In The Skin Map, the first installment of a new series, Stephen R. Lawhead introduces the reader to a world of time travel that's not just plain fantasy or science fiction, but a sort of Celtic historical fiction at its core.
After Kit meets a man, who claims to be his great-grandfather, he soon finds himself traveling through the centuries not only to find the legendary skin map, but also to search for his girlfriend Mina who got lost in transit, so to say, after he tried to show her how he traveled to another place and time.
What captured me from the beginning was the humorous undertone that flows through the whole story. While the thoughts of Kit don't make him the most likable character, I really enjoyed the parts about Mina who started to thrive after leaving her old life behind, and I'd like to think she's the real heroine of the book.
Being an enjoyable read with a fascinating premise and vivid descriptions of settings, I wouldn't have expected a major flaw from such a seasoned author. Flowing quite smoothly the book dragged in places because of being a bit long-winded, and the end inexplicably felt rushed, almost as if pages, if not chapters, were missing. And I'm not quite sure what to make of the epilogue either, but that's what the sequel is here for.
In short: An adventurous if somewhat slow trip through time!
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