The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead is a wonderful time travel story mixing fantasy, history and archaeology. It is a bit like Ted Dekker combined with Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells. The chapter titles give the book the feel of a Victorian novel, yet it is as fast-paced as the most modern fantasy.
Our hero, Kit Livingstone, is an average working class Londoner headed toward a meeting with his girlfriend Mina. Amidst a storm and power outage, he stumbles across a man, Cosimo, who claims to be his great-grandfather, and is introduced to time travel portals called ley lines. Kit rushes to meet Mina and share his discovery, but loses her in the ley lines on the way to meet Cosimo. Kit has no idea where or when Mina has gone.
The tale moves on three timelines. One line follows Mina, one follows Kit and Cosimo as they search for her, and one follows the scientist who originally explored the time travel portals and used tattoos to become a human skin map of the ley lines.
Despite moving between timelines, the story is easy to follow. My only complaint about the book is the ending. Clearly, this is a series, because the book is open-ended rather than having a proper conclusion. Thankfully, the second installment has been announced for the fall, so we won’t have to wait long for the continuing adventures of Kit, Cosimo and Mina.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. 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.