Michelle Paver has again produced a great ghostly tale as she did with "Dark Matter". Well written and "creepy" this book works as a ghostly tale in the same way as Johnathan Aycliffe's works do; building tension, suspense and drama until you are so caught with the tale that you are swept up with the words and circumstance. The book is well plotted and paced even if a little dull (what ghost story is not) and dreary. I have not given it a great review but that is down to circumstance rather than the book itself. Recently you may have noticed I reviewed "Abominable" by Dan Simmons" both books are based on a similar premise. Dan's on the ascent of Everest, Michelle's on Kanchenjunga. Michelle is good at conjuring atmosphere and "Thin Air" is well worth a read but when compared to "Abominable" and Dan Simmons vast literary talents it fades. "Thin Air" is still worth a read, I cannot fault it. It simply fades in the presence of a far greater writer and book.
This may seem a weird comment to make In this day and age but we are not destroying this planet, rather we are forging ahead to a point where mankind will not be able to live on this world. The planet will get by, the species will change and adapt or they will not. If they do not then new species will adapt. 252 million years ago most species died out after a cataclysmic climate change. Biologists estimate that in the dark ages there were more species alive than at any other time in history. So life (after the cataclysmic event) flourished. It took time, sure, and after mankind it will take time but the earth will lie fallow and the species will recover, die out or adapt. It is, as it always was, as it always will be.
Mankind are the broken spoke in the wheel this time. We either need to fix ourselves or vanish. Cataclysmic events have happened here and there throughout the worlds history. Asteroids, Meteorites, Ice ages, rising seas, seismic events; some far more devastating than the one mentioned. Indeed one wiped out 99.7 percent of the species record but the earth changed adapted and made itself whole again.
I often wonder at our hubris, "we are destroying the planet"? We could not if we tried. We are simply making it more difficult for us and other species to survive upon it. Take humankind from the equation and then nature rights self.
I noticed on the dust covers that reviewers had compared the writer to Stephen King and Thomas Harris. Just ignore that, I suspect that they were looking for a comparison that they could not find. Alex North Is not really comparable to either though he exhibits a little of both. Rather you should just view him as a "Chiller" writer.
Initially disappointed with the tale, slow to start, no big intro, first chapter or tagline, the author was snagging you politely (perhaps because he is English rather than American) and over a couple of chapters the writer has you connected with the tale.
I will not tell you of the story (a spoiler) as if you are a fan of crime fiction then this is well worth a read. Neither a classic nor genre busting this novel is well worth a read. I would recommend it.