The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead is the first book in the new Bright Empires Trilogy. Imagine Narnia merged with Hitchhiker’s Guide, and you have a starting point for the adventures of Kit Livingstone. Lawhead’s writing expertise shines in this story. Great characterization at a good pace make the book an enjoyable read with the only downside being the abrupt ending (expected in the first act of a trilogy, but still sudden).
One of the high points of the book includes the excellent language used in the different time periods. Lawhead does a great job of showing the acclimation process as characters move across settings. Another bonus is the best descriptive writing I can recall reading from any author. When the setting changes, Lawhead sets the scene with perfection. The settings are vivid with the right amount of detail. The reader feels transported to the location, not just through descriptions of the scenery but also through depictions of smells and sounds surrounding the characters.
The Skin Map is published by Thomas Nelson and for that reason I expected a more direct Christian theme or allegory. Instead, it avoids the transparent messages. If you’re looking for a Biblical allegory, I think it’s there under the surface, but the characters don’t extrapolate on it. If you’re looking for an entertaining, well-crafted story, I recommend The Skin Map.
A complimentary copy of The Skin Map was provided through BookSneeze for the purpose of review. BookSneeze.com