Skybreaker is a realistic fiction novel written by Kenneth oppel, it is exactly 340 pages long. I chose this book because it is the sequel to the book Airborn, which I found quite good. I personally enjoyed the book Skybreaker because it always kept you in suspense. It also always paints perfect pictures in your head and always sets you into the story. Although the characters’ behavior is very realistic as well as not straying into too much fantasy, certain parts including new animals can be questionable and ruin the plot for me by making it too farfetched.
Skybreaker is based on an alternate future where airplanes were never invented and massive zeppelins rule the world of transport. One very small person in this world is Matt Cruse, on his training run for the Airship Academy. Aboard the Flotsam something unexpected happens. He and the other crew stumble upon the Hyperion, one of the greatest airships ever known. The only problem is that, the Hyperion disappeared 60 years prior over the Atlantic Ocean. Cabin boy Matt Cruse, studying at the airship academy embarks on an adventure to salvage the mighty ship. He and his companions must travel to 20000 Ft. and battle pirates to secure the Hyperion.
One of the main characters is Matt Cruse, a poor 16 year old from Lionsgate city (Vancouver).he is studding at the Airship Academy in Paris after his encounter with pirates the previous summer. In this book Matt is forced to overcome personal problems as well as life threatening danger Seeing as he alone knows the coordinates of the Hyperion
Another character is Kate de Vries, a young billionaire heiress who is trying to become a known scientist. Her way of achieving this is by funding a voyage to salvage the ghost ship with the help of one Hal Slater and Matt.
Hal Slater is the captain of the Sagamatha that Kate de Vries hires to take her and others to the Hyperion. He is interested in the endeavor for fame and fortune and demands 80 percent of the profit from the venture since he shoulders all the risk with his ship.
Miss Simpkins is Kate chaperon who does not approve of the entire venture because she believes that it is not appropriate for Kate to be around so many men.
Dorje is Hals right hand man as well as a Sherpa, therefore naturally suited to the high altitudes. He is loyal and friendly to all aboard and serves as the ship’s navigator.
There is also an additional crew of mainly sherpas including Thomas dalkey, kami Sherpa his cousin ang jeta and jangbu Sherpa.
In the first chapter the Floatsam and its crew, including Matt cruse, assistant navigator, encounter the eternal storm known as the Devils Fist. Sending the ship through an updraft to 15000 ft. where they can make out the Hyperion but are unable to reach it due to altitude sickness and the navigator dies during descent, leaving matt alone with the coordinates.
In the second chapter Matt returns to Paris and the Airship Academy after the failure aboard the Flotsam. He is invited out to dinner at the most expensive restaurant in Paris atop the Eiffel tower. At the restaurant, he meets an old friend while waiting for his other friend Kate, who invited him. The two of them discuss their plans at retrieving the fortune aboard the Hyperion.
In the third chapter Matt is addressed by the dean of the academy who informed him that he should give the coordinates to the last living heir of Theodor Grunel, owner of the Hyperion. When he meets Matthias Grunel he realizes that the man he was with was not who he claimed just before he attacked Matt and began kidnapping him until he was saved by a mysterious gypsy.
The fourth chapter is brief describing his conversation about pirates and their mutual interest in the Hyperion. Matt leaves feeling uncomfortable to Kate house where he finds her with a man making plans for the salvage. Matt leaves feeling left out and alone, setting back for the gypsy.
In the fifth chapter matt links up with the gypsy nadira and set off the the Heilodome, an airport for blimps. The captain they plan to hire is the man matt had seen Kate with and no surprise, she’s there too. They all make the finale arrangements and leave for their luggage.
The sixth chapter is about Matt and all the others prepping to leave, when they are interrupted by the men who tried to kidnap matt. The sagamatha, the ship they are taking is forced into evasive maneuvers in their rather hasty departure.
In Chapter seven matt and dorje plot a course for the Hyperion. Everyone is awkwardly introduced and they all take part in the customary ceremony for the voyage.
In The eighth chapter all is going well and everyone is enjoying themselves until the ship lurches. Matt and two others go to see what’s wrong but some sort of squid kills one man and injures another leaving matt to save himself as well as the other. This greatly increases Hals respect for matt.
The ninth chapter is about simple time aboard the ship and ways of their passing the time on their long voyage, and is quite boring
In chapter ten a tracking device is discovered on bored and the first thought of almost everyone but matt is that the gypsy nadira was with the pirates and brought it aboard. Matt on a hunch rips his bags to pieces and finds the tracer, saving nadira from being hurled from the ship. And there is also a reunion not seen since the beginning of the book, as they come across… the Hyperion.
The eleventh chapter describes their docking with the Hyperion via giant metal arms and their first looks around the ghost ship, filled with ice and corpses, so far…
In Chapter twelve matt and Kate explore a hall of famed taxidermy, her only interest on board and find priceless specimens and animals, long dead of course and incredibly valuable.
The thirteenth chapter is about the discovery of grunels immense laboratory. It was filled with remarkable inventions and goods but the one that stood out was towering, and when turned on… it served to create three thing infinitely; fuel, water, and energy. This was most likely the most valuable thing ever created. Also, within the lab there was an animal cage filled with what appeared to by dead, familiar squid like creatures.
Chapters 15 and 16 are about the raiding of the personal compartments of the Hyperion, a likely place for treasure.
In chapter 17 a pirate vessel comes upon the saga and severs it from the Hyperion and trapping everyone aboard. As it turns out, the pirates were funded by grunels nemeses and were there to destroy the marvels inventions.
In 18 Kate is captured by pirates and mat and Hal are given an ultimatum and must fight the pirates alone. Matt releases the squids killing the pirates and giving them a few minutes before the e ship was torn to bits. They all pilled on to a crude helicopter type thing and sailed town to the damaged saga.
Epilogue the helicopter was so heavy because it was loaded with gold. Hall got 42 bricks and matt and nadira each got four, Kate was left with some taxidermy. They all slowly return to a normal life.
In conclusion I rate this book 8 out of ten. I recommend it to ages 11 to 20. I very much enjoyed the book Skybreaker and the whole genre. I believe the message is to not urn after what we cannot have because in this book they tried to achieve their dreams but, the sky truly was the limit.