This book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.
Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird? If you read Airman your wishes will be granted. Eoin Colfer so vividly describes the feeling of flight through the air, you will feel like you are right there next to Conor as he soars through the night air; in his dreams and his future. This amazing author first became known through the best-selling Artemis Fowl series, which fame cast his other books into the shadows. It was left for the chosen few to find that hidden jewel, Airman.
I really enjoyed reading the book because it revolves around one boy split in two, so it is like reading about two different characters. First we follow brilliant young Conor Broekhart as he trains with his French mentor to gain mastery in academics including extracurricular such as swordsmanship, but mainly aviation. “Conor was born to fly, or more accurately, was born flying” (7). His obsession took root at the very moment he was born, more than a hundred feet off the ground in a quickly plummeting hot air balloon. Conor starts off life like this, but after being falsely accused for a crime he did not commit, he becomes someone else.
Conor Broekhart becomes Conor Finn. A pirate criminal who has no family, friends, or anyone to love. He has nothing to hope for but being top dog in the insanity ward. His many trials as Conor Finn include staying alive from Otto Malarkey’s daily beatings, stashing the diamonds he is mining away from the guards, and escaping from the Little Saltee, a heartless rock-hewned jail. “Right was Great Saltee, wrong was Little Saltee(44).”
Conor Finn’s new closest, and only, friend and mentor on Little Saltee is a blind musician, Linus Wynter, who is also my favorite character. I love how Linus is portrayed by Eoin because he is a man of such complexity described in the most simplistic way. Linus is the only reason Conor lasted longer than 24 hours in prison. He served as the guide to Conor’s success and escape. Mr. Wynter got his eyes removed via hot poker after being caught spying on an Indian camp, but continued spying anyway. He is actually a spy for the good King Nick himself, whom Conor greatly trusted and admired.
The world that Eoin Colfer so truthfully describes in Airman fills your head with the dangers of our modern world. This intricately spun plot incorporates every human emotion you can dream of from horror to elation. In a renaissance like-time period of innovation in the world, Great Saltee is at the top of the curve, thanks to Conor Finn, aviator extraordinaire.
Airman is a constant race with good against evil, Conor Broekhart against Conor Finn, And the Airman vs. Bonvilian. To find out the final secret in this heinous plot, you’ll just have to get your head out of the clouds, and read the book!
-Parker R., 7th grade