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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma

The Map of the Sky is the sequel to The Map of Time, so take warning before reading further if you haven't started this series yet!  (And you can read my review of The Map of Time HERE.)

I am JUST AS EXCITED about The Map of the Sky as I was about The Map of Time!  In the first book, the plot revolved around time travel, and how it related to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine.  In this second book in the trilogy, the same characters are back, with a few additions, and the story is based on H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.  Yes:  there are MARTIANS in this book!  Martians + steampunk + author-as-character... everything I love!

Although the format of The Map of the Sky is very similar to the the format of The Map of Time, I was never bored, and I was never able to predict plot twists.  This book is also split into three very distinct parts, that all weave together at the end for a big reveal.  In the first part, we very briefly rejoin H.G. Wells as he goes with a friend to see a Martian that is being kept in secret storage at a London museum.  Coincidentally, the author has just published The War of the Worlds; will he find out that he wrote a piece of nonfiction rather than fiction?  The reader is then taken on a flashback adventure to the Antarctic in 1830 with the brave Captain Reynolds and Edgar Allen Poe.  (Yes:  two authors-as-characters in this one!)

In another vignette within the book we're introduced to Emma and Montgomery, two young people at the top of the London social chain.  At first I very much disliked Emma; she's pretentious and a bit stuck up.  However, we see a lot of character growth in her through the book.  As we come to the pinnacle of the story-the Martian invasion-we see her really come into her own and shine with a previously unknown strength.

And finally, Felix J. Palma does an amazing and masterful job interweaving all the early plot points to come together for a un-put-downable ending.  Really!  I completely ignored everything else in the world to sit for two hours straight to read through the ending.  Once the action gets going, you won't want to miss a moment in Victorian London!  Action, adventure, a little romance, all set against a backdrop of survival during an intergalactic invasion.

A final note:  I somehow missed this when I read The Map of Time, but these books were actually originally published in Spanish and translated by Nick Caistor.  I give him many, many props for his translation skills!  I mean, he's obviously working from a great book, but then to continue the fluidity of the prose and the gorgeous descriptives... just wow.

I give this series two enthusiastic thumbs up, and will definitely be continuing on to the third book in the series!

Readalikes:  If you are daunted by the (very) high page count in these books, but like the idea of sci-fi/fantasy with authors-as-characters, I recommend the YA series "The Madman's Daughter" by Megan Shepherd.  The first in the trilogy is The Madman's Daughter.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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