Claire Scott's Reviews > Airman

Airman by Eoin Colfer
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's review
Mar 20, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: high-younger-readers
Read in March, 2008

Conor is a genius obsessed with flight: he's also handsome, a gifted swordsman, loved by a beautiful princess, and he practices tai chi. When he gets framed (sort of) in an improbable conspiracy to kill the small island's beloved king, he's imprisoned in a corrupt prison camp and has to heroically persist and save the day... and fulfill his dreams of flight. Luckily he's our hero, and with all those heroic qualities he can't help but come out on top.

Action-packed but tedious and comically predictable. It reads like historical fiction -- although the incidents and context of the Saltee Islands are imaginary -- and feels like watching a blockbuster action movie, complete with running gags about the effeminate concerns of ultra-manly men. (Not Conor, of course: his inevitable meathead prison buddy.)

I think this will be a great book for some reader, just not me. The thing is that it's not easy reading but it's not very substantial, either... I wouldn't really call it a YA novel in terms of complexity and substance, but the language makes it inaccessible to all but strong readers. It's a solid middle-grade novel for adventure-lovers, and could be good for those strong readers in my elementary library who have exhausted much of what I've got... especially if they're more interested in action than substance. With a tiny collection and such a small budget, this isn't going to be first on my purchasing list, but I'll keep an eye out for a used copy and ask around to see if any of my readers are excited.


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