When I first heard about this book I was quite eager to read it, as it was written by a fellow Tasmanian. When I found a copy at my local second-hand bookshop I snapped it up quickly. The Airmen has quite a unique setting. It is quite evident early on that this is a planet other than earth. The world is almost completely covered in water. There are seven moons. Most people live in floating cities constructed by a special light-weight metal, held up by powerful engines.
Jarden and his father are airmen. They travel the planet in an airship gathering and selling scrap from salvaged vessels. It is dangerous work (given the presence of dangerous sea creatures and pirates) but they love it.
Early in the story Jarden loses his father. He and a pirate girl named Rowella are thrust into each others lives. Initially blood enemies, they began to gain a respect for each other. I enjoyed the chemistry of their relationship.
This book has a lot of thrills. There is danger at every turn. This is a difficult world to live on. Jarden must rise to many challenges if he is to survive, especially when he falls into the hands of the pirates of Aireon.
I spent a lot of this book wondering about the setting. How did they all get there. Why are they living on another planet but with a level of technology that would not have allowed them to travel there. This is all kept a mystery for quite some time, which just adds to the fun.
This was a fun roaring adventure with a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to following these characters through future adventures.
Content warning: This book contains a reasonable amount of moderate-level course language. It is also quite violent in places.