Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.
What happens if we change history? The author explores this question in the novel, weaving an historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports readers to a haunting setting in Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.
This book is an imagining where H.G. Wells and a handful of characters believe, disbelieve, investigate and live through real and imagined scenarios about time travel. And although you may think that this book is more about the question if time travel is possible, it is actually more a question of fatalism. Are we the ones who control the future through our actions or is everything predetermined? I think this is the real question that most of the book explores until the very end. The ending just intwines the stories and gives us a sort of HEA fictional ending.
I also think this brings me to a couple of criticisms. One was that the book takes on a meandering quality. You would start in a story in one place with certain characters and then take a turn and have another story in the middle. While this was not confusing nor was it without entertainment, it still felt like I was meandering. Like a storyteller who wants to explore everything instead of the main story. And while it was doing this, it was quite wordy. What could be said economically was said in the longest way possible. However, despite my criticisms of these two things, both also created a world in which was entertaining and interesting. In some ways this was an odd contradiction.
How to rate this one? Oh that is a hard question. This is a book you need to take time with and digest. Not that it is heavy handed but because it has a lot of smaller stories that fit into a larger vision. I think in the end I give it 3 stars. I think that some will be entranced by the smaller stories within and some will be frustrated. It may be a question of time itself. Having the time to spend with the story. In the end, I recommend it to those that like a storyteller type of narration in a book.
I received this ARC from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.