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The Map of the Sky: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Felix J. Palma
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

1898. New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry well-to-do Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he first accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the Martian invasion featured in H. G. Wells’s popular novel The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile in London, Wells himself is unexpectedly made privy to certain objects, apparently of extraterrestrial origin, that were discovered decades earlier on an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. On that same expedition was an American crew member named Edgar Allan Poe, whose inexplicable experiences in the frozen wasteland would ultimately inspire him to create one of his most enduring works of literature.

When eerie, alien-looking cylinders begin appearing in London, Wells is certain it is all part of some elaborate hoax. But soon, to his great horror, he realizes that a true invasion of Earth has indeed begun. As brave bands of citizens converge on a crumbling London to defend it against utter ruin, Emma and her suitor must confront the enigma that is their love, a bright spark of hope even against the darkening light of apocalypse.

Palma dazzled readers with his instant New York Times bestseller The Map of Time. In The Map of the Sky, he embarks on an even more thrilling speculative journey, one that links the earth and the heavens, the familiar and the bizarre, the impossible and the inevitable.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“The unreal becomes real, fantasy becomes history, and the reader is thoroughly entertained by an unending parade of bafflements and surprises. This book is a complete delight.” (K.W. Jeter author of Infernal Devices )

“"The Map of the Sky" keeps the reader guessing, checking and thinking, all the while providing many sidelights on the literary history of sci-fi itself.” (The Wall Street Journal )

“This story is much akin to what Orson Welles tried on Halloween, 1938, with his radio show. This time the saucers really fly. All this, simmered in a rich broth of keen imagination, exceptional narrative control, wit, and an obvious affection for sci-fi and adventure stories and with great respect for the readers of same. Cool factor: 3-D end papers. Glasses included with first editions only.” (Tulsa World )

"A cross-genre masterpiece" (Associated Press )

“Having used H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine as the starting point for 2011’s The Map of Time, Palma now takes The War of the Worlds as the basis for this top-notch sequel…Fans of intelligent science fiction as well as historical thrillers will be rewarded.” (Publisher's Weekly starred review )

“Palma's gorgeous prose works its magic yet again...in this worthy successor to The Map of Time.” (Library Journal )

“Palma writes with shrewdness and glee.” (The Washington Post )

“Palma keeps the reader guessing, and the twists and turns coming.” (Booklist )

About the Author

Félix J. Palma has been loudly acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. The Map of Time, his US debut, was a New York Times and international bestseller. Please visit MapofTimeBook.com and FelixJPalma.es.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1046 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061PVQVU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master of misdirection September 5, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Those who read Felix J. Palma's The Map of Time are well aware of the author's hijinks and trickery. Be forewarned, he is again up to his clever tricks--though not, perhaps, exactly the ones we've seen before. No, this is a writer who will keep readers on their toes!

So, about The Map of Time... You should read it before you even think of picking up this book. For a long while, I thought it would be unnecessary, but as I got deeper into the novel, it became obvious that you'd be missing much without having read the first volume in the trilogy. And if The Map of Time is Palma's homage to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, then The Map of the Sky is his homage to The War of the Worlds (as well as other early science fiction classics).

This second volume is similarly structured. It's told by the same omnipotent narrator about whom I desperately hope to learn more in the final volume! This unnamed voice is a major presence in the story he tells, with remarks like: "What happens next is hard to describe. Perhaps a more seasoned narrator would have no difficulty--I am thinking of Wilde or Dumas--but unfortunately it falls to me." And, "I hope you will forgive me for having left our hero in such a delicate situation; think of it as my homage to the serialized novels of the time." Yes, that kind of intrusiveness can grow precious, but Palma walks a delicate balance and really pulls this device (as well as the literary equivalent of breaking of the fourth wall) off terrifically well.

Also like the prior novel, The Map of the Sky is told in three parts, each of which is a distinct, but linked story. And again, author H.G. Wells, plays a role in each.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
As with its predecessor, The Map of Time, The Map of the Sky is a story told in three interrelated parts and is based on an H.G. Wells book. The first time around, it was The Time Machine, and this time its The War of the Worlds. Wells himself plays a character in these books, along with a cast of other, mostly fictional, characters; in particular, time-travel charlatan Gilliam Murray, the enigmatic Captain Derek Shackleton, and young man-about-town Charles Winslow.

The first book in Palma's planned trilogy, The Map of Time, was an engaging, ambitious time-travel thriller that I enjoyed thoroughly. It would be best to read this before reading The Map of the Sky, but not absolutely essential.

The Map of the Sky is an adventure story of the crew of a 19th-century exploration ship ice-bound in the Antarctic, a Martian invasion of London and Murray's clumsy attempts to win a hard-headed American woman named Emma. Palma melds real and fictional characters, fantasy, time travel, science, literature, history and romance. Palma clearly knows his stuff and has a terrific imagination, as he proved in his first book, but I found the translation of all of his ideas to the page didn't work this time around.

Palma's characters are flat and largely unappealing, which is a particular problem with Murray and Emma in the romance thread. Palma showed in his first book that he had some weaknesses in characterization, but it's far worse this time around. While his first book could have used some editing, this one cries out for the red pencil. His writing is bloated, leading to a novel that is way longer than necessary and has no sense of pace. The descriptions of the many fight/battle scenes are so drawn-out and repetitive that they're drained of any drama or excitement.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars War of the Words December 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover
On the surface, an original plot involving time travel and The War of the Worlds - if well executed - ought to be a slam dunk five star book. Unfortunately for Map of the Sky, the overall execution drags down an otherwise fascinating story.

As one reviewer noted, Palma's recreation of Victorian style is beguiling. However it also lead to an overly long narrative (way overly long) and, at points, tepid pacing.

The characterizations are uniformly drab and flat. That could be forgiven (after all, most science fiction isn't built on literary level characterization) if the characters were interesting. Some - Wells, in particular - are whereas others (notably Emma) are downright annoying and unbelievable.

(Palma, like many other contemporary authors of books featuring period females, paints Emma as an out-of-period, proto-20th century feminist who can wield a parasol or weapon as needed,who ultimately swoons for a lame poseur "hero.")

The romance stories are particularly dreadful, even by Victorian standards, as is much of the spoken dialogue between the lovers.

All this goes on against a background of scenes involving gruesome gore, leaving one with a book that encompasses 19th century lite-love chick lit and 21st century video game violence. In the end, not a compatible or enjoyable mix.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Obnoxious book December 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I almost immediately regretted my decision to buy this book (I really need to start using my library membership again). My biggest problem with this book is the use of the omniscient narrator (not my favorite style, though it can work). I felt that I was stepping into some kind of circus sideshow, with the grandiose announcer-style narration. The thing is, it never let up and I began to feel that Palma was patronizing his readers.

I was, also, put off by the prominent role that H.G. Wells played in the story. I don’t mind the presence of historical figures in well written stories, as long as they aren’t too integral to the central storyline. (Deborah Harkness does this nicely in her book, Shadow of Night). I probably wouldn’t have read it at all if the blurb was more honest about Wells' role.

Another major flaw: the length. I enjoy and prefer long books as long as they are interesting. This book was so wordy that it quickly became a tedious read.

On the plus side, the language and imagery was beautiful and I enjoyed the Victorian style of writing. The cover art is a reader magnet, for sure. Occasionally, I would begin to look forward to what would happen next and there were times that I found myself wondering if I might change my mind about the book, but I'm afraid Palma's story was not consistent enough to convert me.

Overall, I found that the story was just all over the place and there is no forgiving the use of such an obnoxious narrator. This book has encouraged me to reevaluate my screening process of the books that find their way to my shelf
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A brilliant sequel that stimulates the imagination
Published 16 days ago by Dr Tony Antoun
2.0 out of 5 stars The Sky is not Full of Stars
It was more disappointing than Palma's first book, The Map of Time.
Published 17 days ago by Michael L Kucharski
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful ride Mr Palma takes us on in this book ...
What a wonderful ride Mr Palma takes us on in this book "The Map of the Sky". The characters are wonderful. The story within the story within the story is very fun. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining follow up to Map of Time
Great follow up novel to Map of Time. Both novels weave an intracet web of science fiction and history with a focus on famed author H. G. Wells as the primary protagonist. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Lucking Getting through this Mess
As a steampunk/fantasy/alt-history/New Weird fan, I stumbled on this book thinking it would be a great read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eridax700
4.0 out of 5 stars A sort of stand-alone sequel to the impressive The Map of Time.
A sort of stand-alone sequel to the impressive The Map of Time, this is an equally complex and original story. Once again featuring H. G. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Layers of Thought
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
I received the first Palma book Map of Time for Christmas and after the first 100 pages I immediately ordered The Map of the Sky. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Fred Beagle
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the Wells-Poe thing
Did not need the gory stuff towards the end. Other than that I loved it. What a ride. Could not put it down....
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely love this book.
I love the way Palma mixes in Fantasy and Science Fiction with History. The plot is original and exciting. H. G. Wells as the narrator is fantastic.
Published 8 months ago by ehokie09
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful!
Once again, Palma has created a masterful story. He truly deserves a place as one of today's greatest authors. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Old Warden
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