Title: Thin Air
Author: Storm Constantine
As with all Storm Constantine’s tales, the book you start reading is not quite the one that finishes. If you expect Thin Air to remain a mystery rooted in the material world, then you’re going to have your hopes dashed. Myth, magic and other realms are never far away in Constantine’s writing.
Jay is a somewhat jaded music journalist who finds love in the most unlikeliest places – with her famous rockstar partner, Dex. And for many years she thinks she has the perfect life – him with his touring and recording of successful albums, and she with her career writing editorial for magazines.
As it turns out, this is all a sham. Dex has secrets, and when he vanishes one day without a trace, she begins to realise that he’s been holding out on her all these years. You can only imagine the sense of betrayal that must be. Yet though she is damaged, Jay is resilient, and she picks herself up, dusts herself off and moves on.
But as it turns out, there are powerful people who believe that Jay is still in contact with Dex, who has run out supposedly with his last recordings that his fabulously powerful and wealthy masters want. There is more to Dex and his music that meet the eye, and Jay finds herself inexorably drawn into a world where reality is a pliant, somewhat fickle thing.
In a way Thin Air is a fairy tale, but mostly it’s a kind of urban myth that gradually unfolds and envelops readers in otherness. Jay and Dex are but two players who, though not wholly in control of their destinies, are still important lynchpins in a power struggle between opposing forces. It’s difficult for me to find fault with Constantine’s writing, but if anything, I did feel as if Jay and Dex were almost too passive in how they attained their goals. But that really didn’t bother me because, hell, Constantine is a magician.
Her writing is dreamy and fluid, and she masterfully weaves her artistry to create a milieu laced with archetypes that is tangible – that one could easily imagine exists on the other side of a hedgerow or just beyond a copse of poplars.