Starclimber by Ken Oppel

November 3rd, 2008 by Brian Leave a reply »

The sequel to Airborn and Skybreaker comes out in February, but I got an advanced reading copy from the publisher.

Matt Cruse returns, but this time he’s able to captain his own airship. It’s basically a giant, floating crane, but he’s okay with that. His crane services the Celestial Tower, the French’s answer to space travel: just build a big enough tower. There are terrorists who don’t want this or any space expedition to succeed. It’s for this reason that the Canadians are keeping their project secret.

The Canadian Starclimber is essentially a giant elevator to the stars. When I first read this, I laughed. It fit with the whole airships and steampunk feel of the first two books.

But then I saw that it’s in the works.

LiftPort is a real life company looking to send a cable into the sky, keep it attached to a counterweight held in gravitational orbit, and have an elevator travel up the cable. Craziness, but if it succeeds…

After competing to be a part of the Starclimber project, Matt teams up with Kate to explore outer space. Just like the other two books, you’ll see some exotic creatures. We had cloud cats, giant hydrogen jellfish…what next?

I enjoyed the book, but I’m a big fan of flying and exploration. The romance between Kate and Matt develops but of course becomes complicated when Kate becomes engaged to someone else. It makes for some awkward times trapped in a small space elevator.

This one had a little bit more bathroom humor to the book, but it actually contributed to the plot.

Not often do you see the following quote:

A lot was riding on this. And it all came down to two toilets.

Lots of fun. If you’re like my brother-in-law and judge the quality of a book by the amount of monkeys present, you’ll be pleased.


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