The Skin Map

The Skin Map

3.72 (4,119 ratings by Goodreads)
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It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingstone'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 R. Lawhead--is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.

"Anything but ordinary . . . Dynamic settings are mixed with unpredictable adventures [and] parallel worlds." --BookPage
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Product details

  • Paperback | 403 pages
  • 137 x 211 x 30mm | 363g
  • Nashville, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1401685846
  • 9781401685843
  • 68,602

Rating details

4,119 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 23% (960)
4 38% (1,576)
3 28% (1,147)
2 8% (342)
1 2% (94)

Our customer reviews

I was sure I knew that author, but I couldn't place the feeling. I'm pretty sure it's about the "Taliesin" books, I think I wanted to read them, but haven't yet. Now, however, I want to read the sequel to The Skin Map because, as I was very frustrated and excited to find out at the end of The Skin Map, it is only book 1 of a 5 books series. Frustrated because I would have to get more books to find the end of the story (and wait for them to get ready) but excited because it's a great story and I'd be able to savour it for another 4 books (if that makes sense at all). In The Skin Map we meet Kit Livingstone (real name - Cosimo) who is... No one. Has a sad life, a not-interesting job and an apathic girlfriend Willhelmina (Mina). Kit goes out to meet his girlfriend one day and, after missing the train, takes a different path, only to stumble into the weirdest of storms and his great-grandfather who had been missing for generations. Cosimo, Kit's great-grandpa, shows him the way to a Ley Line, close by, and they jump into another world, another time and another place. It's a gift, of sorts, and Cosimo needs Kit's help for a quest. When he goes back and finally gets to his girlfriend place it's late, several hours later that day, and he tries to show her the ley and the jump, so she believes him and doesn't get angry. However, they get separated and, I must say, I like Mina's story much more than Kit's. Mina wasn't a great character at first, I didn't like her, she was whining and complaining and ... Being annoying. But after she makes the jump and ends on her own, she becomes someone else - she becomes an independent, smart and interesting woman, someone with will to live and such fun character! You'd never think they're the same. Kit, on the other hand, as many pointed out, is not a... Compelling character. He is, sad to say, quite dull. His narrative voice is full of fear and confusion, like he's not quite sure of anything, while Mina's is much more interesting. Kit and Cosimo start looking for Mina, because being lost, she may endanger the whole universe by creating disturbances in time - when you travel through a Ley Line you end up in another universe, anywhere in time, but if you change something (as a Doctor Who fan, I'd say "if you try to change a fixed point in time") there are consequences and they can be terrible and possibly rip off the universe apart or something. However, the Burley Man (the enemy!) always seem to know where they are and follow them around, looking for The Skin Map. I don't want to open up more of the plot, but I can tell that Time Travel, Universe Travel, different cultures, we have ALL of those and I really liked it. However, the ending is very frustrating. I only found out then that it wasn't a standalone work, so I was depressed to know that I would have to wait some time to get all the books as only 3 out of the 5 total books were released, although there has been one release each year, so I'm guessing Book #4 comes out this year. more
by Mayara
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