Leanna's Reviews > The Map of the Sky

The Map of the Sky by Félix J. Palma
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Sep 28, 12

bookshelves: magic, fantastical-supernatural, covers-i-love
Read from September 18 to 28, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Wow.

I LOVED this book. Loved it at least as much as (if not more than) The Map of Time, which I totally was not expecting. You see, The Map of Time was so brilliant and wonderful that I had a hard time believing any sequel could live up to it, but of course I went into it more than willing to give it a chance!

So, right from the first page, the first few sentences, I was already loving it. The narrative style is just so perfect for the story. I love being addressed personally by the narrator, and I love how he reminds us of things we read in the first book.

H.G. Wells is back! I could read books about him for days on end. Love him! The opening scene where he goes for dinner with Serviss, prepared to be brutally honest about how much he hated the American author's "tribute" to his book, and then ends up praising his work as "excellent" (!!!) was so wonderfully written, I was smiling through the whole thing. What amazes me is that I was reading the English translation: I was incredibly impressed by how readable it was. Translations are difficult, and I love to read something that's been masterfully put into a language that I can understand, while maintaining the beauty (I can only assume) of Palma's original text.

Next, the Annawan expedition. For a moment there, I doubted whether this book would wow me. (I'm so sorry, Mr. Palma! I should never have doubted you!) It just seemed a bit reminiscent of one of my least favourite movies, "The Thing"-- you know, when a group of people is stuck in the Arctic, and one or more of them may be "infected" (in this case, they may in fact BE an alien masquerading as a human), and there's no clear way of telling who's good and who's bad. BUT THEN, the narrator stops the story for a moment, apologizes to us, and says he must have been mixing up the storyline, and corrects himself.

**This part seemed a bit startling to me when I read it, but I liked it. It gave the story a bit of a fresh twist. I kept reading, never imagining what would be in store... :)

Oh, and PS: I loved when we discovered that "Allan" was E.A. Poe. I knew from the book flap that he'd be in this book, but didn't make the connection until it was spelled out for me. Wonderful first surprise.

We then meet up with some old favourite characters from the previous book: Shackleton, Charles Winslow, Claire... and even Mr. Gilliam Murray himself, whom everyone thought was dead, and who makes a first appearance in this story using a false identity! As soon as Eternal, the dog, was mentioned, I was like: WHAT THE?? CAN IT BE?!?! And it was. It was. Because this book is just that perfect.

I loved this storyline, and loved the "Martian" invasion. I loved the romance between Gilliam and Emma (although Gilliam's complete change of character in this book, I have to admit, was the one thing that bothered me most). I thought that this book was much more frightening & disturbing than the first one- certain scenes (particularly the ones in Charles's diary) were straight out of an episode of The X-Files!! Those babies hooked up to women floating in green gloop?? Yuck!! And yet, so, so gripping. I couldn't put this book down!

So, my favourite part is the end. Once we get to Charles's diary, and we're told that this invasion has been successful, Earth is under alien control, you just know that this is when the time travel is going to happen. Because what the hell-- most of the world has been destroyed, and yet we're reading this, knowing that no invasion has occurred (and the narrator implies this also), so something has to change!

We were told early on by Clayton that Wells is capable of time travel. So it's up to him to save the world! And then, when he ends up in 1829, right before the Annawan expedition is about to launch, that is when I realized the absolute, sheer beauty of this book. The genius way that Palma plotted everything out right from the beginning!

When Wells said that he must join the expedition, and kill the Envoy before any invasion can begin, my mind shot back to the very beginning, when the narrator said "Oh sorry, I must have been thinking of a different story... forgive me". You know, the part where there was no one there named Griffin? It's perfect! Wells IS Griffin! That first story we were told, when Griffin kills the alien, is the story of what happened when Wells went back to fix everything!!!

Mind blown.

And then, the entire end, with all of the speculation on parallel universes / multiple timelines, I loved that as well. It's unclear whether Wells will be able to return to his "original" timeline, or if that one even exists anymore. It's so complicated, but that's what time travel is: complicated.

I was so, so happy reading this book. The only thing that could possibly make me happier would be if the teeny hints dropped by the narrator (about how the story of the adventures of Captain Shackleton would have to be told another time) were true: could it be?? Could Palma have another amazing story to tell us? I really, really would enjoy it.
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Quotes Leanna Liked

Félix J. Palma
“I'm convinced the true history of our time isn't what we read in newspapers or books...True history is almost invisible. It flows like an underground spring. It takes place in the shadows, and in silence, George. And only a chosen few know what that history is.”
Félix J. Palma, The Map of the Sky


Reading Progress

09/18/2012 "omg- this book has 3D glasses IN IT!!!! I'm the first to get it from the library though, and they're in like a perforated sheet... I'm too nervous to wreck them! Gah!!" 3 comments
09/18/2012 page 56
9.0% ":D the glasses fell out... I'm not even lying! What a great beginning!"
09/20/2012 page 98
16.0% "holy jeepers!! loving this :)"
09/20/2012 page 161
26.0% "Yessss!!! yesyesyes! And twist."
09/23/2012 page 317
52.0% ""The air is full of ideas" :)"
09/25/2012 page 429
70.0% "I love when characters from the first book make an appearance!"
09/28/2012 page 560
92.0% "oh my goodness- this is going to be amazing!!!!"
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