Saturday, June 26, 2021

Review - Death by Airship

Death by Airship

by Arthur Slade
Date: 2019
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Reading level: MG
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 128
Format: paperback
Source: library

Prince Conn will never be king. And that's just fine with him. He's ninth in line for the pirate throne and is quite happy to sail the skies in his airship with his crew of cheery misfits, plundering as they go. But one by one his siblings are being murdered, in tragic fires, violent cannon attacks or mysterious poisonings. Soon all fingers are pointing toward Conn as the mastermind. To prove his innocence, Conn must make his way to Skull Island, navigating his airship through a gauntlet of villains, explosions and betrayals. Can he reach his father's kingdom before it's too late? Or will he suffer the same fate as the rest of his family?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I was looking for a short YA book. This is short, but my library had it shelved wrong. But I figured, "Why not?" I'd read another book by Slade before, and it wasn't terrible, so I thought I'd give Death by Airship a try.

Disclaimer: I am not an eleven-year-old boy.

Maybe, if I had been, I would've liked this more. Maybe I wouldn't have been bothered by the physics-defying feats or the lack of logic. Maybe I wouldn't have thought it was so darn goofy. Maybe I wouldn't have seen the villain coming from miles away. Maybe I would've given the lacklustre resolution a pass. And maybe I wouldn't have seen the cover as a reject from a self-publisher's reject pile. (The book is not self-published... but that cover is doing it no favours.)

Still, if you like puns, snark, and silliness in a quasi-steampunk setting, you might like this more than I did. It's a quick, amusing read... but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting or looking for.

Premise: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Editing: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.63 out of 5 ladybugs

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