- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
Airborn Paperback – 13 Jan 2005
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A terrific, rollicking adventure ... filled with irresistible optimism and zest (The Times)
A real rip-roarer. (The Sunday Times)
This is gripping stuff. (The Bookseller)
brilliantly done ... Airborn's contained world is totally absorbing, cleverly plotted, a terrific read. (The Irish Times)
a tightly plotted, fast-paced adventure with engaging and humorous characters (TES)
A successful 'boys' own' story which manages to avoid being a 'boys only' story. (The School Librarian)
Silverwing trilogy: 'cracking stories, brimming with adventure, redolent of great mythical sagas of the past, alive with invention, thoughtful - at times profound and probing - and never faltering when it comes to thrills and page-turning power.' (Carousel)
Oppel's achievement is to have created much more than an action adventure involving bats . . . He explores their collective dreams and aspirations, as well as their individual characters. Sunwing is a truly spell-binding sequel which combines breathtaking suspense with humorous character development. (Literary Review)
As in Brian Jacques's popular Redwall series, the intertwining storylines, evil villain and intense action will keep young readers enthralled, but Shade is a more complex character than most Redwallian heroes. Shade's dangerous adventures make a memorable impact. (The Horn Book magazine)
capable of enthralling both 9-11s, as well as an older audience. (Achuka website)
An exciting adventure story set in the air and on the high seas - complete with feisty hero and heroine, pirates, tropical islands, high-speed chases, narrow escapes and much more ...See all Product description
Customers also shopped for
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This feels like a middle grade, early YA adventure. With the airship and the alternate technology it is steampunk, but that aspect isn't heavily featured and the tech frames and informs the story but doesn't dominate it. In a similar vein, there's swashbuckling adventure that makes this a direct descendant of high seas pirate adventures, but again that's mostly for flavor and atmosphere.
Our two primary characters, mild and modest but daring and stalwart Matt, and sassy, spirited Kate, carry the burden of the story effortlessly. Matt is an engaging narrator. Kate is a worthy and equal companion in adventure. Neither is loaded with quirks and while they aren't developed deeply they are fleshed out as completely as necessary for this type of adventure.
This is a modest, well crafted, imaginative, good-hearted, good-humored adventure. It's crisp, clear, fast paced and briskly plotted. It doesn't always go for big effects, and its appeal to me was built up from a number of small observations, events, descriptions, bits of dialogue and characters. That's what made it seem especially appealing for newer and younger readers testing the water for this type of fiction. As such, it struck me as a fine and entertaining introduction to the genre.
Matt Cruse is on the crow's nest, as the "ship's eyes," when he catches a glimpse of a sinking airship. The dying balloonist dies shortly afterward -- but not before telling Matt about glorious winged creatures. Matt dismisses these as hallucinations -- but one year later, a routine cruise on the airship Aurora becomes something more when the dead man's granddaughter Kate arrives. Wealthy but treated like a nuisance, Kate is determined to find whatever her grandfather saw.
She shows Matt her grandfather's writings about these winged creatures, and Matt is slowly convinced that the old man wasn't just hallucinating. But their investigations are interrupted by a sudden pirate attack -- which leaves the Aurora sinking from a rip in its envelope. Soon the airship and her crew and passengers are stranded on a deserted island, which may hold the secret to Kate's winged beasts... but it also holds the pirates.
Oppel really hits his stride in this book, mixing science with science fiction and wrapping it in a fantasy tortilla. While his bat books were quite good, "Airborn" has the rare quality of slipping readers into his imagined universe. It's one of those stories that can be easily imagined as a reality, even if we do have planes and not airships. He even describes how creatures like the cloud cats could fly, were they real.
After the initial rescue, which gets readers hooked into the story, Oppel takes his time to unfold the plot, described in careful detail and with plenty of rich skyborne atmosphere. His setting seems to be, like Hayao Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky," a mix of old and new -- while it's full of airships and similar technology, the attitudes seem to be that of the Victorian or Edwardian era.
The pre-pirate plot is a bit slow, but very necessary -- Oppel introduces readers to the Aurora, her chummy crew, and the rich passengers they ferry over the ocean. It also gives Kate and Matt time to get to know each other -- for real, not merely "we're two teens in the same place, we're friends! And maybe more someday!"
Speaking of Matt and Kate, they are definitely good lead characters. Matt is "airborn," a kid born in an airship and now at home nowhere except in the sky, even though his father died there. Kate is a good counterpoint, since she is everything Matt is not -- wealthy, adventurous, and all too willing to let people know when she is frustrated. The supporting characters, from the prissy chaperone to the genial captain, are also well-drawn; the only exception is rich boy Bruce, who doesn't get much time.
Kenneth Oppel created a rich new fantasy world in "Airborn," and left plenty of sky left to explore in sequels. A bright, fast-moving steampunk/airpunk delight.
The story focuses around a trip from Lions Gate to Australia aboard the ship Aurora. Young Matt Cruse and Miss Kate de Vries meet on this journey. In this story we have pirate attacks, ship wreck, an uncharted island, undiscovered species and much, much more. With amazing characters and plot twists I could not put the book down. It is a great read and another awesome book by Mr. Oppel.