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Starclimber (Matt Cruse #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  6,920 Ratings  ·  506 Reviews
Mr. Cruse, how high would you like to fly? A smile soared across my face. As high as I possibly can. Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel that literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes: Kate announces she is engaged--and ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published August 26th 2008)
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Dear Ken Oppel,

You never disappoint. Thanks for that.


Morgan F
One reason I love this series is because it's good clean fun and a traditional adventure. It's nonstop thrilling action. It doesn't fall prey to modern fantasy trends such as all-consuming romance, vampires, werewolves, and fictional boarding schools. This series finds its roots in Jules Verne, but is still really fun and accessible for people of any age or gender.

Each book is its own little adventure and doesn't rely on cliffhangers to guarantee readers will pick up the next one. Oppel has fai
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Clare Hitchens
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kendall, Nick, Mimi
Recommended to Janeen-san by: Ari
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is amazing--it has everything a bookworm could want. Romance, adventure, spaceships...and monkeys.

Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries are about to set off on the ultimate outer space!
Matt Cruse, after weeks of going through grueling outer-space training, desparatly hopes to be the one picked to go into outer space--along with many other young men. Will he be chosen?
With a dash of luck, he and Kate clamor aboard the Starclimber, the first space ship.
At first he feels very miserable
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A celestial tower is being built to the heavens in Paris, when a pioneer (Lunardi) decides to launch is own space effort. He recruits 100 candidates from all walks of life to become the first "astralnauts," to man the Starclimber: a spaceship tethered to a 25,000 mile cable. Kate DeVries and another pompous zoologist are chosen to observe, while young Matt Cruse has to undertake a grueling competition to join. Lunardi recruits Matt's mentor, Captain Walken, to lead the expedition. Like the previ ...more
There is a space race! Did you think it was between the Americans and Russians? Then you'd be mistaken, it’s really between the Canadians and the French. Starclimber starts out a few months after the last one ended. Matt is in Paris with Kate doing what he loves, flying. It seems like it's going pretty well for a not even 18 year old young man. That is until trouble finds Mr. Cruse, which it always does.

Matt Cruse has a chance to go into space but first he must prove himself. As he goes into tra
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Airborn"--everyone else, read "Airborn" ASAP!!!!
4.5 STARS I loved the latest adventure with Matt and Kate and their voyage to the stars! Truly, I considered giving this only four stars but I think the only reason for that is not due to anything wrong with the book but simply because I wanted MORE! It seemed there could have been even MORE exploration, of both characters and of space... but everything that was done was done very well and Oppel remains a master of the "action/suspense scenes" while also crafting remarkably "real" characters of ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult, alternative historical fiction, adventure
Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel

"Honestly," she sighed. "I don't know what kind of life we'll have together, with me always flying off in one direction and you in the other."
I smiled. "It's a good thing the world's round," I said.

What do you do when you've flown a ship higher than anyone has before? Go higher of course!

Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries are both recruited for a mission to outer space. About half of the book takes place on Earth, in preparation for the flight, so if you're onl
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
STARCLIMBER is the third book in the Airborn Series. If you have not yet read books 1 & 2, please be warned that the following review contains spoilers for those two books.

So, yet again, Oppel has managed pull me into the tales of Matt Cruise with the first chapter - and I'm hooked from that point on; not wanting to set the book down, but rather anxious to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next...

After Matt has taken on two airborn adventures in books 1&2, the next obvious tre
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LaLeesha Haynes for

STARCLIMBER is the sequel to Oppel's AIRBORN and SKYBREAKER. This was a fantastic science fiction book for young adults, and will follow in their path of award-winning writing.

Matt is an accomplished young man who has many incredible opportunities to prove himself as he climbs out of his childhood. Kate is a feisty young woman with her sights set on a future filled with women's liberation and scientific research.

Together, they meet their newest c
Mironiel Blokzyl
OMGS THIS BOOK. I started reading this trilogy when I was ten, and now, 6 years later have finally finished it. WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?! you shriek. I actually had no idea that there were two other books in the series, which is why I've only just finished the last book. Anyway, on to the loves and non-loves of this book.


- The way Kenneth Oppel describes outer space. IT'S SO AWESOME AND I CAN'T EVEN(have I ever mentioned that I LOVE books where the characters give long descriptions of outer
Jan 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began this book with great anticipation. I LOVED Oppel's previous two books in this series. They were fun, exciting, and interesting. They were books I wished I had written. It isn't that these adjectives don't apply to Starclimber, just not with the depth of sincerity and passion that his previous books inspired. Perhaps it was the action didn't have enough drama or the characters were petty and frustrating. I'm not sure but what I'd come to expect from Oppel, I just didn't find. It was a goo ...more
Cori Reed
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It finally happened. I've hit a reading slump. This is the only book I've finished in the past five days, and thank goodness I really liked it!

Earlier in July I read the second book in this series, Skybreaker, and was pleasantly surprised by it, and when I saw this final book at the library it called to me.

This is such a fun steampunk/alternate early 20th century story, and in this installment, Canada is at the front of the space race! I'm a sucker for books set in Canada, or featuring Canadians
Barbara ★
A terrific conclusion to the Matt Cruse series. This one features Matt and Kate de Vries on a mission to outer space. Believe it or not (and some of it surely is unrealistic but fun), the StarClimber is a space ship that can travel 25,000 miles from the Earth. This is an exciting adventure with clever characters, minor mishaps, major screwups and all around good fun. I loved that Matt finally got his HEA with Ms. de Vries (who I honestly wasn't sure about all the way up until the final chapter). ...more
Hope there are more stories to come of Matt and Kate and their adventures.
I was afraid this book might not live up to the first two in the series, and unfortunately I was right - although it's certainly not for lack of trying on Mr. Oppel's part. He has managed to combine pieces of The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, religious fanaticism, and a hint of the Pink Panther. Having taken us on swashbuckling adventures aboard a giant dirigible and a high-altitude plane, there was no place else for intrepid hero Matt Cruse to go but to the stars. In thi ...more
April Helms
This is the third book in Oppel's "Airborn" series. This book was a fun read, but I thought the first two were superior. Fans of the fast-paced, near non-stop action of the first two might find the pacing slow. Personally, I thought the pacing was fine; it was slower and more deliberate, and got more into the relationships and interactions, especially between Matt and Kate. I also liked how some things which seemed inconsequential in the beginning turned out to be important at the end.
In this t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Disclaimer: I love Kenneth Oppel. This is not my favourite of his books, though. It's still a great adventure story, set as it is in a parallel universe of steampunk space travel. (You heard me.) If you're willing to overlook a few contrived plot devices and a couple of elements that feel recycled from the first two books in this series, then it's fabulous fun.

Matt and Kate are back, joined by a particularly colourful cast of characters. I particularly enjoyed Evelyn Karr, obviously the parallel
May 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the sky to the stratosphere and finally to the heights of space itself, this immensely satisfying conclusion to the Airborn trilogy did the whole series justice.

Matt Cruse, now commander of his own small cargo airship, thinks his life is running along fine. But all at once, everything seems to go wrong. A group of terrorists attack one of France's greatest projects; a huge tower to the stars. One of Matt's own crewmen turns traitor on him. And his girlfriend, the bright and lovely heiress,
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
I enjoyed the first in the series and the second was rocky but had some really interesting moments.... but I really didn't care for this one. I do respect the painstaking care that the author put into making this alternative steampunk-ish space exploration plausible. However it felt like he just borrowed heavily from deepwater exploration, down to the creatures and space fauna, without really putting his own spin on it. Also the two ostensible heroes, Kate and Matt were just awful to be around f ...more
Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third installment of the Airborn series does not disapoint. Matt and Kate are back in another thrilling adventure. I could never get tierd reading about their adventures. This one has a lot of the same elements that I loved in the first two books. I love these characters and the amazing alternate history that Oppel has created. I was happy to see some old favorites back again too, like Captain Walken and Chef Vlad.
The plot is full of action and conflicts from the begining as Matt faces terr
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ppl who like good books
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have very much enjoyed this series (Airborn, Skybreaker, and now Starclimber)and was overjoyed to find the third wondrous installment the other day. I think it's the best one so far. I was very happy with the ending, and although there is not as much man vs. man conflict in the plot, it is still as gripping as any other in the series. I am a big fan of Kenneth Oppel, and I highly reccomend this series, or else the Silverwing Saga. Enjoy!
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish there was just a bit more at the end. I would have liked to have seen their homecoming. I am amazed by all the scientific research that had to have gone into writing this and also very grateful for it because it makes the book that much more real and the fantasy portions seem so much more believable. A good ending to a good series.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's finally here! Or at least it will be by February 24th. The 3rd book in the Airborn series. Our pilot in training Matt Cruse is paired again with heiress Kate DeVries as they train to be the first in space. Fast paced action combined with Jules Verne imagination make this a great read for young adults.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'm being generous with my stats on this one. Really just a 4 star book but I enjoyed the whole series and highly recommend them so I wanted it reflected somewhere. Also, this one was about space. And I want to go to space.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well I just finished the third book in the Matt Cruse series and it did not disappoint. This book has everything the first two did. Another great installment to a great series, and I can only hope Mr. Opel plans on more Matt Cruse adventures. I eagerly await.
One of my favourite authors has done it again.

I just wish I could read one book of his that had no romance because writing it is not his strength.

Also the babelite thing felt unresolved.
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I was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords ...more
More about Kenneth Oppel...

Other Books in the Series

Matt Cruse (3 books)
  • Airborn (Matt Cruse, #1)
  • Skybreaker (Matt Cruse, #2)
“Marry me." I said.
She lowered her teacup, shaking slightly, to the saucer. "Aren't you going to get down on one knee?"
I got down on one knee and took her hand.
"Will you marry me, Kate?"
You can't propose properly without a ring." She said.
I reached into my pocket and took out James Sanderson's ring, which I'd picked up off the floor of the Starclimber when we'd crash landed.
"That's a nice looking ring." said Kate with a grin.
"Cost a fortune." I said. "And now, for the third time. Kate de Vries, will you marry me?"
She leaned forward and took my face in her hands and kissed me.
"Yes," "Yes, and yes and yes. But it will probably be terrible."
"Probably," I agreed.
"Honestly," she sighed, "I don't know what kind of life we'll have together, with me always flying off in one direction and you in the other."
I smiled. "It's a good thing the world's round," I said.”
“It's the way you look whenever she mentions her fiance. My cat looks like that before he hacks up a hairball.” 60 likes
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