A Magical Science Fiction Adventure | Review of ‘The Map of the Sky’ (Trilogía Victoriana, #2)


By: Cynthia Ayala

Palma does it again this his indirect sequel to ‘The Map of Time’.  With exquisite detail and strong characterization, a play unfold before the readers eyes with intricate story telling.

Author: Félix J. Palma

Published: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Atria Books

Series: Trilogía Victoriana

Genre: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

What if H. G. Wells had predicted the future? What if he was right about the alien invasion? What started out at a gimmick to make the world dream has turned into a living nightmare. The Martians have come, the way H. G. Wells said they would. And now they have come and H. G. Wells is the only person who can save them. Or so he hopes. Aliens have invaded Victorian England and their plan is world domination.

The Map of the Sky is the second novel in the Trilogia Victoriana written by Félix J. Palma. Published on June 11, 2013 by Atria Books, the novel resides in the realm of the science fiction genre it also delves into the historical fiction genre to give life to the legend of H. G. Wells.

Palma did it again with his amazing construction of a world that fits into the realm of H. G. Wells. The novel, once again separated into three parts, begins with developing the past to set up the present. Delving into the past, the narrative flows perfectly, creating a suspenseful adventure that grips the readers. Wonderfully constructed is the texture of the novel. The story telling is amazing in the first part of the novel because it really gives the reader the “what if?” scenario not once, but twice in the section. Readers follow the characters on one direction of story then the writer switches gears, breaking the fourth wall with his own narrative and presenting another aspect of the story. While this feels off at first, it connects to the end of the novel and ties everything together, making the story come full circle.

Reading this novel is such an adventure for the reader. Palma explores every avenue of character development in this his sequel to The Map of Time. The greatest achievement in this novel is the characterization, their growth and development that exudes such beauty. Each dynamic between the characters is incredibly strong and driven, a beautiful piece of artwork. The visual detail surrounding the characters and personalities take over the novel and make reading it so enjoyable. These interactions, coupled with the detail behind them, turn this novel into a play. Readers are not just thrown into the novel, they are taken to another realm where they are situation watching this novel unfold before their eyes.

Additionally, the flow of the novel itself is impactful. The flow generates awe, not only with the scene specifics and narration, but also by the story telling itself. As a third-person omniscient narrative, the novel goes back and forth between characters and scenes with extreme clarity. Attribution is key in this novel and Palma executes it with near perfection. There were those instances where someone was talking and it was initially questionable who was talking (the context surrounding clear it up quick enough), but they were few and far between, pardon the cliché.

The Map of the Sky is a magical twist on the third-person omniscient narrative, putting together this wonderful play with a dynamic ensemble full of action, adventure, and yes, romance. ★★★☆ (A)

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