In 1862, Union army infantryman Samuel Dakota changed history when he spilled a bottle of pilfered moonshine in the Virginia dirt and stumbled upon the biochemical secret of flight. Not only did the Civil War come to a much quicker close, but Dakota Aeronautics was born.Read more...
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In 1862, Union army infantryman Samuel Dakota changed history when he spilled a bottle of pilfered moonshine in the Virginia dirt and stumbled upon the biochemical secret of flight. Not only did the Civil War come to a much quicker close, but Dakota Aeronautics was born.
Now, in Andy Marino's "Uncrashable Dakota," it is 1912, and the titanic Dakota flagship embarks on its maiden flight. But shortly after the journey begins, the airship is hijacked. Fighting to save the ship, the young heir of the Dakota empire, Hollis, along with his brilliant friend Delia and his stepbrother, Rob, are plunged into the midst of a long-simmering family feud. Maybe Samuel's final secret wasn't just the tinkering of a madman after all. . . .
What sinister betrayals and strange discoveries await Hollis and his friends in the gilded corridors and opulent staterooms? Who can be trusted to keep the most magnificent airship the world has ever known from falling out of the sky?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-14
- Reviewer: Staff
The example of the Titanic shows that it’s just asking for trouble to call a ship “unsinkable”—or an airship “uncrashable” in this alternate history from Marino (Unison Spark). So learns Hollis Dakota, the 13-year-old scion of Dakota Aeronautics on the 1912 maiden voyage of the Wendell Dakota, the “world’s first metropolis in the sky.” The flagship of the Dakota fleet carries Hollis, his mother Lucy, stepbrother Rob Castor, and passengers that include the cream of society on a journey that begins with luxury and celebration and ends with hijacking and a desperate attempt to keep the craft airborne. The occasionally slow-moving plot is interwoven with Civil War–era flashbacks about Hollis’s grandfather Samuel, which explain how he discovered the secret of air travel (it involves moonshine, tree sap, and beetles). Adult characters are largely flat—it’s unclear why Lucy would have remarried—but the relationship between Rob and Hollis as they negotiate friendship, brotherhood, and a vicious family feud is soundly drawn, and Hollis’s ally Delia Cosgrove, an apprentice beetle-keeper, is a delight. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elana Roth, Red Tree Literary. (Nov.)