Tag: The Skin Map

*+Bout Challenge!+* Bout Day, 4: Double Date Book Challenge!

Posted Thursday, 9 January, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Bout of Books 9.0On Day 4, of the Bout, a wicked question was broached about pairing two books together which compliment each other and yet, are completely different from each other at the very same time! This particular challenge is entitled: Double Date Book Challenge hosted by Lori @ Writing my own Fairy Tale! This particular challenge appealed to me because there are oft-times I am settling into a book where I think another book might work well to read next, in fact, I mused about this earlier in the year {It truly ought to be rather elementary,…}, which proves that this particular topic has already filtered through my mind as one that would extend a rather curious conversation between readers!!

Atmospheric novels in particular, strike a bit of an accord in me to where I’d love to seek out titles of books which grant me the same feeling I gather inside as I settle into the narratives! The first book which comes to mind would be Kate Morton’s “The Distant Hours” which is a book I have borrowed through my local library on numerous occasions but have not yet had the proper chance to sink into the heart of its depth! I am always out of hours before the dear book has to ‘boomerang!’ back to the library! Oh, my! Stemming from Morton, I have noticed a bit of a shift in how I approach seeking out Gothic-bent stories in literature, as I am attracted to the traditional and non-traditional elements of the genre! I love the suspenseful play-on settings as much as the daring breadth of the synopsises are leading me to believe would be found inside! Likewise, as I disclosed I’m an Anglophile under “My Bookish Life“, the more curious bit to spotlight is my tendency towards growing into a bit of a Francophile! French literature has been attractive to me ever since I first started to ruminate about the French Revolution, and sought out fictional stories set in, during, and after the height of the Revolution! Which leads me to my first book pairing of this kind, except to say, I haven’t yet completed reading one of the books I’m going to mention but! I feel confident that the enjoyment of its conclusion will be an equal match to the first!

My entry for the +*Double Date Book Challenge!*+

The Golden Hour by Maiya Williams + The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead
{my partial review, of The Skin Map}

The main reason I am choosing both of these books is due to the fact they are both focused on two areas of literature which makes my heart smile: time travel & visiting the historical past! In this instance, the height of the French Revolution in Paris (The Golden Hour) matched against the 17th Century of London! Each of the books has a very unique way of giving the reader a prominent experience in two major cities during historical periods of delight! From what I have read of The Skin Map I have already noticed not only the appreciation for the world-building set against the realism of modern science, but the delivery of the setting, the action, and the truism of having the characters wholly realised in the world by which they are entering! Likewise, in The Golden Hour what swept me inside the story the most was the ability to let go of reality and suspend it to include the probability of traveling via the route expressed into play as the novel diverges its secrets! Each are hinged to quantum mechanics and quantum physics theories of how to bend time and reappear ourselves into a different ‘place’ other then we ‘currently’ are. The backstories are lit alive at such a riveting pace you barely can breathe! Part of my Re-Reading Challenge via Caffeinated Life will include both of these titles! As I would love to know how The Skin Map resolves in this Part I of an on-going series, in as much as remember how closely knitted together the climax of The Golden Hour as it was also a launching into a series! I originally lamented to dear friends, that I would pair The Golden Hour alongside The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, which I still stand-by as a declaration, however, as I was sorting out in my mind tonight about a ‘double date’ choice, especially if to take into consideration two separate books which could run the gambit of being parallel to each other yet completely individualistic at the same time; then you see, my only choice is the one I have given! IF you want an extra answer to this paradoxical riddle, one ought to read my ‘double date book’ choice before sinking into The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler prior to reading The Sixty-Eight Rooms! As I recollect that is the original ‘pair’ of novels I have given to my bookish friends to enjoy!

Stephen Lawhead on “The Skin Map”, Bright Empires Series #1

by Thomas Nelson featured on the ChristianBook channel

I wonder what other books are being matched, paired, and set off into the world on a ‘double date’!? I’ll have to try to visit the other Bout’er blogs as soon as I have a free moment to do so! As once I post this, I’m wrapping up my Day 3 of the Bout, as I want to soak into the book I broached open on Day 3 a bit more before all time is lost on Day 4! Ho hey! Off I go!

{SOURCE: Bout of Books Badge created by Jorie in Canva to give readers & visitors who come to her blog a way to know of its existence and therefore increasing the mystery & lore surrounding it!! The book trailer featuring Stephen Lawhead by Thomas Nelson via Christianbook.com had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 9 January, 2014 by jorielov in Bout of Books, RALs | Thons via Blogs

*SFN* | Book Review: The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Posted Tuesday, 5 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead
[Book One of The Bright Empire series]

[Book Two: The Bone House]
[Book Three: The Spirit Well]
[Book Four: The Shadow Lamp]

Published By: Thomas Nelson, 2010
Page Count: 416

Borrowed Book By: My local library’s ILL (inter-library loan) service as they did not carry it in their catalogue. What is interesting though is that they have book three “The Spirit Well” instead!  Therefore, if I find that I enjoy reading this I will ILL books two and four! I was thankful that the request went through in time for me to read this book in conjunction with SFN!

What drew me to read this story:  Is the fact that the very premise of the book acknowledges the existence of fissures in time, which I found to be a riveting opening to a book, much less a full series! And, the fact that people could ‘walk through’ these individual time fissures and experience something unlike what we generally experience was a story I wanted to read! Made possible by a discovery of a sequence of straight lines known as ‘ley lines’, which in of themselves omit an electromagnetic current! If you have been following me along with my SFN posts, you will already know that this would be of key interest, as I happen to fancy stories that involve ‘time travel’ and have recently begun to become acquainted with “The Doctor” of “Doctor Who”! Its evoking the same sense I received from watching “The Adjustment Bureau” where reality is perceptional and can be altered with the opening of a single door OR at the flick of a switch you do not see by sight. The prospect of an ordinary person ‘stumbling across’ this altered state of time, who is summoned by a person of their past is an adventure I thought was well worth taking!

Inspired to Share: When I originally settled on reading this particular story, I couldn’t help but hit the ‘play button’ on the book trailer, which was listed in the upper right corner of the author’s website! I am ever so curious about book trailers, as I have been finding this year that instead of the regular fare of trailers, we are being happily delighted by seeing more ‘mini-film’ versions!! These sort of trailers not only have bang-on accuracy as far as giving the heart and context of the story to a potential reader, but if that reader (such as I) has a fancy for motion pictures, they become an engaging platform in which one’s mind can jump-dive into the story as though they were living through the character as they would in the seat of a darkened theater watching a first-run film! This next genesis of book trailers has captured me as being the ones that endear you long-term towards the book your about to pick up, as it gives you such a riveting visual aide to help you sink easier into the setting of the world just within reach of your fingertips! The wicked part is that they took the information on the inside cover flap and turnt it into the book trailer!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

“The Skin Map” by Stephen Lawhead, Bright Empires Series #1 book trailer

by Thomas Nelson featured on the ChristianBook channel

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The backdrop of science in The Skin Map:

As I dip into the opening chapters of The Skin Map, my mind is attempting to ferret out the knowledge that I had gleamed and gained through my prior readings of the quantum realms. The very same readings as I had outlined only hours prior in my Book Showcase focused on Time Travel! Who knew then, that all of that would become a bit necessary to read a book such as this? Or, at the very least to have a bit of a working knowledge of some of the theories that are being discussed? I feel as though it were but yesterday when I read Flatland!

I liked how Cosmio (the great-grandfather) was pointing out to his (great) grandson that those who walk across the ley lines cannot tamper with the power of their transport abilities – such as when Kit unabashedly felt that he could simply walk his girlfriend through the same alley and arrive in the exact same place he would be himself. It brings up the layers of complexity that time travel involves and how multi-layered our dimensional space truly is. It also brought back to me conversations I had whilst sitting in my high school library and contemplating the ‘layers’ of both time and reality itself as it pertained to the history in which our lives are lived. It was a dialogue of elementary quantum mechanics but I never forgot how excited my classmate was for speaking about a subject I felt he should pursue in University.

I find it instinctively distinct that Kit and Cosimo are traveling in time to alternative realities that are happening in places that they can recognise but they are not on the same ‘time-frame’ of where they originated or from whence they originally ‘came’. It’s a complex theory but the author, Lawhead has an excellent way of handling the science and getting the reader caught up in the story without feeling as though an upper level of science is required to understand the working theory of how the characters are able to travel!

A curious notation about the leys in the novel is when it’s mentioned that they are ‘time sensitive’. I found this intriguing as the premise of using the leys is not to walk into a ‘different time’ per se of your living history or the history of your time, but rather to step into a parallel alternative reality. IF then the leys are in tune with time itself it would stand to question then do all alternative realities coincide with our own time? And, if they do, how is that even possible? Whereas the opening of portals occur at sunrise or sunset, which I found even more curious as when I read the novel “The Golden Hour” by Maiya Williams she used this same theory as a basis of the time travel in her story. Is there concrete evidence floating in and around this premise? Hence the reason she called traveling at sunset as “the golden hour”, as an another example of a writer putting a ‘key’ to her story in her title!

Entering the Adventure one fissure of time in a nanosecond:

Before Kit can even understand ‘where’ he is going and ‘what’ he is meant to be helping his great-grandfather achieve, he has accidentally set off a chain of events that are digging him deeper into traveling the ley lines! I am enjoying the pace of the story, as much as I am enjoying how the story is playing out for the reader! Lawhead has included a few lovely distractions and villains for good measure (of course!), which mark in my mind that this is one of those stories you’re not quite sure what is going to ‘pop out at you’ at any given moment! Part of it reminds me of “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising“, as it has elemental familiarities for me!

As Kit proceeds to accept his great-grandfather’s beliefs in the ley lines, his first venture towards full acceptance was traveling back into the 17th Century to listen to a lecturer who ended up being Cosimo’s partner and a Quester: Sir Henry Fayth. Lawhead has a pure knack for bringing to life flamboyantly secure men of a certain age who are fully contained into their own personality as to evoke a bold presence right before your eyes! I wasn’t sure whom I admired more, his great-grandfather or Sir Henry! I had the feeling that Kit still felt out of step with all of it, the quest to recover the skin map (as the title is elusive to the adventure) and the fact he is now living counter-current to a living timeline he has always known.

Ordinary frustrations of Kit Livingstone:

I nearly cackled with humour whilst walking with Kit as he makes every vein attempt to reach his girlfriend Wilhelmina at a joint shopping rendezvous point! The way in which he would put it, it’s merely a task for switching tracks (for the London tube system), hailing down a bus, crossing through a (rather infamous) park, and heading up a road to greet his dear girlfriend! Yet. Life like art isn’t always a mere ‘walk in the park’! I was seriously having trouble containing myself, as although I had come off two rather emotional Doctor Who episodes (Turn Left & Journey’s End – clearly I am not watching this series in the proper order!) how could I not stifle a bubble of a laugh over every which way to Sunday his life is being affected by a comedy of errors!? Those are the particular and precise moments in my own life where I start to see a stitching of a pattern take hold inside my mind’s eye. Were the events that for me, in those singular moments, rather disastrous really as such? Or, were they universal signs of a serendipitous ripple of coincidence that was writ to happen if only for certain paths to cross at the right ‘moment in time’? Have you naught noticed the same in your own life? People and places you might never have become acquainted with if your life hadn’t altered its course even to the smallest degree to have you arrive at a place you never had been, and yet, a purpose was met that was not of your prior knowledge?

The interaction with his long-lost great-grandfather is purely classic as far as these meetings generally go, but what I liked about it which set it a part from most meetings such as these is the manner in which his great-grandfather was delivering the ‘news of his life’! I liked how his great-grandfather (of whom he was apparently named for as they share the same name! ‘Kit’ isn’t his proper first name, Cosimo is!) counter-balanced Kit’s cocky-headed responses by a calm, collected, and deeply humourous dictation of the facts! The insertion of British phrases and slang made it altogether priceless for me! As I oft am eager to read a full-on Brit novel replete with their own stylings of vernacular!

Review of The Skin Map:

A wanton wanderer simply known as “Kit” flounders around in an ill-attempt at sorting out his life and the path he would like to follow. He never expected to take an unexpected trip to an alternative reality parallel to his own time when his great-grandfather appeared out of nowhere. The swirling of thunder, rain, and storm was actually a gateway arch into traveling along the ley lines. This sets him on a course he is not even sure he belongs, whilst learning the history and technique of this sort of travel, his gravest concern is reconnecting with Wilhelmina, of whom was lost when he recklessly attempted to bring her with him.

Wilhelmina may not have believed the far-fetched excuse that her lackluster boyfriend Kit had given her as a plausible reason for missing her shopping excursion, but finding herself lost on a desolate road made her question if he was telling her the truth. The nearly forgotten language of her grandmother (German) came in handy when she was rescued by a German-speaking man (Englebert) on his way out of the country. Her journey began the moment she accepted his offer to take her with him. What I found most incredible is that her side of the story is leading her to finding her true self as a baker and as a businesswoman. Whereas I am not as sure if she would have had as much growth in her own time as she is having in the 17th Century! Prague is beautifully brought to life through her adventure of setting up a bakery with her rescuer!

At nearly the half-way junction point, Lawhead starts to cast a curious new reality upon the infamous landmarks in England that we are all most familiar with as to having a purpose other than what it appears to be. For such an instance, Stonehenge in this novel is referenced as being a portal – a proper hub for extracting oneself through time into another dimension separate from our own. Now, I am not sure the validity of this claim, but I do know that there is more to Stonehenge than meets the eye! And, surely more than claiming that it’s a gigantic telescope! What makes the science plausible in the story is how close the quantum sciences are coming to terms with everyday reality.

Wilhelmina’s spunky spirit shines brightly when she’s describing to Englebert how to get the bakery back online by incorporating coffee! The hilarity of the situation is that she’s a woman from the 20th century attempting to explain this to a man of the 17th! And, his confusion reigns supreme! Whilst Englebert embarked on a sojourn quest to get her blasted beans, he made a discovery on the docks that could change everything! Like most men who encounter adversity, his spirit only started to brighten once he saw a turning of the tide! He was still on the fence about her plan to turn the bakery into a profit when she introduced him to the bitter coffee, of which he felt was atrocious! She calmly replied to his vexation that it’s a triumph as they can serve sweets to compliment the bitter! Spoken like a true woman!

 [This post is in-progress! Drop back to see the concluding thoughts! Alas! I need to re-ILL! Oy!]

This book review is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads

{SOURCES: Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing! Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. The book trailer by Thomas Nelson via Christianbook.com had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Related Articles:

Ley Line – (en.wikipedia.org)

Alfred Watkins – (en.wikipedia.org)

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 5 November, 2013 by jorielov in Alternative Reality, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Book Trailer, Philosophy, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Time Travel, Treasure Hunt

*SFN* | Bingo Reading Challenge with a Sci-Fi Bent!

Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

By now, anyone who spends a bit of time rooting around my blog (JLAS) will discover that I have a quirky ability to find new reading challenges at the drop of a hat! And, I always attempt to make good on my promise to complete them during their event’s time-frame but alas! My reading life has endeared a few unexpected obstacles these past months, and so, most of the challenges I have undertaken are “in-progress”. Therefore, what bliss to find one that is free-form and can be completed without a specific end-date! I am in the process of completing all my reading challenges that I thus far entered, but what made me become engaged with this one in particular is because I have a *stacked full* reading list to devour in November for SFN!! All the scheduled and proposed books will be listed! Let’s see where they take me on the Bingo card!?

SFN Bingo Reading Challenge - hosted by Literary Excursion

This lovely card was created by Leanne @ Oh! the Books!

Let the Reading Challenge Commence!

B1: A book with alternate realities {The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead}
B2: A sci-fi book mixed with horror
B3: A debut sci-fi novel
B4: A book with awesome technology
B5: A book set on another planet

I1: A book that’s a space western
I2: A book with robots/AI {The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron}*automation
I3: A book with mind-based super powers
I4: A book with clones
I5: A book with aliens

N1: A book involving a war
N2: A book involving dreams {Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher}
N3: FREE!
N4: A book with mutations
N5: A book with time travel

G1: A book set underneath the earth
G2: A book set in the future
G3: A book with a dystopian setting
G4: A book with cyborgs
G5: A book set in an alternate past

O1: A book with a non-human MC
O2: A book with spaceships
O3: A book with laser weapons
O4: A book set in post-apocalypse
O5: A book with genetic engineering

SFN Reading List: [combination of scheduled & alternates]

  1. The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead {5/6 Nov ’13}
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. Breaking the Time Barrier Jenny Randles
  4. WorldSoul by Liz Williams
  5. Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe by Richard J. Gott
  6. Time: A Traveler’s Guide by Clifford A. Pickover
  7. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
  8. The Little Book by Selden Edwards
  9. The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards
  10. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
  11. The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Fleming
  12. Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
  13. City at the End of Time by Greg Bear
  14. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  15. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  16. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  17. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  18. The Postman by David Brin
  19. Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
  20. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  21. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  22. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  23. The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
  24. Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Kate MacAlister
  25. Not Less Than Gods by Kage Baker
  26. Steampunk: An Anthology by Ann Vandermeer
  27. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron {started ’13 | finished ’14}
  28. The Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick
  29. Mainspring by Jay Lake
  30. Airborn by Kenneth Opel
  31. Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher {9 Nov ’14}

It will be a wondrous mystery to me to see which elements of these books will enter into the formation of the Bingo card’s taken spaces! I am certain that if I can read the # of books I scheduled to read this month, it will be quite the feat in of itself! Therefore, if reading the alternates takes time into December and the Bingo card is not yet completed for a win – I shall continue!

Stay tuned!

I am tweaking my Book Showcase on Steampunk Literature

& will reveal my first Steampunk choice!

Rock on, dear hearts!

This post is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads

And, continuing during:

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva

{SOURCES: Leanne at Literary Excursion Oh! the Books made the SFN Bingo Card for SFN participants to take part in the joy of an undisciplined reading challenge! The Bingo card is used with permission. Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Tweets via SFN Bingo Card 2013:

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Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov in Dystopian, Reading Challenge Addict, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Steampunk, Time Travel