The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma
Yes, I bought this book for the cover alone. I know. That’s shallow of me. But, you have to admit, it is a wonderful cover, no?
Told in three parts, the story begins with a young, well-to-do man who falls in love with a whore. Towards the end of this part, H.G. Wells makes an appearance and saves the young man’s life. This is pretty much a love story and the ‘time’ aspect of the story is only touched on in this section.
We then get introduced to a new protagonist, Claire Haggerty, who seemingly has absolutely nothing to do with our previous young man, H.G. Wells, or time, until her good friend takes her to the future. To the year 2000 to be precise. Once there, she promptly falls in love with a man from the future and a lovely, chaotic love story ensues in which Mr. Wells plays a significant part as a writer.
The last section of the books focuses on H.G. Wells as a time traveler and is a bit of a mystery story, however, to be honest, I skipped most of this part so I can’t really tell what the mystery was or what the point of the last third of the novel was. What was cool is that the true map of time appeared in this section and it did not disappoint. It was pretty cool. However, it wasn’t cool enough to warrant the slog through the massive info-dump in this section.
Though The Map of Time is a well-written tome, it needed a much stronger editor. There were large passages where the same information was re-told, overly long letters that dumps the story on the reader (yes, I know, that’s a literary style), and moral and philosophical tangents that, while interesting, were entirely superfluous. The book could have been cut in half and made much better for it – in my opinion.
Given all that, I’m glad I read it and I do recommend it. Mr. Palma has an incredible talent for pulling at the heart-strings and coming to profound statements in a startling manner.