Thursday, May 24, 2007

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruse, now a part of the Airship Academy, is sent on a week-long voyage with the Flotsam, a dirty ship with a sullen crew and a mentally-unstable captain. The captain orders the ship into a raging storm, and as they plow through, they get a glimpse of the famous Hyperion, a ship known to have untold wealth aboard. Matt plots the coordinates and when he returns home, he sets off with Kate de Vries and a mysterious gypsy girl to recover the ship. In the air they meet deadly pirates searching for the Hyperion as well, and dangerous air beasts. With only his friends and his wits to help him, Matt must beat the pirates, survive the beasts of the sky, and sort out his confused feelings for the girls.

This story handles characters very well. Each of the characters seem real and relatable, even if the particular character was a villain. The conflicts they encounter are plausible, even though the setting itself is not real, and the descriptions are well-crafted. The story moves along at a fast pace, keeping your eyes glued to the pages long after midnight. If you read Airborn, this story enriches the characters and completes the previous tale, but Skybreaker stands well alone, each reference to Airborn sufficiently explained. The romance is not overly dramatic or cliche, and Oppel keeps the reader aware that Matt is just a boy; he has no superpowers and the things he does are plausible because of it. Matt is a character that everyone admires, because he struggles with life but never backs down. This story is a great read, and something everyone should have on their shelves.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

Reviewer Age: 16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Overland Park, Kansas United States

No comments: