Saturday, April 5, 2014

Airman by Eoin Colfer

Dude, who discounts Eoin Colfer books?! Seriously, getting this for a couple of bucks was a steal. As long as your expectations are in the right place (usually a juvenile lit place), Colfer never disappoints. And with Aiman, I was actually pleasantly surprised. I did not expect some of the mature dialogue and semi-graphic violence that involved our hero, Conor.

The thing you have to know about Conor is he was born in a capsizing hot air balloon. (Oh, yeah, by the way, most of what happens in this book is pure fantasy/ridiculousness.) So he was pretty much destined from the get-go to be an odd duck. And in fact, he finds himself with an affinity for mechanics and heights…Flight!

After playing with his best friend, Princess Isabella, one day he comes across a conspiracy. Okay, not just a conspiracy…A murder. He watches one of the most evil, powerful men in the land murder his king and his mentor. Before his mentor expires, he whispers to Conor that he must go find a tower and destroy all that is inside so that their inventions won't be used for evil.

But poor Conor is arrested, renamed, stripped of the love of his family and friends, and dropped off on Little Saltee, an island with two main purposes--imprisonment and mining. There he meets some seriously interesting (far-fetched) characters and he hatches a plan to not only escape, but save the country from the man who murdered the king. Predictable, but there you have it.

As with the Artemis Fowl books, the true gems in this novel were the characters. The plot was pretty run-of-the-mill, but the characters are each so different. You've got different people who are serious, loopy,  zany, wise, cantankerous, eager, rough, loving, etc. And the dialogue is the best. Do people really talk like that in real life? No, it's more like when you're watching Gilmore Girls and you're in awe of how cool they are because they can banter like nobody else. That's what Eoin Colfer is good at producing, and that's what you get from Airman.


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