Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

"I need your help with a project. It will be the adventure of a lifetime—of several lifetimes. But it will change you forever."

Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks—they're pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, ley lines grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard, and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code—a roadmap of symbols—that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

The Bright Empires series is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery.

My review:
I have never read anything written by Stephen Lawhead before, but this book sounded intriguing, so I decided to grab it to review. I was not disappointed.

The book involves time travel, which has always interested me. Lawhead has created some interesting characters for his series, which this is the first book of - and an incredible plot. This is one of the books I took on my week-long vacation to the beach, so I was not able to read it in one sitting, but I would have liked to. This is an exciting, suspenseful, and interesting read. I wanted to keep turning the pages to see what was going to happen next, where the characters were going to turn up next, and what was going to happen to them.

It is an unfinished story, as it will continue in the next book, but it still came to a great end, and I was sorry to see the book end.

One problem I had with the book was there were too many people appearing and reappearing in different places and time zones, so I was confused a few times. It would have been helpful in my opinion, if each chapter, or at least each scene change, was preceded by a note saying the year and location. There were also some unfamiliar words and terms, and a glossary would have been a great addition. I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to the sequel.

About the author:

Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He is the author of such epics as The Skin Map; The King Raven, Song of Albion, and Dragon King Trilogies. Lawhead makes his home in Oxford, England, with his wife. Twitter @StephenLawhead,

The Skin Map is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.