Starclimber Review

An exhilarating journey to the stars—or a heartbreaking battle for survival?

– front flap

Sequel to: Airborn, Skybreaker

Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel

I am going to try this new thing where I keep my reviews short and to the point. Let’s see how I do.

Starclimber continues the story of Matt Cruse as he embarks on yet another adventure– this time to outterspace! Two years have passed since their last adventure and the race to see who can get into space first has begun. The French are building a huge momument called the Celestial Tower. It’s supposed to reach the heavens and above. It is on the construction site of this behemoth that we find Matt Cruse, helping to build the tower for some extra money. But one day, his little contrsuction ship is attacked by a group of people who will stop at nothing to tear the tower down; they are called the Babbelites. Following the attack, Matt is whisked away to Lionsgate city (along with his Kate DeVries) as an applicant for a secret training regime that will demtermine who will be Canada’s first Astralnuats.

From there, the book takes off, quite litteraly. Matt’s training is rigorous, but Oppel manages to keep the intrest level high by adding in some tough competion and a few surprises witht the selection results. After the Starclimber is launched, a series of problems come up and all the solutions (or lack of solutions) are foreshadowed well. The book ends well, with a satisfying wrap up to the characters lives. But, as in the last two books, the ending isn’t quite final. Meaning Oppel could continue the series if he wanted to. However, I thinkt he closure given in this book was enough and ending things quite well.

One of my favorite things about this series in general is the way Oppel so convincinly manages to pull me into his world. I love that everything is so well researched and well written that it is completely believable. In fact, in the first book, I didn’t realize that the gas they were using to run the airships, hydrium it is called, was fictional until way after I had read the book and someone pointed it out to me! That’s a clear sign of good research and excellant writing in my opinion.

Another thing I like about the book series, and Starclimber in particular is Matt’s voice. He comes off as a very real person, with flaws and hopes and I love the way he deals with Kate (he does get mad at her sometimes) and how when he is with her, he isn’t silly sounding. In some books, they write romance by just saying how wonderful and beautiful the love interest is. In this book, we already know Kate’s wonderful, which allows Matt just to say that he wants to be with her and watch the stars and that alone is enough. I think that comes from the fact that this book (and all the others in the series) are from a boy’s point of view, and thus, the author didn’t feel the need to make it silly sounding. Matt’s love is down-to-earth yet still sweet.

And finally, I want to say that my absolute favorite part of this book was the way outter space was described. It was wonderful and beautiful, especially when Matt was remembering the ethereal Music of Spheres that he heard while in space. Everything about the book is magical and yet it has ringing images of our own world. I throughly enjoyed this book, both the fast-paced action and the slower bits. It has a good plot, good pacing, excellently developed characters and a very inviting setting. It’s a must read for anyone who likes adventure and the unknown. It’s also one of the beter series/ endings that I’ve read; if you enjoyed Airborn, Starclimber does it justice.

My final words are thus: never before have I encountered a series that moved me to gaze at the sky and wish that I had wings simply so that I might soar.

Amazon link! (This was pretty short right? I did good, right?)

Ri’s Rating:


4/ 5

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

Leave a comment


  1. Clare Devine

     /  July 20, 2010

    Your reviews on the Airborn series are really brilliant, you manage to say exactly what I think about them but can’t seem to get down. I really liked Nadira in Skybreaker, I thought she and Hal were the perfect additions to the story to add a difference. I also love the ideas like the titanium rope, they seem so realistic. He must research them a lot.
    And by the way, don’t make your reviews short, it would stunt your writing!

    • Ri

       /  July 22, 2010

      at last– a fellow airborn fan! i totally agree with everything you said — i actually liked nadira so much, i was hoping for her return in the third book. like, they would revisit the island to find her brother or something. yeah… My biggest dream is that they’ll make this into a movie, a good one :) thanks for commenting!

      • I just read the last book again. i agree, nadira is definitely worthy enough to be continued. i’ve heard talk about a movie, that’d be great, but the problem is always casting the right people, I reckon. on the subject of movies, i noticed the Logan Lerman picture :). what did you think of the movie? the book? i really liked the movie and the book, but i couldn’t think of the movie as percy jackson. it’s so different!

      • Ri

         /  July 25, 2010

        so on percy jackson, i loved the books and liked the movie, but i’m the same as you. they’re two seperate things because they were so different. but each was good in its own way. the movie particularly because it had logan lerman in it :) who i think would make a great matt if they ever made an airborn series.

  1. Airborn is Now a Trilogy! « The Spotted Mushroom
  2. Skybreaker Book Review « The Spotted Mushroom
  3. Airborn Review « The Spotted Mushroom

Speak thy mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s