Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel (Eos, 2006)

This sequel to Airborn finds our hero, Matt Cruse, teaming up with an arrogant airship captain, an intriguing gypsy girl, and an scholarly heiress as they search for the legendary lost Hyperion, a ghost ship rumored to contain great treasures and lost artifacts. Hot on their heels, though, is a rival ship crewed by ruthless pirates and evil entrepreneurs. It’ll be a toss-up between the extremely high altitudes, the weather, the bizarre creatures living at 20,000 feet and the bad guys to see which threatens Matt and his friends the most. Once again, Oppel gives us an exciting tale set in an alternate world where dirigibles rule, mad science lives on, and adventure can be found at every turn.

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