Review of The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

November 13, 2014

Have you ever met a writer capable to create a fantastic medley of stories? Yes, we have! This time, indeed, we want to review a book written by a talented Spanish author, Felix J. Palma, a very acclaimed writer in his country, but really famous even overseas. In 2008, Palma wrote a book titled The Map of Time (buy here), translated in English in 2011  and released by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.The Map of Time is  the first of a trilogy followed by The Map of the Sky, released in 2012 and The Map of Chaos,  released this year. Advicesbooks has just read the first book, a real masterpiece of invention, narration and creativity. This novel, over 600 pages, is set in London in 1800, during Queen Victoria’s reign.


The book consists of three stories intertwined among them by a common plot: to travel into time. The first story opens with the vicissitudes of Andrew Harrington, an aristocratic young man who falls in love with Marie Janette Kelly, a prostitute killed by Jack the Ripper. Because of this death, Andrew decides to commit suicide, but his cousin Charles persuades him to meet Marie Kelly again, thanks to a travel into time. Charles, indeed, has discovered that in London there is a company that allows people to travel through time. The Company is “Murray’s Time Travel”.

Andrew and Charles meet with the founder of the Company, Mr. Murray. Unfortunately, Mr. Murray reveals to two cousins that his machine of time can only travel into future time and only into the 2000th year. To travel backwards into the past, Murray suggests to ask directly to the writer H.G Wells, who wrote the book “The Time Machine”. The two men meet with H.G Well and discover the writer owns really a machine to travel forward and back into time. Thanks to this machine, Andrew comes back into time, just the night before Marie Kelly was killed by Jack The Ripper.

Marie is rescued, but she may not stay together with Andrew because her salvation has happened in another line of time. Despite this detail, Andrew heals from depression, but he doesn’t know that the time travel was only a hoax engineered by Charles to save him from suicide. Also the future travel offered by Murray’s Time Travel is mere fiction. Every day, the company organizes a scam in a theatre equipped like a time machine, where people, after paying a lot of pounds, believe to be moved into 2000.

During this stage, the second story of the book begins. The 2000th year is inhabited by human beings fighting against robots that want to dominate the world. Human beings are headed by the valorous Capitan Derek Sakleton, a fascinating man loved by Claire Haggerty. Claire is a beautiful and unhappy woman who doesn’t accept to live in her epoch (1800) and to marry an normal and boring man of her time. She dreams the true love that inflames the heart. After paying Mr. Murray, Claire believes to have gone into 2000 too, and during a battle between robots and human beings, she meets Derek Sakleton. But Derek is only an actor hired by “Murray’s Time Travel” to play the role in this false battle.

This actor, and we advise to read the chapter of the book carefully, decides to take advantage of this role and to seduce Claire. The man meets the woman in London, in 1800, and persuades her to be arrived from future to have sex with her before to be killed by robots. On this occasion, Claire turns out to be a very ingenuous girl because she decides to satisfy the last desire of the false Capitan Sakleton.

The last  story ( the third), instead, is focused on the life of H.G Wells, the writer who helped Charles organize the hoax to save Andrew. In this last story, an upsetting turn happens: the writer discovers that to travel into time is really possible because he meets Markus Rhys, a man coming from future and capable to create several dimensions of time. This chapter is the one which summarizes the main meaning of the book, that is to explore the unpredictable conseguences to travel into time.

The Map of Time also  reveals, very astutely, that to resolve their troubles, human beings would even be ready to change the course of time. Since none can ever change time, the only one salvation are illusions, namely a sort of damnation for everyone, because illusions and dreams are and will always be ungraspable. At the end of this compelling and extraordinary novel,   readers will realize that human beings can save themselves, not through time manipulation, but only by trying to change the world with no scams and deceits.


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