Skybreaker (Airborn)

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9780002006996: Skybreaker (Airborn)

The control car of the giant airship is almost entirely encasedin ice, the ship’s name barely visible on her tattered skin: Hyperion.Matt Cruse can’t believe his eyes. Can this really be the legendary lostcraft, now a frozen coffin to a ghostly crew and a vast treasure? At 20,000feet, aboard a decrepit training ship, Matt is almost unconscious from the highaltitude, but of all the oxygen-starved crew, he alone remembers the Hyperion’scoordinates. Suddenly it seems that everyone is after those coordinates. Kate deVries, Matt’s rich, young lady friend, has her reasons. But what about thestrange gypsy girl and the handsome captain who’s going to pilot them back tothe Hyperion? In an adventure that will test his courage, his skill andhis heart, Matt is about to take off on the ride of his life.

Dazzling in every way, Skybreaker is as wonderful asequel to Airborn as Sunwing and Firewing were to Silverwing.From the very first page, readers are propelled back into the Edwardian fantasyworld of hydrium-powered airships and wondrous personal flying machines. Thereare air pirates and aerozoans—deadly jellyfish-like creatures—not to mentiondaring rooftop chases and awe-inspiring feats of flight. Buoyed by Kenneth Oppel’sstunning imagination and a high-powered marketing campaign, Skybreaker isa surefire blockbuster.

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Review:

In this breathtaking sequel to the Governor General's Award-winning fantasy novel Airborn, 16-year-old Matt Cruse flies higher than he ever dreamed. The former Aurora cabin boy, now a student at the prestigious Paris Airship Academy, is on a two-week training tour with a run-down cargo airship when his captain sights a legendary ghost ship. Matt recklessly heads skyward in pursuit--only to risk sacrificing his entire crew to altitude sickness. The Hyperion, lost in a storm in the dawn of the aviation age and buoyed high above the clouds for 40 years, is rumoured to hold great wealth, and Matt is suddenly the only person on earth who knows her coordinates.

Soon, he and his upper-class sweetheart, Kate de Vries, are embarked on a dangerous aerial treasure hunt, along with Hal, the conceited pilot of a sleek, new altitude-friendly airship, and a mysterious gypsy girl named Nadira, who claims to have the key to the Hyperion's booby-trapped treasure troves. Drawing on the myths of Icarus and Prometheus, as well as classic sea adventures like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Poseidon Adventure, Skybreaker combines an action-packed thriller with a sensitive exploration of the limits of human ambition. Matt's jealousy of the self-made Hal (who he suspects has designs on Kate) and his own furtive attraction to Nadira heighten the emotional tension and raw suspense of the visceral scenes aboard the Hyperion, an ice-entombed version of the Titanic. With pirates, sky monsters, and disturbed spirits, not to mention enough bizarre flying machines to fill an aviation museum (even a bat-copter for Silverwing fans), Skybreaker confirms Kenneth Oppel's reputation as Canada's leading fantasy author for children and young adults. --Lisa Alward

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.

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