Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel

Recommended by: http://poodlerat.bellonae.com

Aw, this book was cute.  I liked it.  There were some things about it that could have been improved, but it was a quite endearing story.  It’s set in an alternate Victorian universe where everyone flies about on tremendous flying machines that run on a particular kind of gas; the main character is this kid Matt Cruse who flies on a passenger airship for a living, having lost his father, also an airship crewman.  He meets a high-spirited girl called Kate who is on a hunt for these flying cloud creatures that her now-dead grandfather always wanted to discover, and they get up to all kinds of hijinks.   And there are pirates.

Of course the sky pirate thing has been done to perfection by the film of Stardust, and after that any other sky pirates are just not quite the same, much like all other pirate movies aren’t ever going to touch the first Pirates of the Caribbean because it was perfect and contained all the perfect things you need for a perfect pirate movie (including, it turns out, and I don’t know how anyone could have predicted that this was necessary, Geoffrey Rush.  Apparently it’s just no go making a pirate movie without Geoffrey Rush).  But I digress.

I wouldn’t say it’s a great book, but it’s a pleasant one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed up late to finish it.  The cloud cats were very cool, and the ship people were entertaining and amusing.