Book Impressions: Trilogía Victoriana (The Map of Time) by Félix J. Palma

The Trilogía Victoriana by Félix J. Palma includes The Map of Time, The Map of the Sky, and The Map of Chaos.

These books are a whole lot of complicated fun and pay homage to some pretty great authors such as H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This trilogy is a commitment and requires your full concentration to process all the amazing and fantastic adventures you will encounter. Your brain will whirl, and your heart will pound as you journey throughout these books. Have no fear, when all is finished, the last line of the last book will set you gently down so you can contemplate and appreciate all you have experienced. Sit back with a cup of tea (or two) and enjoy the ride.

The cover art for all three books will captivate and mesmerize!

On Goodreads, I give each book in the trilogy 5 out of 5 stars. Check out my Goodreads reviews below for each book:

A slow start and an intrusive narrator shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying this thoroughly enjoyable tale (actually, three tales are linked together). It’s a job well done if a book makes you want to read other books or makes you happy you have already read those books! Literature throughout time is a continuous conversation that should be savored, celebrated, and shared!

It’s obvious the author was just as entertained in the writing as we are in the reading.

Perception is reality, and you must see to believe, but you shouldn’t believe everything you see. These contradictory adages sum up The Map of Time quite nicely.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“Life, real life, went on soundlessly inside our bodies, flowed like an underwater stream, occurred like a silent miracle of which only surgeons and pathologists were aware, and perhaps ruthless killers, too.” ~ chapter V

“Perhaps those troubling sounds we hear in the night, the creaking noises we assume are the furniture, are simply the footsteps of a future self watching over us as we sleep, without daring to disturb us.” ~ chapter XVI

“Reaching this conclusion threw up another unexpected question: did knowing that you had achieved the life you wanted in another world absolve you from having to try to achieve it in this one?” ~ chapter XVI

“…sometimes the best way to find out what we want is to choose what we do not want.” ~ chapter XLI

“True literature should rouse the reader, unsettle him, change his view of the world, give him a resolute push over the cliff of self-knowledge.” ~ chapter XLII

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Palma sure knows how to spin a tale. Even though the pace of The Map of the Sky isn’t quite as brisk as in The Map of Time, the story is no less compelling and intriguing.

Palma has a way of splitting a lengthy story into multiple stories that keep you guessing and wanting to know how in the world he’s going to pull it all together. And pull it all together he does!

There are many characters here, including H.G Wells, that are engaging and interesting. Just when you think the story might be getting bogged down in the details, the narrator jumps in and drags you in a new direction. I can’t imagine what delights the third book in the trilogy hold for us. Perhaps Palma will answer this burning question: why does Inspector Clayton keep fainting? And WHY do they (Wells and others) insist on carting him around in his unconscious state? Is this meant to be so hilarious? Perhaps it’s a bizarre form of time traveling. Maybe we’ll never know.

All fun aside, Palma presents a horrifying story that has a deeper meaning than a rollicking Martian invasion. Think about our human follies such as how we treat ourselves, how we treat others, and how we treat our planet. Nobody should be surprised if we find out that we don’t need creatures from outer space to annihilate us. The invasion can be much more domestic.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“Incidentally, do you have any brandy left? If I am to shoot at a being from another planet, I think I could do with a glass or two.” ~ chapter VIII

“For magic had been torn from her life in too abrupt and untimely a manner, instead of slowly fading with the years. And yet, she said to herself in a sudden flash of insight, wasn’t that what growing up was all about? A progressive blindness to the evidence of magic dotted about the world, which only children and dreamers are able to glimpse.” ~ chapter XIV

“Deep down, it bothered Wells that they were both forced to flee death, that the invaders made no distinction between their enemies and did not notice they were firing indiscriminately at those who had been born to endure life and those who had been born to create it.” ~ chapter XXVI

“Ah, Mr. Wells, the most terrifying thing is sometimes not what we see, but rather what we are forced to imagine.” ~ chapter XXVI

“If the Creator had considered it wise to put a three-legged creature on this Earth He would have done so, but obviously the design is flawed.” ~ chapter XXVI

“Man has a thousand plans, Heaven but one.” ~ chapter XXVII

“However, the paths we choose don’t always take us where we want to go. Sometimes they take us where we need to go.” ~ chapter XXXVI

“I know there’s nothing worse than leading a life you don’t like. If you think you have something to give to the world, fight for it tooth and nail.” ~ chapter XLI

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Where should I begin? Chaos, indeed! The Map of Chaos is a whirlwind of confusing brilliance. Or is it brilliant confusion? This entire trilogy is not for the faint of heart because all the details and plots will make your head spin (in a good way, though). My brain is still reeling!

The Map of Chaos answers quite a few questions lingering from The Map of Time and the Map of the Sky. I’m so glad we find out why Inspector Clayton keeps fainting! I was worried about him.

It’s quite obvious Félix J. Palma is a fan of H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because he has created such a unique and fun tribute to them and their works (and the literary world in general) in all three books.

I am enthralled at the whole concept of having twins living parallel lives in the multiverse. So intriguing and fun and confusing and exhausting and wonderful!

A note on the intrusive narrator: Rather than being annoying, the intrusive narrator is quirky and somewhat endearing.

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“‘We all have our secrets, and yet we’re always surprised when we discover that other people do, too.'” ~ chapter 1

“‘It would never have occurred to me that life could contain so many mysteries.'” ~ chapter 18

“‘We English always manage to turn up in time for tea, even when traveling between universes.'” ~ chapter 23

“Is it possible to explain Chaos in an orderly fashion?” ~ chapter 31

“And the whole world was reduced to the precise length of each moment that separated them.” ~ chapter 41

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What do you think?

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