Skybreaker Book Review

A legendary ghost ship. An incredible treasure. A death-defying adventure.

– back summary

  Sequel to: Airborn; Prequel to: Starclimber

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel

 Finally, the last of the Airborn trilogy books. Anyways, Skybreaker is the second book in the series. It continues the story of Matt who is now attending the Airship Academy while working a job flying freighters. One day at work, the ship is put into a dangerous patch of sky and is hurled high, high up in the air. As they frantically work to save themselves, Matt manages to catch a glimpse of the legendary ship, the Hyperion, said to have been lost to the skies long ago. When they touch down, he is the only one who can remember the co-ordinates of where they were when the ship was sighted, making him a target for those looking to find the Hyperion and its wealth—both evil and benign.

So, from there, Matt joins Kate de Vries, as they set sail for another high skies adventure. They are joined by some new characters, Hal Slater, a young and ambitious captain, and Nadira, a gypsy with a secret past. Both of these guys I ended up liking very much. They were perfectly human in their desires and motives. Nadira was exotic and brilliant and made a wonderful contrast (and rival in love) to Kate de Vries. Hal was frustrating and arrogant and I was annoyed by him as Matt was.

One of the very best things about the Airborn books is that Oppel takes full advantage of Matt’s first person narration, and lets Matt explore his feelings and emotions in a way that makes him very realistic. The world through Matt’s eyes is well described—the writing is excellent. When Matt is annoyed, I am annoyed. When Kate is making Matt feel stupid, I feel bad for him. It’s also good to read about how Matt struggles to feel accepted in this world where he is but a poor boy, but talented nonetheless.

What’s very interesting about these characters is that they aren’t just bad or just good. They are people essentially and want to do what they want to do. There is no wicked force driving them, just determination to meet their desires. Oppel creates flawed characters; Kate, Matt’s romantic interest can be exhausting at times to read about, but the book wouldn’t be as good if she wasn’t. Not every relationship is perfect.

Perhaps the most lovely thing about this series is that Oppel manages to spin not only a lovely little romance, but a wicked adventure as well. I always feel like it’s the best of everything. A little swashbuckling. A fantastic new world. There is just something absolutely thrilling about someone whose life is simply to sail the skies to meet the unknown. It’s like reading the story the old men tell in Second Hand Lions. A little vintage and a lot of fun.

As for the ending, it wrapped things up nicely, but like Airborn, left room for another which you can read my review of here. Skybreaker is a worthy sequel and sets the stage nicely for Starclimber.

Quite a few people have read this book and didn’t like it as much in comparison to the first, but I must disagree. I think that the characters grow a lot more in this story, and plot wise, it is well paced. Also, it is very well researched and the airship-laden world of Skybreaker never fails to come to life before my eyes each time I read it.


Ri’s Rating:

3.5 /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. There is another book after sky breaker in the series it is call skyclimber! You should read it.

  1. Airborn Review « The Spotted Mushroom
  2. Starclimber Review « The Spotted Mushroom

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