October 20, 2010

Review : The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Title : The Skin Map
Author : Stephen R. Lawhead
Reading Dates : 10 Oct - 16 Oct 2010
The Skin Map (Bright Empires)
Bright Empires
The Skin Map is the first volume in the 5-book Bright Empires series.
From Book Sneeze :
Enter the ultimate treasure hunt--with a map made of skin, a playing field of alternate realities, and a prize that is the greatest mystery of all.

Kit Livingstone's great-grandfather has re-appeared with an unbelievable story--the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legends but truly are pathways to other worlds. So few people know how to use them, though, that doing so is fraught with danger.

But one explorer knew more than most. Because of his fear of being unable to find his way home, he developed an intricate code and tattooed his map onto his skin. But the map has since been lost and rival factions are in desperate competition to recover it. What none of them yet realize is that the skin map itself is not the prize at the end of this race . . . but merely the first goal of a vast and marvelous quest to regain Paradise.

Book Review of The Skin Map.
The Skin Map was an absolute disappointment.

Reading the premise I had expected an exciting and thrilling adventure where the hero goes on a quest spanning several worlds. Instead the main protagonist spends more time sitting around waiting for everyone else to make decisions than doing anything. The most exciting part of the story was waiting to see what disaster might be caused by his girlfriend, Mina when she sets out to open her coffee house. In short, the slow build up to the mystery at the end and the almost non-existent use of the leys to travel made for a rather boring story.

Then, there are the characters in the book. It is seriously troubling when I find myself rooting for the bad guys to actually finish them off. I supposed Cosimo and Sir Henry are meant to be gentle, wise men. Unfortunately, all I could see were two men too puffed-up with their own self-importance playing at being on a great quest. It is no wonder the villain was way ahead of them.

The worst of the lot though was Kit. He's an absolute jerk and an idiot as well. Right at the start of the story, we learn that he'd be more than happy to dump Mina if he had a choice notwithstanding the years they've been together. Then when he accidentally gets her stranded in an unknown world and time, he easily forgets about her until his companions reminds him of it. And when they land in a dangerous situation while attempting to help him find her, he doesn't even see anything wrong with abandoning them to their fates.

While the ending of this book seems to signify a possible change in Kit's character and the start of his quest for The Skin Map, it came a little too late. Whatever interest I had for the story had been killed by then.

My conclusion : If you must read this, I'd suggest borrowing rather than buying and regretting it.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review; the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...