Summary? A good read, if not a little confusing at the start. Book 2 even better. Recommended.
I was intrigued by the description of The Skin Map, by Stephen R. Lawhead.
The ultimate quest for ultimate treasure. Kit Livingstone gets caught up in an Omniverse of intersecting realities as he chases the secret of a map tattooed on human skin. It’s time to walk the lines.
I have read books from this author before, and they had been interesting, so it was time to give it a go. I will be honest, there are some reviews out there that portray this book as poor, and I was nearly dissuaded, but glad I did take the time to read.
The book begins with our main characters – Kit and Wilhelmina, living unremarkable if not utterly dreary lives in modern day England. But things change when Kit meets his grandfather and namesake (Cosimo) and finds himself travelling through the multiverse to new places and times.
Unfortunately this makes him late to a date with his girlfriend, and so in an attempt to get himself out of trouble he tries to prove to her that it is real. And so begins the adventure. With settings ranging from modern day London, late middle ages Prague, Ancient Egypt and a few in between, it has an entertaining breadth and interesting story line.
The book travels at a leisurely pace, and to be honest, by the end of it you are not quite sure why some of the chapters were even there (though having read the second book already, it is becoming clearer). The only occasional difficulty is in working out what the chapter represents – who is the focus on, and what place and time period they are in. It is not too bad in the book, but you do need to take a second to think at every turn!
Being a fiction book, I don’t want to say too much and give things away. So what I will say is it was a ‘good’ book – not great, but not bad. An enjoyable read. For those expecting a ‘Christian Epic’, you will be disappointed. To me it certainly appears that Lawhead has a ‘Christian Worldview’, and maybe he will make more of this in the future, and he certainly poses poignant questions at opportune times, but this is not a strictly ‘Christian’ book. I just note as some previous reviewers this was their main complaint…
But having read the second book (which gets in all senses better), it is a great, and required, introduction to what appears will be a series of reasonable length. In short, recommended to teenagers and adults alike. For those with younger children, read it yourself and use your own discernment.
You can also like to read my review of The Bone House (book 2 in Bright Empires).