fic: airborn

“I wanted to kiss her some more. I don’t know why, for there could be no less suitable time. Maybe it was pure relief that we were alive and away from the pirates. Maybe it was jealousy, because she and Bruce had seemed to get along so well. Mostly it was just because I wanted to, had wanted to for days." 

matt cruse, airborn. 

why Kate de Vries is a great character

• “We have no way of knowing whether it’s a he or a she. But of course we just call it ‘him.’ Just another big important male of the species.”

• “Men always think they’re more deserving than women.”

• “When a man’s determined it’s wonderful, but if it’s a woman it’s horrid and unattractive.”

• “All we want is the right to vote, Matt, same as men. But they won’t listen to us, so we have to make ourselves heard.”

• “I’m a girl, and girls don’t get choices. No one’s going to give me a chance unless I force them to.”

   “Now,” I said, “there’s something else I want to show you. Just off the dragon’s tail, on the lower right, there’s one star that has a blue twinkle to it.”
   “I see it! Which star is that?”
   “That,” I said, “is Kate de Vries.”
   She looked over, confused. “What do you mean?”
   I pulled the piece of paper from my pocket and showed her. “This is a document from the International Astronomical Union, verifying that this star will hereafter bear the name Kate de Vries.”
   “You did this for me?” she said in astonishment.
   “Happy birthday,” I said.
   Her few seconds of delighted silence were wonderful, I must admit. Then her arms were around me in a tight hug.
   “This is the best birthday present I’ve ever had,” she said decisively. “How did you know? How did you know I’d like this better than a visit to the opera, or a silly bit of jewelry?”
   “I know you pretty well.”
   “Better than anyone, I think.”
   I smiled. Her compliment was like a gift in itself, only more precious than anything that could be bought.
   She gazed in satisfaction at her star. “Mine’s the twinkliest.”
   “Well, I spared no expense.”
   She looked at me, concerned. “Was it awfully expensive?”
   “Surprisingly affordable. Apparently there’re billions of them.”

Just finished this book. I think it would have made a fantastic Miyazaki movie. There was a part where he was describing the female character when she got angry, and she raised her chin and turned her nostrils into slits. The steampunk-ish aspect was phenomenal, and there were pirates and wild, never before seen creatures.


Airborn
 by Kenneth Oppel

Date Finished: Nov. 10, 2012

How it fared: Excellent; I need to buy it

Summary: Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface.

Review: I first picked up this book a few months ago, but never got around to finishing it before it was due back at the library. Needless to say, it was well worth going back for!

I am a huge fan of steampunk and, in particular, the Leviathan novels by Scott Westerfeld, so I expected to enjoy this book just as much. I was not disappointed; I even found a lot of similarities between the two books – but I will not list them now. 

One of the things I loved about this book was that there were unfamiliar words in the text, but their use did not hinder my reading of the book. In fact, once I really got in to reading it, it was smooth and quick reading; which can be quite difficult for me sometimes.

But more importantly, there was a great balance of everything I enjoy in a book. There was action, plenty of it, but not just a ton of pointless fight scenes. There was, of course, the romantic element, but it was not overpowering to the story and miraculously there was no love triangle. (Well, any real chance of one was squashed fairly quickly.) And the characters were lovable, humorous when appropriate, and they underwent good development. Though I don’t want to spoil anything, I also have to appreciate the death in the book, because to me it is one of the elements of a book that makes it feel honest.

All and all, it was a book I enjoyed fully and I cannot wait until I get the chance to read the rest of the series and hopefully even own them at some point.

Favorite Quotes: 

“Why do you need to fly so much?” she asked.
“If I don’t, it’ll catch up with me.” The words just came out.
“What will?”
I took my hands from my face, panting. I stared out at the storm.
“Unhappiness.”
"You two were in a cave together?" said Miss Simpkins in horror.
"Yes," said Kate, "and it was very, very dark."

Reminiscent Music: The Airship album by Port Blue (the album was inspired by this book)
“If My Heart Was A House” by Owl City (lyrics based off of a line in a later book in the series)