EOIN (pronounced 'Owen', by the way) COLFER was born and raised in Wexford, Ireland. He began writing plays at an early age, forcing his unfortunate classmates to dress up as marauding Vikings when they would have preferred to be outdoors doing some marauding of their own. As an adult Eoin continued to write and he is now the international bestselling author of the incredible Artemis Fowl series. He has also written the brilliant Half Moon Investigations, several Legend Of . . . stories, The Supernaturalist and The Wish List. Airman is his first historical-fiction novel, in which his hero Conor takes to the skies. Eoin lives in Ireland with his wife, two sons and an overactive imagination.
Gr 7-10-From the popular author of the "Artemis Fowl" series (Hyperion/Miramax) comes a swashbuckling adventure and spectacular fantasy for somewhat older readers. Born in a hot-air balloon at the Paris World's Fair in 1878, Conor Broekhart is destined to fly. Until the 1890s, he lives an idyllic life on the Saltee Islands off the Irish Coast, with Princess Isabella as his best friend; Good King Nick like a father to him; and a science tutor, Victor Vigny, who shares his obsession with making a flying machine. Everything changes when Conor witnesses Marshall Bonvilain murder the king with Victor's pistol, and he is labeled a traitor and thrown into prison, which is a brutal hell of nightmarish torture where inmates must mine for diamonds under impossible conditions, and he must plan an escape if he is to survive. Grippingly written, this is a fast-paced, highly entertaining tale of flying machines, criminals, martial arts, swordplay, princesses, poisons, and evil villains. The themes are as sweeping as the Airman's wings in full flight: justice, revenge, romance, good triumphing over evil, realizing one's dreams, blackmail, regicide, conspiracy, corruption, betrayal. While the often dark and gruesome subject matter is not for the faint of heart, the moral underpinnings of the story are solid. Give this not only to fans of "Artemis Fowl" but also to those who delight in flying through Kenneth Oppel's "Matt Cruse" books (Eos).-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Airman:
'Swashbuckling high adventure . . . His strongest work yet' - Guardian
'Better fun than this will be hard to come by' - The Times
'A classic swashbuckling adventure' - Irish Independent Review
Praise for other books by Eoin Colfer:
'Wickedly brilliant' - Independent (on Artemis Fowl)
'As ever, Colfer's story rattles along at a tremendous pace with a cast of eccentric and explosive characters' - Guardian (on The Supernaturalist)
'Unputdownable' - Irish Times (on Half Moon Investigations)
An homage both to the 19th-century science fiction of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, and to the superheroes of Marvel and DC comics, Colfer's latest brims with boy appeal. The story starts with the hero's portentous birth in a hot air balloon above the 1878 World's Fair, in Paris. But Conor Broekhart's home lies in the Saltee Islands, two (real) islets off the Irish coast, where he is raised as a favorite son, his best friend being Princess Isabella, King Nicholas's only heir. His key association, however, is with Isabella's tutor, a Frenchman who takes Conor under his wing, instructing him in fencing, fighting and the fledgling science of human flight-a consuming passion for many in the decade before the Wright Brothers' 1905 breakthrough. While the king is a progressive pacifist, his economy hums on the strength of diamonds mined in Little Saltee by prisoners under the control of Hugo Bonvilain, a Machiavellian despot harboring a deep grudge against the king. When Conor inadvertently witnesses a coup d'etat, Bonvilain twists facts to ensure the boy gets sentenced to mining gems in dank caves. The race to fly becomes more than a scientific pursuit; it turns into Conor's only chance to escape. Artemis Fowl fans will flock to this novel, and the polished, sophisticated storytelling here deserves an even wider audience than that bestseller. Conor Broekhart's superpower is his brain, and he uses his smarts to fight tyranny. A tour de force. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.