Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Review: The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead

This month's Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour is looking at the third volume in Stephen Lawhead's Bright Empires series, The Spirit Well - which I haven't read yet.

I have read the previous volume, The Bone House, but haven't posted a full review yet, so this seems like as good a time as any to do so.

As a prelude, I should say that the first book in the series, The Skin Map, ticked a lot of my personal boxes - mainly by virtue of travelling through time and parallel universes by means of ley-lines - and so the sequel had a lot to live up to.

It did seem to start off quite slowly, but the main plot soon kicked in and wouldn't let me go. Alongside the main storyline, which continues the adventures of Kit Livingstone as he continues his quest for the skin map, we get some unobtrusive back story, of Mina's hitherto unexplained transformation from annoying girlfriend to dimesnion-hopping Lara Croft, of Kit and Mina's nemesis Burleigh, and of Flinders-Petrie, the man who was map. While Mina's story fills the gaping hole that left her looking like a Deus ex machina at the end of The Skin Map, the others start to add a greater depth to the multiverse Lawhead has created here.

Sometimes such epic, multi-threaded stories can get a little hard to keep track of, but The Bone House manages to stay interesting and managable for most of the various plot threads. I say most, because some of the later sections with stone age Kit seemed a little longer than necessary, but it didn't stop me enjoying the story.

This volume also introduced some elements of faith and Christianity into the story; presumably there will be some kind of spiritual message in the story as it goes forward, and the steady introduction of various Christian characters is easing us into whatever this may be.

I'm liking the Bright Empires series so far, and if you like the sound of it and want to dip into The Spirit Well, follow some of these links to see what the rest of the tour has to say:

Jim Armstrong Julie Bihn Red Bissell Jennifer Bogart Thomas Clayton Booher Thomas Fletcher Booher Beckie Burnham Brenda Castro Jeff Chapman Christine Karri Compton Theresa Dunlap Emmalyn Edwards April Erwin Victor Gentile Jeremy Harder Bruce Hennigan Timothy Hicks Janeen Ippolito Becca Johnson Jason Joyner Carol Keen Emileigh Latham Rebekah Loper Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Anna Mittower Joan Nienhuis Lyn Perry Nathan Reimer Chawna Schroeder Rachel Starr Thomson Robert Treskillard Steve Trower Dona Watson Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler

Other linky goodness: 


Fantasythyme said...

Thanks for the nice review. The third book answered my question of why they never ran into an earlier version of their self. Though the answer makes it sound a bit more like Sliders, the TV series, and a bit less like Time Tunnel. :)

Julie Bihn said...

I'm with you on Stone Age Kit too. (That sounds like it should be an action figure. Actually, from the muscles he gets, maybe it could be...)

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I liked Stone Age Kit better in The Spirit Well. So far that book is my favorite of the series.


UKSteve said...

I had nothing against Stone Age Kit himself, I just thought that section of the story was too long for its purpose.

Cerainly looks like the series is getting better as it goes on, which is good.

And, for the record, I rather liked Sliders :)