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Airborn [Hardcover]

Kenneth Oppel
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Treasure Island May 18 2004
By Z Wetz
Format:Hardcover
"Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow's nest, being the ship's eyes." This is a normal occurrence for Matt Cruse, cabin boy aboard the Aurora, a luxury class passenger and cargo ship, and a fitting beginning to this book. What should be a normal voyage becomes an exciting adventure as the Aurora is boarded by pirates, caught in a typhoon, and shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island where Matt and his friends make an amazing discovery.
This book isn't your typical Treasure Island, however. The Aurora is an airship (think the Good Year Blimp with a full crew and rich passengers) that sails the skies 800 feet above the ocean surface. The airplane has never been invented, and the airships are powered by a light-weight gas called hydrium (a mango-scented gas than all other molecules and pushes any other air out of the space it is in) and propellers to guide the ships through the air.
In this tale, the Aurora, and more specifically Matt Cruse, rescues a stranded balloonist over the Pacificus. One year later, the balloonist's granddaughter, Kate, appears as a passenger on the ship, intent on finding a mysterious creature her grandfather saw on his final voyage. Kate shares her grandfather's story with Matt, who aids her in her quest. Together they face many dangers, including the wrath of Kate's overbearing chaperone, Miss Simpkins, who does not feel that proper ladies should associate with the crew of an airship.
This book is very well written. Kenneth Oppel describes the events, people and places fully, without letting potentially gruesome incidents get to graphic. All of the plot lines intertwine gracefully throughout the narrative until they connect in the book's climax. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Airborn Aug. 21 2007
Format:Paperback
I got this book from the library after accidentally reading Skybreaker first. Unfortunately, because I had read that first I new the basic details of the ending, but it was still an exciting ride, with pirates (yay! one of my favorite book subjects), airships (v. cool), and the mysteriously, ferociously beautiful cloud cats. The romance between Matt and Kate is well balanced and satisfying to girls without taking over the story and scaring guys away. It appears to happen in an alternate version of approximately 1915 or 1920, somewhere around there. It's an alternate time because they have things like electric "torches", movies (presumably silent), and iceboxes, but they have not invented airplanes, or many cars, judging by the sequel. Don't be put off by the beginning, which is almost confusing, poetic, and kind of boring...once they get on the hot air balloon, the excitement picks right up and then from there on it's a breathless, non-stop (I was up till 1 a.m. finishing it) ride to the last page, that will leave you hungering to find out about the characters' future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Addition to the Teen Fiction Genre May 15 2004
Format:Hardcover
Matt Cruise is a cabin boy on a tremendous airship that sails hundreds of thousands of feet above the ocean, ferrying enormously wealthy passengers from city to city. The airship is known as the Aurora, and Matt is ecstatic to have the chance to fly upon this ship day in and day out. It's what he's always dreamed of, as he often images himself as the gas that powers the ship. One night while aboard the Aurora, Matt meets a dying balloonist, who tells Matt about all kinds of beautiful creatures that drift through the skies. Matt, knowing that this sounds crazy, ignores what the man says. But later, when he meets the man's granddaughter, Matt realizes that the man's ravings could very well have been true. And that the creatures in which he spoke about, are completely true.
As a fan of Kenneth Oppel's SILVERWING trilogy, I was ecstatic to hear about his newest addition to the literary world, AIRBORN. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed in even the slightest way. AIRBORN is an exciting thrill-ride of an adventure, that takes the reader through space, and clouds, where we get to meet up with pirates, voyagers, and all types of other humans and creatures who tour the sky day and night. Matt was an exciting character, who will be loved by readers, as he is very optimistic, and intelligent, and his imagination is much like a childs, what with his constant fantasies about sailing through the sky, and being the gas that powers the airship. Fans of Oppel's SILVERWING trilogy will find it hard to put down AIRBORN.
Erika Sorocco
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Adventure!! May 31 2004
By Brandie
Format:Hardcover
Wow, what a fantastic adventure. I was a little skeptical to read it as the cover didn't seem very interesting, but after I started reading Airborn, I was enthusiatically entralled. Airborn brings together the ideas of Treasure Island and Treasure Planet for a gripping adventure. The descriptive, vivid writing of Kenneth Oppel makes the reader feel they are there expereincing all the ups and downs of the characters. I enjoyed accompanying Matt and Kate aboard the airship, Aurora, as they search for an uncharted species that Kate's grandfather had briefly documented before he died aboard a hotair balloon. Pirates, a shipwreck, a typhoon, jumping snakes, and a beautiful yet deadly uncharted species makes the book hard to put down. Bravo Mr. Oppel! Well done!
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