Teens @ Duluth

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Posts Tagged ‘Steampunk’

Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld

Posted by nancydpl on October 2, 2010

June 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, setting into motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to World War I. You know, the war between the Darwinists and the Clankers. That’s not the history you know? Welcome to Leviathan, an alternate history by Scott Westerfeld (author of Uglies, etc.). In this world, one side has “fabricated animals,” made by mixing strands of DNA to come up with something entirely new. Like message lizards, which are like voice recorders on sticky little feet, or an airship that’s mostly a gigantic airborn whale. The other side (the Clankers) finds this meddling in biology to be abhorrent and relies on machinery, but it’s pretty cool machinery. Think big tank-like vehicles on legs that can walk and run.

The story alternates between Midshipman Dylan Sharp (sshhh….”he’s” really a girl, disguising herself in order to be in the British Air Service) and Prince Aleksandar, son of the assassinated archduke, who’s just trying to escape Austria without being killed himself. They finally meet in Switzerland but being in a neutral country doesn’t mean they’re out of danger. Can these two trust each other enough to save the lives of the airship crew and Alek’s companions?

If you loved Airborn, if you like alternate history, if you like steampunk, then this is the book for you! The sequel, Behemoth, is out next week. I can’t wait to read it!


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Starclimber – Kenneth Oppel

Posted by Laura on March 7, 2009

Join Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries in another high flying adventure – this time the goal is space!

Matt has a summer job piloting an aerotug in Paris where France is building the Celestial Tower – a tower designed to reach all the way to outer space.  And Kate is preparing to present her talk on the aerozoans, the electrifying squid/jellyfish they encountered in Skybreaker.

All is right with the world – except when Matt becomes involved in a terrorist attack on the tower.  And then Kate receives a note from her parents recalling her to Canada for the summer.

Matt would jump at the chance to go to space, but it is likely that only French citizens will be given an opportunity at first.  The adventure really takes off when Matt and Kate are given the opportunity to join Canada’s space program by John McKinnon, the Canadian Minister of Air, and Otto Lunardi, the airship magnate who owned the Aurora (p.39).

Matt enters training to be an astralnaut, but Kate is guaranteed a spot on board the Starclimber as an expert in high-altitude life-forms.  This is the third book featuring Matt and Kate (the first being Airborn), and like the others, is an exciting read full of peril and strange new creatures.   There is a bit of politics and romance, as well.

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Author – Kenneth Oppel – Airborn and Skybreaker

Posted by Laura on December 19, 2007

Are you ready to read adventure stories set mainly in the air? Sky pirates, strange new animals, danger, excitement, and …? Try these two books but read Airborn first. There is a hilarious scene with a snake, but I can’t remember which book it was in. I laughed loud and long. He writes the scene so well that I can still see it in my mind.

Airborn Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface.

Skybreaker Matt Cruse, a student at the Airship Academy, and Kate de Vries, a young heiress, team up with a gypsy and a daring captain, to find a long-lost airship, rumored to carry a treasure beyond imagination.

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