The Thinnest Air (Minka Kent)

Book Review: The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent

This is an Amazon First Reads choice for June 2018. The original review can be found at https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2991V3FQL61V8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1503953408

The Thinnest Air (Minka Kent)

One thing that IS “in thin air” in this review is spoilers, so don’t worry about finding any here.

This book was pretty good. No Dark Knight (Or the book version of that, whatever that is) and it took a bit to get to the suspense, but at least it existed. Plus, the author tried to add at least SOMETHING in most of the early chapters to keep things interesting and so you’ll remember, “Oh yeah, this is suspense, and there’s a baddie, and I’m going to figure out what happened with THE INCIDENT.” And you probably will; just remember, the journey IS the destination. Especially on road trips.

When it comes to adult content, I’d say this is a PG-13. Do NOT judge it by the opening scene, because it opens up with a light sex scene that made it seem like it would be frequent, but even here it was offscreen, as were the other mentions, which were infrequent. Sort of like I-Robot, if that dated reference makes any sense anymore. There are a couple of F-tomic bombs, but considering THE INCIDENT and the situation they were dealing with, a lot of them seem justified, though I know there are readers out there that don’t want to be anywhere near that blast radius.

POV WARNING! While there isn’t much adult content, I can’t, in good conscience, continue this review without the following POV Warning: This is written in first person present tense and alternates between two characters. I still don’t care much for this style–especially with more than one protagonist getting the I’s–but sadly, it seems to be getting more popular and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Unfortunately. However, It only ever goes between the two main characters, and I think it switches every chapter. That makes it predictable, but for me that’s in a good way, and better than trying something experimental like switching to THE BIG BAD’S point of view and talking on eggshells not to give them away.

The first character, Meredith, is the younger of the two sisters and is your typical naive, pretty girl, but coming from an unusual background made her stand out a little bit. I definitely preferred her chapters over her sister’s, as she gave me reason to be empathetic, though she made plenty of stupid choices along the way. But hey, that’s life, and we all do dumb things from those old Geico commercials every now and then.

Greer, the older sister, took some getting used to. She reminded me of Marcy Long from Fallout 4, so yeah… Not the most likable of people. The author made sure to frequently show that she was intelligent, but that was counteracted by her doing some really stupid things. I’ve known people like her and they’ve always rubbed me more like a deep tissue massage than a relaxation massage, and her perspective irritated me at times but it seemed to get better as the story went on. At least the POV changes mean it doesn’t follow her the entire time, which made it so I could deal with her at the first until that “Acquired Taste” phenomenon kicked in.

As for the plot, there was nothing especially unusual or groundbreaking here, although I did like the way the timeline worked. Meredith’s story started a few years in the past and built up to the present, touching up on a few major events that happened over the years. Greer’s started at the present and went over each day after the incident, and eventually, Meredith’s overlapped so that you could find out what she was up to while Greer’s was still a few days in the future. If this sounds kind of confusing like the Flashpoint, it’s really not, but I don’t want to do the math.

…Fine. I’ll do the math. But NOT in Common Core. Say the present is Day 0. Greer starts at Day 0 and eventually moves to Day 1 and then Day 2 and so on. Meanwhile, Meredith starts at negative 3 years. Then she goes to negative 2 years and 11 months or something, and eventually gets to Day 0 when Greer is on a later day. So Meredith could be on Day 2 while Greer is on like Day 8, and you can see how THE INCIDENT plays out better this way.

Besides that, there wasn’t anything that really stood out as either especially bad or good. The story was well-told for the most part, and the reveal doesn’t completely come out of the secret sewage monster hole in left field. Instead, it’s something you can figure out if you’re paying attention without missing that single clue about the off-color red of a woman’s shoes in Chapter 2 or whatever nonsense a lot of modern-day authors like to try these days to make themselves look clever and trick you.

Overall, I’d say this is an entertaining book, and for me, it was a quick read. Still, if you’re looking for something safe yet enjoyable, I don’t think you’ll go wrong by choosing this one.

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