Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Map of Moments

Map of Moments by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

From two all-stars of dark fantasy, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, coauthors of Mind the Gap, comes this terrifying new thriller of magic and dangerous passions, where an ordinary man searches the magical landscape of an extraordinary city for chance of a lifetime.

Barely six months after leaving New Orleans, history professor Max Corbett is returning to a place he hardly recognizes. The girl he’d loved—and lost—is dead, and the once-enchanted city has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Max has not thought much beyond Gabrielle’s funeral—until a strange old man offers him a map, and an insane proposition…

“Forget all the stories about magic you think you know…”

It looks like an ordinary tourist map, but the old man claims that it is marked with a trail of magical moments from New Orleans’s history that just might open a door to the past. But it is a journey fraught with peril as Max begins to uncover dark secrets about both his dead love and the city he never really got to know. How is Gabrielle linked to an evil group from the city’s past? And can Max evade them long enough to turn back the clock and give Gabrielle one last chance at life?
--Map of Moments by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, Copyright © 2009 by Bantam Dell

My Synopsis:

The year is 2005, and Professor Max Corbett is returning to New Orleans ten weeks after Hurricane Katrina to attend the funeral of Gabrielle Doucette, a former student and lover. He attends the funeral with Gaby’s cousin, Corrine, the only member of the family who was still on speaking terms with Gaby. Through short conversations with Corrine and flashbacks of his time with Gabrielle, he recalls that Gaby was ostracized from her family, but neither woman would tell him why.

After the funeral, he goes to a bar with Ray, a friend of Gabrielle’s and the man who paid for her funeral. He gives Max a map and claims that it’s marked with a magical trail of special moments in the history of New Orleans. If he goes to the sites and collects the magic, then finds a man named Matrisse, he might be able to send a message back in time to Gabrielle and keep her from dying. Maybe, just maybe, he can send himself back…

Max accepts the map and the adventure begins. He stumbles across the first Moment more by accident than design, and same with the second Moment. By the third Moment, he begins to understand what’s happening and is eager to set out for the fourth.

But along the way, he cannot stop himself from looking in on Gabrielle’s mysterious past. Though they had been lover for only a few weeks, Max was enamored by her and wants to understand the woman she was so he can finally let go of her. He slowly begins to uncover a tangled, dark web of secrets with a long history in the city’s past. He’s stirring up trouble, and he must work fast to finish uncovering Gabrielle’s past, find all the Moments and stay ahead of trouble so he can turn back the clock and save Gabrielle’s life.

My Review:

This story goes a lot deeper and follows paths that I didn’t expect it to when I first picked it up. I expected a trip through the dark side of New Orleans’ history. What I got was an intriguing mix of New Orleans’ past and post-Katrina present as our protagonist, Max, digs for the truth about the girl he loved and lost.

The deeper Max goes, the more he gets involved, the more the Tordu chase him down to stop him. What is “Tordu?” It’s hard to describe. Picture if you will an organization that’s less than the mob and more than a street gang. Intersect that with a secret society and some good old-fashioned New Orleans mojo and you’ve got the Tordu.

The Map of Moments is two stories, Max following the Map to experience the Moments and Max uncovering the truth about Gabrielle’s past, blended together so seamlessly, you can’t have one story without the other. This is the second book by coauthors Golden and Lebbon, so check back in another week or so and read my review of Mind the Gap. I’m heading over to the library right now to check it out!

I give this story THREE and a HALF STARS.

No comments: