Saturday, October 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead
  • Audio CD: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Unabridged edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400316731
  • ASIN: B007PT0GJ4
It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intereing 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 page-turning, fantastical adventure like no other.

I'm very excited upon receipt of this audiobook, the summary and the cover is superb, what more the contents, right?

FYI, THE SKIN MAP is my very first audiobook, and probably my last. Don't get me wrong, Simon Bubb, the voice behind it was great, his voice is strong, rich and clear; he could easily change the tone/rhythm according to feelings and the characters, it's easy to lose one's self listening to his voice, transported in the world, Stephen Lawhead created. BUT, audio is still very different from an actual book, and in my case, where I don't have an audio player, besides the laptop, I sometimes got tired, and the story dragged long enough for my excitement to ebb.

The SKIN MAP has a very intriguing storyline. I love how Kit found the “portal”. He was late for a date with his girlfriend and he figured he'll take a shortcut only to find himself transported in a different place/period. There he meets his great-grandfather, Cosimo. Cosimo asked him for help to find the Skin Map which was tattooed on a man's chest that is an intricate code of roadmap symbols, which bad guys out there are also looking for. But Kit refuses, and goes back to London to explain to her girlfriend, Wilhelmina (Mina). In order to support his reason, he brought her to the portal, but they were separated through making the transportation (“leap), he meets his grandfather again while Mina found herself in Prague (1600)

Now Kit has no choice but to help Cosimo, and find where Mina landed. Add to that, they should waste no time for the Burley Men are following them to use it for their evil plans. Will they find it and Mina before it's too late? And what secrets do the Skin Map has?

There are many perspective on the book (he loss me sometimes), but I guess I was more interested in Mina's story, how she and her partner are the first ones to build a coffeehouse in Prague and probably in the world. I enjoyed the adventure and the quest for the Skin Map. Lawhead gives us the right twists and turns in the story, I was there when the characters discover more of the missing map. The different languages and the culture adds flavor to the story. Some of the characters are flat, some are well-humored and good witted.

What's the down part of this book is that, Lawhead failed to give us the main plot at the right time; it took a while for the main storyline to progress. I mean subplots are not at all bad, but one could only focus a few minutes. The narration seems to go on forever (if not for the changing tone, I may have slept). There are lots of things to cover and explain, but it wasn't done. I hope the ley lines are more explained. I'm hoping for a climax, but having it wasn't really bad. The ending, although left in such a way that makes one say, “Is it over? But we're just starting” (I know you understand the feeling lol)…has somewhat laid a good start-up for the sequel.

I do believe that they are correct in saying that The Bright Empire Series is one to look out for. The plot/storyline will really be great. And I can already see this book, going to the big screen, where there will be more actions, effects and adventures to see. I may read the second book in the series and see if it got better- read the book and not the audio. Maybe it's just the audio, so I will read more from this author in print.>: D

Overall, Skin Map, if you have patience to go enough a few chapters, will leave you wanting for more. It's a great alternate reality that will make you wish it's the reality you are in. An infusion of secrets, conspiracies, time-travel, treasure hunt and ancient history, Skin Map is a book any of the said things-fanatic will enjoy.

Also, I think this book isn't at all Christian-based, no mention on anything spiritual.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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