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The Skin Map: Bright Empires, Book 1 | [Stephen Lawhead]

The Skin Map: Bright Empires, Book 1

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.
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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.

©2009 Thomas Nelson, Inc. (P)2009 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (97 )
5 star
 (39)
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3.9 (68 )
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4.1 (68 )
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  •  
    K. Donath LaFayette, NY USA 03-16-12
    K. Donath LaFayette, NY USA 03-16-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Wandandian, AL, United States 05-31-12
    Sue Wandandian, AL, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2005

    I am married with a teenage son and run my own business. As I am visually impaired, audio books are my life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Skin Map to be better than the print version?

    It's an interesting storyline and I enjoyed it Some bits of the story were a bit all over the place. Mostly though the book has an interesting concept and will be a good series to follow. The biggest thing I didn't like was it left on a cliff hanger. I wasn't much fussed on the narrator, my husband didn't finish it because he couldn't listen to the narrator


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catrina lavergne, TN, United States 02-19-11
    Catrina lavergne, TN, United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2005
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    "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

    6 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene North pole, AK, United States 09-30-12
    Charlene North pole, AK, United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Futuristic"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This was not the book I thought I was buying. It had too much jumping back and forth fron one time period to another. If I was a lover of time travel books then go for it


    What could Stephen Lawhead have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing, wrong type for me


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Voice


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes for a different type of reader


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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