You know that book The Map of Time that is so intimately tied up in my Kindle ownership? It turns out that it was the first book of a trilogy of standalone books. Who knew? The important thing to focus on here, besides that I also definitely liked The Map of the Sky, is that word “standalone”. Because while this book makes more sense if you’ve read the first one, that is not necessary and there is definitely not a cliffhanger at the end, or even any more hint of a third volume than the first one implied that this book was coming. So if you’re worried about reading it? Don’t, it will be fine.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way: You know how the first book in the Victorian trilogy riffed on the Time Machine? This one riffs on the War of the Worlds, albeit a lot more straightforwardly than that other time. And really, I think that should be all you need to know? Yes, it’s in the same tone and voice as the first book, like you’d expect, and since that worked for me just fine then, I’m happy with it here as well. And what it somewhat lacked in byzantine twists, it made up in my deepened emotional attachment to the characters (and their deepened emotional attachments, for good or ill, to each other).
Also, one part of the book, set in the 1830s instead of 1898, is possibly based on a Poe novel instead of War of the Worlds? I am saddened to be unfamiliar with it, if so, and especially saddened that I did not get to choose him as my American Literature senior focus, back when I was getting my lit degree. I tried, but one can only wait so many semesters before you just have to agree to get on with graduating instead. In any event, it reminded me a great deal more of a completely different narrative which I shan’t mention here, to avoid spoilers.