Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel

36959786Lynn: Kenneth Oppel does many things well in his writing but he especially knows how to create nail-biting cling-to-your-seat action scenes. Starclimber (Harper/EOS, 2000) does that right from the first page when pilot-in-training Matt Cruse discovers a ticking time bomb on board his ship. The first two books in this series, Airborn and Skybreaker introduced Matt Cruse and Kate De Vries and their steampunk world of hydrium airships, high altitude creatures and Victorian mores. Now Matt is almost finished with his training as a pilot when he is asked to try out for the crew of a highly secret mission. Can you say elevator to space? The non-stop action and suspense sweep away any quibbles with the science as Matt deals with saboteurs, catastrophic mechanical failures, mysterious denizens of space and Kate’s engagement to another man. Oppel gives us great characters too, multi-faceted and engaging. This is terrific stuff, a sure winner with boys that will win girls over to the genre as well. For an added delight check out the amazing steampunk website for the series.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

3 Comments on "Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel"

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  1. clare.hitchens@gmail.com' Clare says:

    Oh, that’s a great cover. Very different from the Canadian one. http://www.airborn.ca/skylifepage06.html

  2. Thanks Clare! The Canadian cover has a real Robert Heinlein look to it and probably reflects the book more accurately. I like it but I like the US cover better too.–Lynn

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