Monday, September 26, 2011

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

Back Cover:
It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they 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.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.

The Bright Empires series--from acclaimed author Stephen Lawhead--is a unique blending of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, fantastical adventure like no other.

MY THOUGHTS

Cons:

The book can be sloooooow.

As is usual with Lawhead, there are a few wince-inducing moments. And just the fact that the map is made out of...well, human skin...makes me shudder a little.

Pros:

The cover is pretty cool.

I don't mind how complicated it is, you just have to walk into reading the story prepared for it. It makes for a long series, which I like. Definitely not a book for a quick read.

Kit is a bit of a sweet bumbler, always trying to do the right thing and somehow never quite making everything work. Hopefully he improves over time, though, otherwise he could get old pretty quick. I really didn't connect to the characters that well, though. We'll see how the rest of the series progresses.

Conclusion:

Mainly, I love The Skin Map for its plot, not its characters. We'll see how Mina and Kit grow on me throughout the rest of the series.

I'd say the story would be suitable for 16 up, because of the intensity and aforementioned cringe-worthy moments.

Rating: Four out of five stars

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