“Airborn” By Kenneth Oppel

By Kenneth Oppel
Narrated by: David Kelly with a full cast
Series: Matt Cruse, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
Release date: 08-09-07
Publisher: Full Cast Audio

Kenneth Oppel has created an alternative to the Steam Punk genre, for now, I’m gonna call it Air Punk.  This book launches the reader/listener into an alternate universe where Airships (Zeppelins) rule the skies.

In this story we meet Matt Cruse, a cabin boy on the airship “Aurora.”  Matt serves on the same ship as his father and was actually born on an airship.  The skies are his life.  The story opens with the Aurora, a passenger cruise ship, going off heading to answer a distress call. What they find is a hot air balloon losing altitude and in it a dying man who asks his rescuer, Matt Cruse, if he saw the beautiful creatures.  The man dies leaving these creatures a mystery.

On the next journey of the Aurora, one of the passengers is Kate DeVries who we soon find out is the granddaughter of the man Matt attempted to rescue.  Kate is determined to find the strange and wondrous discoveries that have been scoffed at by the Academia Elite.

Meanwhile Matt is up for a promotion to Sailmaker, but the owner of the company places his son in what would have been Matt’s earned position.  While still carrying out his duties as cabin boy with the same fervor, Matt still has some ill feelings toward the rich kid.

The Aurora is soon boarded by pirates who steal all things of value from the rich passengers and kill one of the crew members.  Once the pirates disembark they damage the Aurora causing it to make an emergency landing on a deserted Island.  Matt and Kate soon discover that the island is the same island her grandfather discovered the strange animals later dubbed as “cloud cats.”  The island not only has plenty of food to keep the passengers and crew fed, but also has a great source of Hydrium, the gas needed to put the Aurora back in the air.

Matt and Kate explore the island further only to discover that it is the haven for the pirates who attacked.  They get captured and the adventure really gets rolling as they fight off pirates and attempt to rescue all those aboard the Aurora.

This young adult novel is full of adventure and is written from the point of view of Matt Cruse.  Each chapter ends with the reader/listener not able to stop but only to keep reading/listening.

Being a full cast production the audiobook becomes an audio adventure that keeps the excitement rolling.


Publisher’s Summary
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

Listen to the next book: Skybreaker.
©2003 Kenneth Oppelale (P)2007 Full Cast Audio