By Cynthia Ayala
The Map of Chaos has eluded the hands of the Villain, the invisible man, but with that comes various tangles of worlds and history, acts that turn enemies into friends and reveals the history of the world. The universe is dying, the world is ending as the various parallel universes begin to converge and the only salvation is held within the pages of The Map of Chaos. The events bring together Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and, of course, by H. G. Wells, whose story once again comes to life to reign terror among humankind. Only together can these men discover the means to save the world and to find the path that will reunite the lovers separated by death.
Published June 30, 2015 by Atria Books, Felix J. Palma has once again weaved together his masterful Trilogía Victoriana that brings to life famous authors and intermingle their stories and lives to tell an amazing story.
This novel follows the same format as its predecessors, breaking the fourth wall to talk to the reader at the beginning of part in order to bring to the give the reader a taste of what’s to come, like a perfectly worded end eloquent tease. It’s wonderfully written and is very interesting to see the writer break the fourth wall in the novel and talk directly towards the reader. This isn’t like a first person narrative, the writer here is actually talking to the reader and that is something very rare in the literary world. It’s what makes this novel so unique and one of the aspects that makes it entertaining.
Admittedly while the beginning of the novel is amazing and executed brilliantly so as to captivate the reader, it brings up the question of realities and lays out the foundation of the rest of the story by layering stories on top of one another. After that the tale takes a decidedly bizarre turn and it’s not exactly clear how these events fit into the story. They are completely different genres that jar the reader. It doesn’t seem like it fits into the story and doesn’t seem to make sense and is more about introducing more supernatural elements to what has been a heavily science fiction based story. However, it does at least follow the trail of tapping into the elements that H. G. Wells uses with his stories. The first was The Time Machine, the second was War of the Worlds and this final one combines The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Invisible Man. So it changes up the formula of the series by combining two stories together, and while it feels very disconnected within itself, as long as the reader sticks to it, it becomes to worth it becomes this story ties everything together is such an amazing and meticulous way. It’s simply spellbinding how Palma has decided to intermingle his entire series together in order to bring this series to a breathtaking close.
It’s an amazing series and this novel was amazing conclusion just because of how complex it was yet how easy it was to read. There is a lot of setting up in the novel that does slow it down, but it’s well worth the read if only because of how amazingly fluid the story unfolds, effortlessly bringing together three very distinct novels that could stand on their own. It’s imaginative, beautifully written and shows that a story, written well, can turn any complex narrative into a very easy read. (★★★★★ | A+)