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Month in review

Reviews
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Babymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Exploding the Phone by Philip Lapsley
Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Rios
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford
Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson
Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond
The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
My Friend Is Sad by Mo Willems
People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
The Perils of Peppermints by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels
Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder
Vacationers From Outer Space by Edward Valfre

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Airborn: 05/03/13

cover art

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel is the first of the Matt Cruse series. Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the luxury airship Aurora. He was born on an airship (a rare occurance) and his father died working on the Aurora. Matt, now, desperately wants to have the career taken from his father but a newly appointed Academy graduate has taken the job of assistant sail maker.

Now into the mix of this coming of age story of a cabin boy learning a hard lesson, add a heaping scoop of Robert Louis Stevenson pirates with a heathy dollop of the lost world exploration of a Jules Verne story. To top it off, frost it with a plucky young woman with a thirst for adventure.

All of this adventure is set in an alternate world. Oppel does a wonderful job of fleshing out this world, starting with the recognizable (the destination — Australia). Then he adds in the details, new names for oceans, a mango scented element needed for lighter than air travel. And finally he tosses in the unexplored — creatures even the people of the Pacificus don't know about.

As it happens, I listened to the audio — twice. It was produced by Fullcast Audio. While I appreciate their desire to turn a ripping yarn into a theatric production, I think they often go too far. Matt Cruse who serves both as narrator and protagonist, suffers from the usual problem of these Fullcast Audio performances: too much earnestness.

The written word has moments of rest, of the quietly mundane — passages that should be read quietly, and perhaps with some flatness of voice. NEVER can one of these performers do that. I suspect they are directed to act each and every word with complete heart and soul. It comes off as insincere, melodramatic and sometimes slap worthy.

Four stars

Comments (2)



Comment #1: Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 20:56:12

JOHNNY RAY

First time to your blog, but it will not be the last. I just added you to my list of blogs to visit regularly. Creating an alternate world takes a lot of thought and planning. Sometimes it takes several novels to well define it.



Comment #2: Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 19:05:05

Pussreboots

Welcome to my blog. Thank you for the king remarks. I hope you continue to find it useful.

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