The first book in the Bright Empires series intrigued me, so I wanted to continue my journey with this tale. Like the ley lines of time and dimensions the characters travel in this story, the plot is a fascinating twist of layers. Where I would be confused one moment, the "Ah ha_" was never far behind. There are many point of view characters, which is distracting at first, but I got used to it. This book gave many answers to questions posed in book one, but introduced just as many new questions that will, hopefully, be answered in book three. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It's a different kind of way to tell a story, and I want to know what happens next.
When I reviewed The Skin Map, book one in the Bright Empires Series, I said that it was good, but it wasn't Lawhead at his best. This is Lawhead at his best!
The Bone House improves in every way upon my minor disappointments with book one.
The writing style is more carefully crafted and the transitions are better set so that the reader doesn't get lost in the multitude of jumps between different places in different times. I especially liked the creative chapter titles and the clues they gave to what was coming next. Even the character development shows significant improvement. All in all, the writing is more classical Lawhead and I loved it.
The theme of the series fascinates me and I appreciate how the characters delve into the theories in great depth. I personally didn't think that that this in any way weighed down the tale, but then again, I enjoy science, history, philosophy and theology, all of which are present to some extent in the story.
The extra dimension of having a story set across time and space, so that you are following a story line through ancient Egypt, medieval Europe and prehistoric lands makes for an exciting and interesting tale.
This series just keeps getting better. I can't believe I have to wait until September of 2012 before I get to read the next installment.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is the second novel in Lawhead's Bright Empire series, following The Skin Map. In this installment, Kit is still on the quest given to him by his grandfather, to restore the skin map, a map that charts the hidden dimensions of the universe. Wilhelmina is in seventeenth-century Prague and is wildly successful in introducing coffee to the community. She is becoming more of an expert in ley travel, even using a mechanical device to identify their placement.
As Kit pursues his quest, he travels to Egypt and meets Thomas Young, a scholar and archaeologist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Kit leads Thomas to Anen's tomb and participates in its "discovery." Under Anen's head is a square of something wrapped in linen. Within is an irregular square of parchment "covered with a wild scattering of the most superbly etched symbols in dark blue." (228)
In another section of the novel, Douglas Flinders- Petrie travels to the thirteenth century to meet Roger Bacon. Douglas shows him a copy of the skin map. Bacon asks about a key to decipher the document, to uncover what the coordinates represent.
Mina and Kit cross paths at her coffee shop but Burleigh is right behind them. Kit manages to escape into a Stone Age era and is befriended by a group of beings, much like Abominable Snowmen. He begins to understand their culture and language and participates in the building of a bone house for an elder.
At the end of this novel, Kit enters the bone house and immediately plunges through its floor. Kit knew he was covering great distances. He lands near a lake and sees a fellow whose torso is covered with tiny blue symbols...
The transforming action in this series is ley travel. It consists of using the lines of electromagnetic force that are found embedded in the earth. Using these lines, one can make great leaps in dimensional reality, including distance and time. It is not the same as traveling forwards and backwards along a single time line. Each separate reality has its own history and progression in its own time.
Lawhead has a note at the end of this novel that explains essential parts of his plot. The idea of a many-dimensioned universe has been around for some time. Einstein laid the theoretical groundwork for the idea and now the concept is useful for theorizing about many aspects of the universe. Lawhead's characters bounce around a multidimensional universe. They land in any possible alternate world, depending on the exact use of ley travel.
In this realm where traditional thinking about reality breaks down and experts disagree, non-experts can enter into the discussion. Lawhead writes, "That being the case, why shouldn't a novelist participate in the conversation?" (385)
I look forward to the next volume in this series, arriving in about a year. At this point there are too many loose ends to understand the "moral of the story," so to speak. I trust any (Christian) spiritual aspect of the series will become clear then.
At times I get a little lost in the story line, traveling not only in time but in distance and dimension as well. Having a year's time in between installments doesn't help. When the series is completed, I will perhaps read them, one right after the other.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
The Bone House is the second book in the Bright Empires series. Here, we pick up where the last book left off, following Kit Livingston's journey to find the secret skin map. This time, he has his girlfriend, Mina, and a new friend, Giles, in tow to outsmart the bad guys, Burleigh and his men. Every twist and turn leads them back to facing their adversaries, which causes many heart-pounding chase scenes and mixed up ley jumping. They explore many places and even unlock a few new secrets about the skin map and the ley lines.
First, this second book was brilliant. Adding Mina into the loop was genius. It was exciting too, with many edge-of-the-seat moments. I craved to keep reading this story, wanting to know just as much as Kit and Mina do about the skin map.
The story continues to intertwine many more stories within the book. There are small glimpses in the live's of many of the characters, good and bad. Kit and Mina split off, for important quests which are essential to getting their hands on the skin map.
The descriptions are great, no matter the time or place the characters have journeyed too. It makes it seem like it's all real and waiting for us to ley jump too.
All in all, a very interesting and intricately woven story. I long to find out what happens to Kit, especially with that last discovery he made.
The Bone House is a difficult book to review. It is the second installment of the Bright Empires trilogy, following "The Skin Map." That book had a strange ending in that there was no ending. It just stopped. No closure. And end, but no ending. It was interesting to the point of being a page turner, but the ending was odd.
The Bone House continues the pattern. There is a small section of introduction to bring the reader up to speed on the characters - and that is very helpful. But, as The Skin Map ends, so begins The Bone House - and continues. The plot of the series is the quest for a "parchment" of human skin which has been divided into sections and hidden in various places. The places are in different times and dimensions which are reached via portals called "ley lines."
I would recommend this book on the condition the reader first read The Skin Map and plan to read The Spirit Well - the final installment due out in September 2012. The whole story of time/space/dimension travel is immensely intriguing and I want to find out what happens to all these folks. The good guys, the bad guys, and the ones I haven't quite figured out as of yet.
Until then, I guess we'll just have to hold on for the finish.
Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their "Booksneeze" Program www.booksneeze.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.