The Skin Map : Bright Empires

  • by Stephen Lawhead
  • Narrated by Simon Bubb
  • Series: Bright Empires
  • 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure: chasing a map tattooed on human skin across an omniverse of interesting 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 unpauseable, fantastical adventure like no other.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazed at how BAD it was!

It pains me to write such a bad review but this was an amazingly difficult book to get through. I am an avid book reader and once I have started to read a book I have to finish it. It's a way of letting every author have a chance to redeem themselves (or continue to enchant me with their skill, creativity, and craftsmanship) right up to the very end. Many times I am wishing that the story will never end because I love the written word.

Sadly, this was not the case for The Skin Map. I couldn't wait for the story to end and yet I was still surprised when it did because the ending was so abrupt! If the truth be told, I have no idea what the ending of this story was supposed to be about. It is a poorly written book.

Besides the cliff dropping ending, there are many other problems with this book. Beginning with the lack of character development and ending with missing half of its plot! It did not do a good job of tying up the storyline. There are huge gaps in the storyline concerning all of the principal characters. And the reading of the story was done in such a wooden way that you could barely tell when the narrator was switching characters. It also sounded like it was recorded in somebody's bathroom with a weird echo throughout the book.

Although there were many things that did not go well for The Skin Map, the best thing about it is something that is quite dazzling. The idea of ley lines that allowed inter-dimensional travel is a dazzling idea. The underlying premises of this book are grand and inventive including: the ability to travel within both time and place through static points along the ley lines and the idea of being able to interact with any point in history and possibly to other worlds through portals that could be mapped and repeatedly travelled is awesome. To me, this means that I will have to give the author another shot on another story. If he could think up this story line then that means that there is hope that this may have been a one -off
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- Catrina

Fun Book!

Kit walks down an alley with his great grandfather (who should be dead) and ends up in a fishing village many years in the past. And so it goes. It's fun to watch Kit and his friends try to figure out how to navigate another time in history, such as Kit's girl friend, who ends up in the 1400's and now has to find a job! The story builds on the ley lines of England - linear arrangements of trees, roads, rocks, etc. that have captured the imagination of many over time.

The pace of the book is just right - it keeps moving and you want to see what's around the next bend. It does jump around, because different groups of characters are being developed in different parts of history, so that can be a little confusing. This the first book in the series and the second book, the Bone House, is just as good!

Simon Bubb does a good job of reading and is a good match for the story line. As for Lawhead, this is one of the better Lawhead books I've read. I like this better than "Hall of the Dragon King" and better than the Albion series. On par with the King Raven series. I liked the first three books of the Pendragon series better.
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- Kurt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2010
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers