Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Thin Air

Thin Air

Author: Lynn Seresin
Pages: 437
Source: Review copy (thank you!)
Synopsis: Alice Ayre is no ordinary teenager. She took her first name from a statue in Central Park, pulled her last name out of the air (literally), and she’s actually almost a thousand years old. In fact, the only “ordinary” thing about Alice is that she’s in love. 

 Alice was a sylphid—a winged air spirit—when she spotted Daniel Field camping in the Adirondacks and lost her heart to the handsome NYU student. Intangible to the human senses, her only hope of winning his heart resides in becoming mortal, even though transmutation is forbidden by Paralda, ruler of the air. Risking punishment, however, seems a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. 

 Tracking down Daniel in New York City ends up being surprisingly easy. Getting noticed by him for all the right reasons is another story, especially when the human world keeps tossing challenges in Alice’s path. Just when she’s mastered zippers and buttons, she catches herself dropping a sugar packet into her coffee and mistaking a photo of John Lennon for one of Daniel’s relatives. 

 Her eccentricities raise the occasional eyebrow with Daniel and his friends, but her quirky charm, sweetness, and sincerity win out. Before long, she lands a job, begins a relationship with Daniel, and starts settling into her new life—until her past comes after her.

Buy Thin Air (Amazon)

Thin Air was a love story with action. a fantastic cast of characters, and a really interesting world. What would you give up for love? If you're Alice, you'd do quite a lot.

What's apparent early on while reading was the singular writing style. I don't usually talk about the writing as I'm no particular expert but there was so much distinctive voice here that made Thin Air feel different from other reads. I liked it and I thought it fit the novel well. It appeared elegant and whimsical, almost lyrical for me. If this book was a dance, it would definitely be contemporary/modern.

The world concept is intriguing. It's the kind of world you wouldn't mind knowing more about. Instead of regular fairies, there are elementals which are invisible spirits that are kind of in charge of nature (in a way). I enjoyed learning about elementals and their hierarchies. Salamanders in particular interest me, as do the specifics of how everything works.

I also really liked the variety of characters. The "gang" (Shane, Nicky, Wren, Daniel, Giovanni, and DANTE!!) were awesome. Guess who I liked reading the most about? The characters were unique in the way that they were very people like and not all the same. They each had problems and distinguishing characteristics and I would love more from them. I loved how Wren had feelings or how spontaneous and funny Dante was. Shane was so sweet in helping Alice and Giovanni was a character I wouldn't mind spending more time with. They were all decent, real people which was so refreshing.

Thin Air was very fairy tale-ish. By that I mean there were many times when I questioned how real the story could be. Sometimes situations seemed slightly too convenient. For example, when Alice was learning how to be human there were times when I thought she should have had more difficulty but that wasn't really needed for the story. This didn't take away from the story but it's something I noticed. I recommend just enjoying Thin Air and accepting what happens.

Now, on to the love part of the story. Something I know some people may not like is the insta-love. Thin Air has that, but at the time Alice is an air elemental so you know she acts differently. Maybe it's an elemental thing. Also, Thin Air is all about what happens because of that love so I think it can be justified. I was rooting for Daniel and Alice and I liked reading about them falling in love. Daniel's protectiveness was adorable. Daniel himself won me over early on. Pigs! :)

The plot was NOT what I was expecting at all. There were sweet scenes and scenes where my jaw dropped. The villain at the end fit and though I would have liked more development for them, I thought they were as good a villain as many. All throughout the book there was an urgent feel and I was constantly nervous for Alice. I'm certain she'll be fine though if she sticks to Daniel.

There was more dark material and mature subject matter in Thin Air than you'd expect. All the characters were in college and there were some disturbing scenes so I wouldn't recommend this to younger readers. I was actually so shocked at some of the events. Alice didn't have an easy time.

Overall, Thin Air is an original, fantastical tale of love with danger mixed in. There's a colorful cast of lovable characters and the book will leave you wanting more. You'll still be satisfied though- the book is long enough to give you that plus it ends without a real cliffhanger. There is mystery though! 4 stars,


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