Airman by Eoin Colfer

12 and up

I picked this book up solely on the basis of who the author is. As an Artemis Fowl fan, my only thought was “He’s got another book? Awesome!” And thankfully, Colfer did not disappoint.

Airman is a Victorian era scientific fantasy. A far cry from the fairy-ridden world of AF, but just as intriguing and well-built. All of Colfer’s considerable skill goes into a twisting plot that upholds the writer’s maxim to put the character through everything that can go wrong–and then some (got that little tidbit from Orson Scott Card).

Connor has a rather good life at the beginning. Loving parents who are close friends with the king of the Saltee Islands (real place, made -up government/population), his own rather promising friendship with the king’s daughter and a teacher who has him well on the way to flying the first aeroplane. Then he ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and lands himself in prison at the age of fourteen–wrongfully accused naturally. Most of the book focuses on his plans to escape and his struggle as he tries to choose between old life and new.

Following Connor’s journey was thoroughly enjoyable. Colfer’s word play and fresh take on the Scifi genre had me wishing that the narrator would read faster (and I’m sure that the other drivers around me were nonplussed as I reacted to the book with my usual enthusiasm). With every book Colfer continually improves (in my opinion).

I would caution the parents of younger children. As with AF, the infrequent appearance of the word d*mn would fit this in at least the early teen years. That said, it is a wonderful book and if you’ve enjoyed Colfer’s previous work this book should end up on your reading list.

This is a good example of:

  • Historical fiction/Science fiction genres
  • Plot Twists
  • Well-developed villians and minor characters

This is one my recommended reading list.