little.
The novel is written in three parts and throughout each part the author jumps around quite a bit within the plot which is a definite plus because it keeps you interested in what is going to happen and what is going on. There is a bit of rambling throughout where he apologizes for getting off track and tries to bring you back to the plot, which was a little annoying. The history that was woven throughout piqued my interest as well and challenged me to go find out more about Jack the Ripper (even though I did learn quite a bit) and appreciate the obvious research that went into finding out his specifics… hello sicko!!
It became apparent to me that I wouldn’t have really enjoyed living during that time in constant fear of what was going to happen next…. wait, that makes it sound like I would have been a whore on the streets of London. Ummmm…. NO! Haha!! The language that was used throughout the novel was beautifully written and very intellectual and did a magnificent job of the time period. I did, however, think that there were times much of the wording and description could be left out because he had done a great job within the first few sentences of describing but then went on for three paragraphs. That is just a personal thing though :)
Overall, I like the three separate parts and how they were all interwoven and how the map of time brought it all together. I will be the first to admit that Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen aren’t my authors of choice (gasp… I know!) and Palma’s writing reflects them a great deal which is why I think that I had a bit of difficulty reading it. The ending was very well done and I wish that I had gotten more of part three! I am definitely going to be going back and reading it again because I want to make sure that I got everything out of it and often when I do that, there are new things that jump out! Can’t wait!!
And now.... here is your chance to win this fascinating novel!! Fill out the form HERE by midnight June 30th (My birthday.... which I plan to celebrate in a big way here on the blog by the way!) and winners will be announced on July 1!