The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead – Book Review

Amazon summary
It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intereing 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 Skin Map (Bright Empires)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 review
Kit Livingston is living an unremarkable life in London (with the “social prospects of a garden gnome” –  ha! I love that!) when he’s approached by a man claiming to be his great-grandfather. Kit has stumbled upon a ley line – a door to another time and place. When Kit literally loses his girlfriend Mina during a trip through the ley line, he agrees to his grandfather’s offer to teach him the ancient secrets.

While Kit and company are searching for Mina, she’s landed in a strange time and place. Starting off with no friends, family, or money, she uses her brains to succeed in her new home.

There is a lot of time traveling in this book, and we’re not always told which year we’re reading about, so it can get a little confusing, because the characters are hopping around trying to beat each other to the map. It took me a little while to get into it, but soon I was hooked, and I’m so glad I have the next book, The Bone House, already on my Kindle, ready to read!

About the book
Title: The Skin Map (Bright Empires #1)
Author: Stephen R. Lawhead
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: May 31, 2011
Pages: 448
Where I got this book: I received this book for free from the BookSneeze review program.