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Airman

Average Rating 4.5
( 140 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Yearning to Read Review

Eoin Colfer is the renowned author of several novels for young readers, including the Artemis Fowl series. While I've never read any of his other books, his newest novel, Airman, stood out to me when I walked passed it in Barnes and Noble three months ago. The cover, wi...
Eoin Colfer is the renowned author of several novels for young readers, including the Artemis Fowl series. While I've never read any of his other books, his newest novel, Airman, stood out to me when I walked passed it in Barnes and Noble three months ago. The cover, with its daring, winged man, caught my eye. Just reading the back was fascinating, and I was convinced I would read it soon.

I requested Airman at the library and started it the day it came in. Within a few pages, I was hooked. This is one of those stories that is crafted either horribly or excellently - and from the beginning I was convinced it was the latter. It starts with the beginning of Conor Broekhart's life - his amazing birth in a hot-air balloon. From then on, he is respected and beloved by all around him. He lives a perfect life on Great Saltee, one of the two Saltee islands just off the southeastern coast of Ireland. After saving the life of the Saltee Island's princess and the throne's only heir, he is given professional training. His mentor is Frenchman Victor Vigny, a master of the physical arts, such as karate, as well as swordplay. Victor is also very learned in aeronautics. He and Conor both wish more than anything to build a machine that would allow man to fly.

However, they are never given the chance to live out this dream. Through a sudden turn of events, Conor's world, as well as that of his family's and the royal family's, is thrown into mayhem, danger, and bitter loss. Through the story, Colfer weaves an amazing change in Conor as his life changes. We see him grow from baby to man, all in 400 pages.

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be emotional. In the best of all ways. I felt a number of emotions: anger, frustration, love, heartache, and amazement. I was inspired by Conor's story. I loved (and hated) the characters. I wanted to fly.

This is a very culturized book. While none of the events in the book ever happened, and King Nicholas Trudeau of the Saltee Islands never actually lived, it feels so real that I completely believed in everything Colfer wrote about. However, after doing research, I discovered that Great Saltee and Little Saltee were privately owned by man named Michael Neale. After his death his son, Prince Michael Neale the Second took his place.

Colfer's writing stood out to me as well. His sentences were well-formed and his word choices were beautiful. I look forward to reading more of Colfer's work, and to continue to be inspired by his fascinating writing and characters.

posted by yearningtoread on April 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

An okay read

I feel like this story had way more potential than it actually achieved. For the most part, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely lacking. Especially in the writing. Colfer really likes to tell the emotions and backstory immediately after meeting a character, and he sh...
I feel like this story had way more potential than it actually achieved. For the most part, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely lacking. Especially in the writing. Colfer really likes to tell the emotions and backstory immediately after meeting a character, and he shoves characterization down the readers' throats instead of letting them experience the changes and the characters themselves. When a character hesitated, he would explain the hesitation by plunging into backstory and then justifying the character's decision and it all really isn't needed. Also, adverbs littered the pages and became very distracting.

But the STORY was very nice, even though character relationships were rushed and motives were muddy and just told to the readers. It's an okay read overall, if cumbersome.

posted by PlumPudding on December 19, 2011

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    Conor Broekhart has grown up as the best friend of the princess

    Conor Broekhart has grown up as the best friend of the princess of the Saltee kingdom (an imaginary kingdom off of Ireland). But when he discovers a conspiracy to kill the king, the real traitor captures him and sends him to a prison camp to mine diamonds in obscurity. Conor must use his genius for flight to escape the prison and rescue the princess. Conor is much like a 19th century steampunk Artemis Fowl. Colfer delivers his usual book - fun, delightful, and humorous. Definitely a treat for fans of non-dystopia non-paranormal-romance YA. (YAY! for something different!) I'd say this book is appropriate for 5th - 8th graders. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Nice book

    I really liked this book. The late middle is a bit slow but if you get past that you will be rewarded. :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    Like this book light read and im 9 :3

    Hi nice book luv colfer

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    pretty good book

    In the begining it was a little boring but near the middle it got good and in the last hundred pages it was great

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A fun and exciting read

    There are parts from time to time that are a little slow, unnecessary or poorly timed descriptions of the landscape and setting throughout the novel, but all in all it was a fantastic read. There are elements of what seem to be realistic danger, and Conor, even though the hero, definitely seems as though he may not make it out of many of the scrapes he gets himself into, including all of the flying inventions he creates. The ending is almost a little too happy/sappy, but it's ultimately what one is hoping for deep down inside, so that the hero can win and everyone lives happily ever after. Some of the elements that make the story original are Colfer's recreation of the history of the Saltees, how they were populated, and what makes them wealthy. In reality, the Saltee Islands do exist, and are owned by a family, but no one really lives there, and there are no diamond mines. There is, however, a wonderful culture of birds and seals that live throughout the islands. Also, the integration of the realistic struggle for power and Conor's desire to escape are accompanied well with the fantasy/science fiction aspects that revolve Conor's dreams of flight, and his capabilities as a scientific genius to make them possible. Not only does he create a personal flying machine that can take him back and forth from the islands, but he creates the first plane with angled propellers as well. -Lindsey Miller, lindseyslibrary

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    Posted January 19, 2010

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