Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
4 of 5 stars
Matt Cruse’s normal life as cabin boy of the airship Aurora is changed forever on one extraordinary voyage, filled with pirates, a mysterious island, and a beautiful, dangerous, and previously undiscovered creature.
“This is my home,” I told him dully. And I’d never felt it more than now. I’d bundled everything into this ship, all the good feeling I had; all my sense of belonging was beneath my feet, every hope of happiness. And I thought that at least I would die here at home.
Reminiscent of Treasure Island, this book is full of adventure and daring. The author pulls the reader into his imagined world of giant airships in a way that even land-lovers like myself will find entrancing. Matt makes an incredibly likable protagonist, and the other main character, Kate, is full of spunk and fire.
Though this book is considered a YA novel, some YA readers may find the plot a bit predictable and the characters a bit two-dimensional. (For instance, Matt is loyal; Kate is strong-willed; Bruce is gentlemanly; the captain is professional; the cook is obsessed with cooking; the pirates are ruthless, etc) Despite having some violence and some navigational and airship-related jargon, it seems better suited for a somewhat younger readership than the the typical YA novels.
Overall: A swashbuckling tale of airborne adventure, perfect for young fans of Robert Louis Stevenson.