- Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 59848th edition (May 24, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060531827
- ISBN-13: 978-0060531829
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 219 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Airborn Mass Market Paperback – May 24, 2005
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About the Author
Kenneth Oppel is the author of Skybreaker and Airborn (winner of the Governor General’s Award), as well as the Silverwing Saga (Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing), which has sold over one million copies worldwide and has won numerous prizes, including the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, as well as many children’s choice awards across the country. His other titles include Peg and the Whale, Dead Water Zone and The Live-Forever Machine. Voted children’s author of the year by Canadian booksellers in 2006, he lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. Visit his website at www.kennethoppel.com.
Top customer reviews
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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.
First, the story itself is entertaining and creative. It isn't at all formulaic. It has a good balance between fantasy and reality. The era is nearly the same as the early 20th century, but there are enough subtle twists to make the reader suspend disbelief and accept the possibility of existence of strange creatures and undiscovered islands. For instance, the gas used to make the airships ligher than air is called "hydrium". The metal of the airship is "alumiron". There are continents named "Europa" and "North Americus". It's just delightful how Oppel's world in Airborn is almost, but not quite, the same as ours.
Second, this is a really, really well written book. The writing technique is great. The mood is consistent and the vocabulary is just right for young adults. We're told the story from Matt's perspective, and to me his character, that of the female protagonist Kate, as well as the other main characters, are all well developed with just the right amount of introspection. The descriptions of action are great. The pace is even, and kept my attention enough that I finished the book in a couple of days. I've read a lot of young adult fiction, and I really think that Oppel is the best writer for young adults that I've read.
Third, the book is perfect for general audiences. It shows that you don't need to have a lot of profanity, violence and sex to sell books and interest readers. My son is a pretty typical teen who likes Eminem, Robin Thicke, South Park, Family Guy, etc. But he also loved this book. As a parent, it was great to see my son enjoy a book with a hero who has a sense of duty, works hard and loves his family. There's no profanity and not much violence (and no graphic violence). There's certainly romance, but nothing risqué. One last thing- although the story 's central character is a boy, Matt, I would recommend this book for both boys and girls. Kate is every bit as interesting and well-developed a character as Matt.
The book Airborn is a very good book about how a boy works very hard on an airship to support his family who are in a lot of crises, due to the fact that the father had died on the same airship. I like how the book shows that how the boy does not lose hope and feels all is lost when he does not get the promotion which he had worked on for so long and that would help his family. I also like how a teenage boy stands up to some of the strongest, scariest and most dangerous pirates in the book and does not back away. And when the pirates board the airship a second time he shows great skill, knowledge and interest as he plays the role of many people aboard to do their job.The book has many descriptions on how life was being a steward on an airship and other jobs aboard. In the beginning the boy does some breathtaking, heroic stunts to rescue an old man who later on happens to cause many problems for him, the crew aboard and the passengers. The book is connected to many different parts of the story that link together, and you have to have to remember other previous events for somethings to make sense. If you leave this book for a period of time things might become hard to understand for you may have forgotten about what had happened. You cannot just reread some pages back to get some of the events. The book will be more enjoyable to people who like action, adventure and can stand little violence. All in all I think that Airborn by Kenneth Oppel is a great book.