Friday, January 13, 2012

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Here is another steam punk that are all the rage right now. At first I thought it was a Leviathan wanna be, but then I realized it was actually published before Westerfeld's series. Anyway, this one was loads of fun. Matt, is a young cabin boy on a lighter-than-air ship in an alternate early 1900's. His ship, the Aurora, is a luxury passenger liner and one of his passengers is a wealthy girl, Kate, in search of a mysterious flying mammal her grandfather claimed to see right before his death. A series of thrilling events, including attacks by a pirate and bad weather, brings them to be shipwrecked on an island where the creature lives. Matt is torn between his duty to the ship and his interest in the fiery girl as they search for evidence of the strange creature. This is a Sci Fi action/adventure and Oppel does a good job with the pacing. Each chapter has something interesting, and the energy never does flag. Kate and Matt are fully developed characters, and their relationship to one another is interesting, but the other characters are mostly amusing caricatures. Still, the descriptions of the airship are fun and detailed. There are all kinds of fun nautical terms, and the description of the creature is creative as well. There were a few physics gaffs in the book. One was particularly bad, and made me groan out loud. I think they should require all editors to take at least one basic physics class before they are hired so they can catch those kind of errors. Still this was a fun book and will interested both boys and girls who like fantasy/sci fi. It was in the YA section of our library, but there was nothing in it that wouldn't work for 5-6th graders. (355 p)

1 comment:

  1. After I posted this I realized why this book might have been put in the YA section instead of Juvenile Fiction. The final sequence where they are fighting the pirates is pretty bloody. Just FYI.