In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions.
There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls. The months turn into years; but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the air.
Airman is a very special book to me. I read it a few times when I was younger and I thought it was high time for a re-read. I’m so glad to find it even better than I remembered. As much as I love Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series, I have to say that I think Airman is his best work so far (of the books I have read by him). It’s simply a beautiful story. I’d forgotten how beautiful it really was. It also has a lot of adventure, a budding romance that I adored and some the most unique characters I have ever read about.
I am not kidding, this book has the best set of characters ever. How could someone forget about characters like the Victor ‘La Brosse’ Vigny, King Nicholas, Linus Wynter, Princess/Queen Isabella or Conor Broekhart himself and his parents, Declan and Catherine? Even little Sean Broekhart! They were all amazing. And as per usual with Eoin Colfer, we get a despicable villain who is just loathsome. Together with the story devided in three parts: Broekhart – Finn – Airman, it’s just all part of Eoin Colfer’s genius. I loved this book before but I love it even more now after re-reading it.
I also have to say that I had a lot of emotional moments with this book. Conor goes through a whole lot of crap, going to prison because of that bastard Bonvilain and some parts really did bring tears to my eyes. So this book has been a rollercoaster of emotions but it was totally worth it. I was also rather giddy when Otto Malarkey came into the picture because he’s also in The Reluctant Assassin. I just love Eoin Colfer for that. That and his totally amazing and awesome writing!
So what else can I say but that I love Airman? I’ve always thought Artemis Fowl was by favorite book by him but I think I’ll have to put Airman in that place now because… simply wow! Mr. Colfer has once again left me awe-struck with his amazing book, Airman!
I am the moon, he thought. I am the stars.
Look out. A seagull.
“Conor, I could search the world for another swashbuckling scientist, but I doubt if I would find one like you.”
“Scientists are the enemies of tradition, and tradition own all the prisons.”
“Other men look up and down, left and right; but men like us are different. We are visionaries.”
Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher, historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with gripping Viking stories inspired by history he was learning in school at the time!
After leaving school he got his degree from Dublin university and qualified as a primary school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he and his wife spent about 4 years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been translated into many languages. A sequel followed in 1999, followed by some other books (see below). Then in 2001 the first Artemis Fowl book was published and he was able to resign from teaching and concentrate fully on writing.
He says, “I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas. Hopefully neither of these will happen anytime soon. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.