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Airborn Hardcover – 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2004
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Dresden, Tennessee, U.S.A.: Eos; 1st Edition edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060531800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060531805
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,306,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The audiobook of Airborn is done using a full cast with ambiance sounds. What a joy to listen to.

I like listening to audiobooks in general but the difference between single reader and full cast is
like the difference between black and white tv and color.

Kenneth Oppel's stories are always very entertaining for the young and old.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 24 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kenneth Oppel, best known for writing about bats, seems to be channelling the spirit of Jules Verne in "Airborn," a steampunk/airpunk novel that spends all its time aloft. Between mysterious flying beasts and pirate attacks, Oppel gives readers a glimpse of life aboard an airship... if airships, not planes, were the major way to travel.

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.
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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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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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