Sunday, 1 January 2017

Thin Air by Michelle Paver

Thin Air by Michelle Paver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In 1935, young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain and one of mountaineering's biggest killers. No one has scaled it before, and they are, quite literally, following in the footsteps of one of the most famous mountain disasters of all time - the 1907 Lyell Expedition.

Five men lost their lives back then, overcome by the atrocious weather, misfortune and 'mountain sickness' at such high altitudes. Lyell became a classic British hero when he published his memoir, Bloody, But Unbowed, which regaled his heroism in the face of extreme odds. It is this book that will guide this new group to get to the very top.

As the team prepare for the epic climb, Pearce's unease about the expedition deepens. The only other survivor of the 1907 expedition, Charles Tennant, warns him off. He hints of dark things ahead and tells Pearce that, while five men lost their lives on the mountain, only four were laid to rest.

But Pearce is determined to go ahead and complete something that he has dreamed of his entire life. As they get higher and higher, and the oxygen levels drop, he starts to see dark things out of the corners of his eyes. As macabre mementoes of the earlier climbers turn up on the trail, Stephen starts to suspect that Charles Lyell's account of the tragedy was perhaps not the full story...

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This is the third book I have read by Michelle Paver and like the previous two; Without Charity and Dark Matter is Thin Air an OK book, but like the previous book does this also lack something to make the book great. Now is this book way different from Without Charity since that book is a historical romance. However, Dark Matter is a horror book just as this one. Or rather both are ghost stories without any horror. At least that's how I feel. And, that's the big problem I have with this book. It's an interesting story, but it lacks intensity.

Thin Air is an interesting book about a group that decides to climb Kangchenjunga in India. I was quite fascinated with the books premise. Horror stories that take place in isolated places are great and I was quite looking forward to being swept off my feet. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. I liked the story, but I didn't love it. There were interesting moments, but I just felt that I never really connected with either Stephen Pearce or his fellow travelers. I liked the idea that one of the men from the previous expedition was left behind and that Stephen Pearce felt haunted. But, it just never got really interesting.

This book did not rock my boat. This is a book that sounded very good on the paper, but ultimately it failed to deliver, mainly because it was just not even a teensy bit chilling to read.

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