A – The Irish Times
Kenneth Oppel's AIRBORN is a high adventure in every sense. 15-year-old Matt Cruse, cabin boy on the Aurora, a luxury hydrium-powered airship, tells a tale that never flags for 400 pages. Oppel's description of Captain Walken and his crew, the ship itself, the strange and vicious "cloud cat" creature, a tropical island, its forests and pirate village (pirates are named Crumlin, Rathgar: Oppel, a Canadian, spent a year in Dublin) the wilful Kate de Vries whom Matt falls for, the sharp dialogue - all are brilliantly done. At the outset, the old-fashioned entertaining storytelling, with its spectacularly clear picturing of events, reminded me of Robert Louis Stevenson; but its momentum-gathering plot, shootings, dangers, savagery and suspense add a James Bond dimension. Though Kate and Matt "have as much future as a fish and a kangaroo", love triumphs. Set in an imaginary past, Airborn's contained world is totally absorbing, cleverly plotted, a terrific read. My 12-year-old daughter and I raced through it. No Harry Potter this summer -- Oppel's Airborn more than makes up for it.
– The Irish Times