This book would have ended up on the DNF shelf if I hadn't committed to writing a review. While the beginning was relatively auspicious (flavors of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
and Into the Woods
), I soon realized that "flavors" and "hints" was as much development as this story had to offer. Lawhead seems to want to construct a story that echoes the world he imagines, with interweaving time periods and overlapping characters spanning a multitude of realities. Unfortunately, these disparate pieces never manage to form a cohesive whole, nor do they even provide enough hints to make building my own theories possible.
Against all odds, the most intriguing characters in this book were the villian, the ex-girlfriend, and the man who you know is going to end up being skinned for a map. Kit, his great-grandfather Cosimo, and Sir Henry Faythe, the nominal "central characters" are thinly drawn (and disjointed to the point of senility). Despite her initial appearance as a rather rude harpy (who inspired Kit to think that "he simply had
to get a better girlfriend at the first opportunity"), Wilhelmina became my unlikely favorite in THE SKIN MAP. If not for her forays into entrepreneurship in Prague, I don't think I could have made it through the book. I am heartened to see her set up to (hopefully) seize the rains of any following books in this series, but not so heartened that I'm excited to read them.
Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy