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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Skin Map

Publisher's description:
"I need your help with a project. It will be the adventure of a lifetime—of several lifetimes. But it will change you forever."

Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks—they're pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, ley lines 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.

The Bright Empires series is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery.

 My Review:
The description sounds great, doesn't it?  Unfortunately, in many ways the author left a lot to be desired.  Kit wasn't fleshed out much as a character, his former girlfriend (the one from the modern time that inadvertently was transported into the past, and Prague at that) was a much more interesting character.

You get the gist of the story line from the publisher's description, but I really think that is probably a description more appropriate for the series rather than just this book.  Yes, Kit is drawn into time travel by his great-grandfather.  However, he spends much of the story being drug along by his grandfather in an attempt to figure out how to return his girlfriend back to the time/place she originated from after Kit attempts to show her why he was late for a date due to time travel and then loses her while traveling.  She is deposited alone, in the past, and conveniently meets a man who not only takes her in, but makes her a partner in his new business venture and expects nothing in return.  Of course she makes him very prosperous and realizes that she likes her life in the past much better than the boring life she had in the present.

There are bad guys with saber tooth cats, and a man who somehow figures out how the time travel thing works and decides to create the map on his skin at some point in the past.  At some point in his future he must have been skinned and the map was cut into pieces.  Now everyone who can travel the ley lines is searching for those pieces.

There are at least 3 story lines going in this book, but they are pretty easy to follow.  The writing is colorful and descriptive without being overly so.  I found the book interesting but at times unsatisfying.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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