Travel can be a tricky undertaking. What kind of traffic will you encounter on the interstate? Will you have to submit to one of those embarrassing full-body scans going through airport security? Will ruffians attack you with a prehistoric cave lion when you show up for a 19th-century archaeological dig in Egypt?
The rousing adventures of the book all have their origin in present-day London, but traverse through many far-flung locales and time periods. By using ley lines, mysterious intersections of alternate dimensions, the cast ends up in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in time periods that vary more than four centuries.
As you can image, this kind of inter-dimensional travel could prove problematic without one heck of a GPS system. In fact, that’s the reason that the forces of good and evil are battling to locate the skin map that is the source of the book’s title. An earlier traveler had tattooed graphical directions for navigating expeditions using ley lines which are hiding in plain sight throughout the earth.
Lawhead does a masterful job of ramping up the suspense page by riveting page. He paints rich and believable landscapes of divergent periods and places without making it seem like a history or sociology class. The spiritual message of the book emerges very late in the story, and it limited to a reference to Providence being the governing force behind the seemingly random events and people that populate neighboring dimensions.
The Skin Map is an entertaining read that I can heartily recommend. The only downside for me is that the book is the first of a three-part series, so the story is unresolved at the end. I mean, travel is less enjoyable if you don’t reach your destination at the end of the trip.
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.