Eoin Colfer, long time teen favorite for his Artemis Fowl series, has produced an exciting new work. Airman is about young Conor Broekhart, who begins his life by being born in a falling hot air balloon. He lives on the Saltee Islands, a small, but wealthy, kingdom of the cost of Ireland. His childhood is idyllic and his education includes fencing, languages, and the science of flight. In a time before the Wright brothers Conor and his teacher, Victor, dream and work towards creating a heavier than air self-propelled flying machine. Things do not last and Conor is framed for a horrible crime and sent off to prison, where he plots his way towards freedom and revenge. In a manner reminiscent of Batman and the Count of Monte Cristo, Conor recreates himself as the Airman.
Airman fast-paced, well-written, alternate-history adventure story, that should appeal to a wide range of readers. The characters are interesting and generally likable, though like Batman, Conor does tend to brood a fair amount. There's a little be of romance, but nothing extreme, so the book is fine for older children, younger teens, and family car-trips. Older teens and adults will not be bored, due to the high amount of action. I'd recommend the book and the audiobook to any public, middle school, or high school library. One of my favorite books so far this year.