One of the things that surprised me the most about The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead is the inclusion of ley lines in the plot. I've seen these mystical thing-a-majigs in fantasy novels in the past and I'm sure I read about them in my younger days when I was fascinated by all things esoteric, mysterious, and bizarre. About the only thing I could remember about ley lines going into this book was that New Agers really like them for some reason. Oh, and they also showed up in The Da Vinci Code briefly, which doesn't exactly endear them to me.
But Lawhead made them work. I'm not saying that I think ley lines are anything mystical or the gateway to alternate realities or anything like that. But Lawhead took a decidedly dicey spiritual concept and "baptized" it quite nicely. Like I said in Monday's post, the faith content of the story wasn't explicit, but it's pretty clear that Lawhead's use of these mystical doo-dads will remain firmly in touch with Christianity.
That's one of the fun things about Christian speculative fiction. You can take some decidedly sketchy concepts and sanctify them, giving them a Christian twist and letting them loose. While I haven't always liked where some authors take those twists, I'm always up for seeing how it's done. It makes the genre more exciting to read as a whole, I think, if you have an author who's willing to take that kind of leap and invites us to leap with him or her.
Maybe that's just me. Go and see what the rest of the tourists have to say:
Thomas Clayton Booher
Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson