Friday, May 8, 2009

Review: Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel

Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0060850579
Price: $17.99; HC

This book is the third in a series (Airborn and Skybreaker are the first
two) that started out great and just keeps getting better! Starclimber is
set in a world very similiar to ours, with one notable difference that
affects everything- lighter than air travel (as opposed to our
heavier-than-air) is the norm. Many of Matt and Kate's (our main
characters) adventures until now have taken place on the huge floating
ships- but this time they're hoping to head to space in a ship that looks
rather like an elavator- it travels on a cable to reach space. Those who've
read the series till here will enjoy this book immensely- Kate is
*engaged*? *Not* to Matt? Those familiar with the series and Matt and
Kate's romance will feel betrayed and anxious right there...and the book's
pace doesn't slow. Those new to the series will enjoy this book too; prior
knowledge of the series is not needed to understand or enjoy this book,
though it does make it clearer and more fun. The other tensions at play in
the book include fear of the bomb-wielding Babelites (an anti space travel
group, Matt's resentment that although Kate is invited on the journey he
has to compete for a spot- in a group he feels is far superior to him,
problems on the astral-cable that holds the ship, Kate's burning anger at
the scientists that dismiss her as a fraud and female and a ship's mate who
wants to be Captain. A dour Russian scientist, pompous zoologist, our
beloved Captain Walken, a passionate and bad-tempered cook, eccentric
photographer, sabotage-ready "Babelites" and arrogant space-contenders make
this book a pleasure to read, too. These are not stock or boring
characters! They are exciting and well-developed in a world that is strange
and similiar at the same time.
This book is wonderful! Read and enjoy.

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