Wednesday 13 February 2019

Palma, Felix J. "The Map of Chaos"

Palma, Felix J. "The Map of Chaos" (Spanish: El mapa del caos) - 2014

I usually wait until a book is available in paperback, lighter, cheaper, takes up less space etc. And translations, I prefer to read them translated into German though I was tempted to get this one in English when I found a reduced copy with only some minor damages in a German bookshop.

Anyway, I was glad I did. After reading the first two editions of this trilogy, "The Map of Time" and "The Map of the Sky", I was eagerly awaiting the third part.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of science fiction and these books are based on H.G. Wells' novels. But Félix J. Palma has created some marvels. In this novel, he doesn't just travel in time, he travels in worlds, parallel worlds that are slight copies of each other. The idea that there might be another world with exactly the same people in it but different destinies is quite amazing. The ideas for the story are so unique, I don't think I've ever read anything like that.

Whilst he based "The Map of Time" on "The Time Machine" and "The Map of the Sky" on "War of the Worlds", this last part is based on "The Invisible Man". I shall have to read all three of them, just to see where this author got his inspiration.

"Chaos is inevitable". That's the theme of the book and there is a lot of chaos to be found. We visit Victorian London, meet lots of real-life characters from the time like the prolific writers H.G. Wells, Lewis Carroll and Arthur Conan Doyle as well as some good old acquaintances from the former books.

A marvellous conclusion of a fantastic trilogy.

I know the author has written more books and I hope they will all be translated one day.

From the back cover:

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time and The Map of the Sky, the final installment in the award-winning trilogy that The Washington Post called 'a big, genre-bending delight'.

When the person he loves most dies in tragic circumstances, the mysterious protagonist of The Map of Chaos does all he can to speak to her one last time. A session with a renowned medium seems to offer the only solution, but the experience unleashes terrible forces that bring the world to the brink of disaster. Salvation can only be found in The Map of Chaos, an obscure book that he is desperate to uncover. In his search, he is given invaluable help by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and of course by H. G. Wells, whose Invisible Man seems to have escaped from the pages of his famous novel to sow terror among mankind. They alone can discover the means to save the world and to find the path that will reunite the lovers separated by death.

Proving once again that he is 'a master of ingenious plotting' (Kirkus Reviews), Félix J. Palma brings together a cast of real and imagined literary characters in Victorian-Age London, when spiritualism is at its height. The Map of Chaos is a spellbinding adventure that mixes impossible loves, nonstop action, real ghosts, and fake mediums, all while paying homage to the giants of science fiction.

It won the 2015 Ignotus Awards for Best Spanish Novel."


  1. I had not known about this author and his series. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    1. If you're a sci-fi fan, this is a must, if you love H.G. Wells, you should definitely tackle it. But even if neither of that applies to you, as it doesn't to me, it still is an interesting read about Victorian England, their authors, views and hopes. And written by a Spanish guy!!!