Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
After having this book highly recommended to me, I was looking forward to reading it; what a disappointment. For a book supposedly aimed at the YA market, I found this novel to be so childish it really needs to be reclassified.
As in the true fashion of children’s books there was little to no character development, and what there is paints a picture in the reader’s mind of children not even in their teens; and the way in which not only the Author writes about their motivations and the portrayal of them in the illustrations only serves to cement this image. I do enjoy both children’s books and those aimed at the YA audience, but there was nothing in the pages of this novel that either captured my attention or made me care one hoot as to what happened to any of the people featured in it.
The descriptions of the war machinery and fabricated animals were, for me, the most interesting part of this book and although these descriptions weighed on the heavy side, they were the only thing that kept me reading to the end. I enjoyed the way in which the Author described the manufacturing process behind the zeppelins, and after reading the paragraphs of how to operate one felt as if I could jump into one and take to the skies. Another plus point for me, and this combined with the descriptive skill of the Author are the only reason this book received a two thumb rating, was the cover art and outstanding illustrations.
Although I personally didn’t enjoy this book, it just wasn’t for me, I wouldn’t discourage any other reader from picking this up and giving it a look; if only for the wonderful illustrations it contains.