cover image The Map of Chaos

The Map of Chaos

Félix J. Palma, trans. from the Spanish by Nick Caistor. Atria, $27 (608p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8818-4

The action of the wondrous final volume in Spanish author Palma’s speculative thriller trilogy (which began with The Map of Time) unfolds in several Victorian eras in parallel universes, beginning with esteemed biologist Herbert George Wells’s attempt to create a virus that will allow the residents of his doomed steampunk world to escape to another realm free of threat. The scene shifts to the triumphant conclusion of the investigation of a werewolf by Insp. Cornelius Clayton, rising star in Scotland Yard’s mysterious Special Branch. But it soon flits away again to follow a second H.G. Wells, who is embroiled with his loving wife, Jane, in a romantic comedy involving another couple, Montgomery Gilmore and Emma Harlow. Arthur Conan Doyle joins this quartet on a series of adventures that turn ever darker. Palma displays a deft hand with this diverse group of characters and genres, blending them effortlessly into a fantastic yarn. [em]Agent: Tom Colchie, Colchie Agency. (June) [/em]