Monday, February 28, 2011

The Skin MapThe Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world, is that it is comprehensible” Albert Einstein

“Do you know that Einstein is wrong, and that certain objects and forces can move with a velocity greater than that of light? With proper aid expect to go backward and forward in time, and actually see and feel the earth of remote past and future epochs” (The Whisperer in the Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft)

London’s rain and thunderstorms change Kit Livingstone’s life. Not because he gets sick, but because of the power of nature that reveals to Kit the ‘unpredictable’ laws of physics.

Telluric energy flows are mapped since centuries, and they are known as ley lines: pathways to other worlds.

So the adventure starts: Kit meets his great-grandfather, who tells him about the ley lines and the possibilities of time-slip (only backwards) and body travels.

“... the possibilities are endless. Your friend could be anywhere or anywhen.”


“Moving from one world or dimension to another, you inevitably travel in time as well.” (page 40)

Kit’s great-grandfather needs him to find the Skin Map, that has been separated into five pieces.

The Quest of the Bright Empires involves many characters, places, and epochs.

Kit Livingstone and his girlfriend Wilhelmina.

Kit’s great-grandfather, Cosimo and his friend Sir Henry.

Arthur Flinders-Petrie, the first ‘owner’ of the Skin Map.

Lord Burleigh, the villain of the story; who, as every villain, is present in every epoch of the Skin Map’s search.

The locations and epochs: ancient and nineteenth century Egypt, Prague during sixteenth / seventeenth century, China when the Portuguese inhabit Macao (seventeenth century), London contemporary and in the year 1666.

Lawhead with the ploy of the ley lines has written an historical fiction book, where the History is presented as a whole. So The Skin Map is recommended for readers of historical fiction, but also for whom is interested in physic laws or, better, Quantum Mechanics. Of course, The Skin Map is not a textbook about quantum mechanics, it is a book of fiction; but as quantum mechanics has opened new horizons in the physic’s field, The Skin Map could open, and in my opinion this is Lawhead’s main idea of the introductory book of the series, new understanding of reality, and unpredictable: everywhere and everywhen.

“The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics says that different editions of us live in many worlds simultaneously, an uncountable number of them, and all of them are real. …

Quantum physics is stranger than science fiction.” (The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, page 96) (See also Many-Worlds interpretation of Schroedinger Cat’s paradox).

“And then?” - asked Lady Faith

“We wait” (page 370)

We have to wait until September for Quest the Second: The Bone House.

BookSneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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