Author: Kenneth Oppel
What it's about: So after defeating a pirate captain, our hero Matt Cruse has enough money to attend the airship academy. He's not doing so well, though, and he worries about being good enough for his spunky rich friend Kate. When Matt gets the chance to go after the Hyperion, an abandoned ship sailing unreachably high and supposedly loaded with gold, he jumps at it, hoping to gain himself a better future with the riches. Soon Matt, Kate, the captain of a high-flying skybreaker ship, and the girl who has the key to the gold are all setting sail for adventure at treacherous heights.
What I thought: The first book has a light-hearted swashbuckling feel to it. This book, in contrast, has some genuinely creepy stuff to it. The setting is an abandoned airship full of corpses. Come on, how much more morbid can you get? There's plenty of science in this book, too, and there's a real feel of desperation as the story heads toward its climax. My main complaint? Basically, Matt is basically always vindicated. He's always got the right view of things, and if someone disparages what he suggests, that person's later proven wrong. It's not enough to turn me off the books, of course, but it does get a little annoying.
Overall: A very gripping second book.