Conor Broekhart was born to fly. He spends his days dreaming of flight as he fences with his tutor and explores the castle of the Saltee Islands with his friend Isabella. Then Conor is brought tragically back down to earth when he discovers a plot to overthrow the king. Now he must grow up quickly if he wants to save his friend, his family and his country.
It is strange that Airman has received markedly less publicity than Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. In my opinion, Airman surpasses Artemis Fowl in many aspects, from language to character development. Conor does not remain a stereotypical hero. Instead, he gradually grows into a young man who is both human and admirable. It is also clear that Colfer knows his setting well. Though the Saltee Islands have been uninhabited for a little more than a hundred years, the author brings the islands to vivid and richly historical life. Colfer weaves betrayal, conspiracy, family and love into his tale to create an entertaining and gripping read without losing too much depth. Though of course Colfer does not dent the literary prowess of Dumas, the plot shares some elements of The Count of Monte Cristo. Airman definitely possesses plenty of good, though not entirely unexpected, twists and turns. It is a good read for boys and girls alike and could lead to deeper and more extensive reading. Maryana Garcia is the eldest of four sisters. A university student at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, she plans to major in History and is currently an employee at the Mount Albert Community Library.


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