AUTHOR- Eoin Colfer
PUBLISHED- Year 2008
ISBN (Trade Paperback) – 978-0-141-38336-1
GENRE- Fantasy/ Sci-Fi
SYNOPSIS- Conor Broekhart was born to fly. Or more accurately he was born flying. Little wonder he became what he became. In an age of discovery and invention many dreamed of flying, but for Conor flight was more than just a dream, it was his destiny.
In one dark night on the
, a cruel and cunning betrayal destroyed his life and
stole his future. Now Conor must win the race for flight, to save his family
and to right a terrible wrong. island of Great Saltee
EXCERPT- “No more than ten minutes old and through some trick of the light or photographic mishap, it seems as though Conor’s eyes are focused. Impossible of course. But imagine if somehow they had been, then baby Conor’s first sight would have been a cloudless French sky flashing by.”
“They turn the lights back on because they believe themselves safe.”
KOUSTABH 'QUETZALCOATL' says- When one speaks the name of Eoin Colfer the first thing that comes in mind is his mega selling series of ‘Artemis Fowl’. A master of fiction writer, Artemis remains for me one of the best anti-hero ever. The boy protégée’s fame is so huge that it has shadowed the other book of Mr. Colfer. So when I saw and bought the book I had a mixture of expectations. Knowing Eoin Colfer’s literary genius style of fiction I was supradupraexcited (if there is any such word), yet knew that this book is maybe nothing in front of the Artemis Fowl series. I was in for a rude shock!! Hell, even you guys would be if you judge a book by its cover (that’s the moral value lesson). :P
At first look Conor Broekhart doesn’t seem no extraordinary genius in his own capacity to me, but like all good books you must read on. Born to Captain Declan Broekhart, the leader of the Great Saltee sharpshooters, and his lovely and knowledgeable wife Catherine, Conor was born in a balloon in flight (please don’t ask how) he grows to be a great friend of princess Isabella (no points for guessing the Disney style here). He trains swordsmanship and the secrets of flying from his French mentor ‘Victor Vigny’ (Did I mention that it is because of the French sky and French words that I originally bought the book. If u still don’t understand, J'adore français that is ‘I love French’)!!
Well then comes along the villain with a name to boot- "Bonvilain". Set in the progressive 19th century, this novel progresses through gut-wrenching pages where the teenage Conor is falsely arrested and kept in a jail. From there he makes some new friends and some enemies and escapes with the use of his brilliant mind (not literally) and balloons. Living and researching from an abandoned manor of
, Conor makes a workable model of an airplane/glider
and becomes the ghost of the skies (a romantic/gothic figure). From there the
plot takes quite a usual twist with Bonvilain trying to kill the now Queen
Issabella and Conor saving her (yeah I know that’s so predictable). And they
try to live happily ever after. Ireland
So where does the fun lie in this somewhat predictable plot. Compare it to any hindi movies and you would find the answer (no, not dancing and music and item-songs), it’s the finely crafted action sequences which takes the applause. I am not a hardcore, blood-gore, action junkie (though I have my moments!! ‘Grrrr’), but here the actions are suave and clever. Even the antagonist isn’t a bloodthirsty monster but a sophisticated mind. Be it Conor’s escape or the final battle, Mr.Colfer never goes overboard and presents us an ideal utopian society suddenly gone hotchpotch only to return back again. The violence though more adult than the Artemis Fowl series “remains ethical throughout”.
Also the heavy research done before the book on aerodynamics and Da-Vinci’s models of glider comes out perfectly in the book. A trait I love the best is what makes Sci-Fi books more attractive. Kudos to Mr. Colfer for that!! Not only that even the humor in the book is in perfect proportion.
Where ‘Airman’ the book suffers is the caricature usage of the female characters (that’s the Feminism in me speaking). Though fascinating ladies, they are never made to come out. I for one would have loved to have a conversation with Conor’s mother who is referred to as a brilliant scientist. Maybe because it’s Conor’s tale yet intelligent ladies are always fascinating. What say you guys??
A classic in itself so as to say, ‘Airman’ is a must read for those who have read the Artemis Fowl series (even if you are not a fan). As for those who haven’t followed it, it matters little. My suggestion: Go try it out!! You wouldn’t be disappointed. Read it for the thrills or as a hero’s journey, which is like a wave, but read it you must. Go Fly your Dreams!!!
And don’t forget: Keep reading.
My Rating – 4.47 / 5 stars
PRICE - INR 337/- (Flipkart price)