I'm trying to remember a book I read a while ago.

A lot of it was focused on zeppelins, that use a gas with a really specific smell you could detect easily (was it strawberry ? or blueberry?). The main protagonist is a boy, he's aboard a big luxury zeppelin that crashes on an island, maybe due to a storm, and can't go back because the envelope has lost gas.

There's also something about going on very high altitude with a zeppelin, so high that is almost non-breathable, and everything freezes. At that altitude, the protagonist(s) find a abandoned zeppelin, populated by some octopus-like creatures, which can deliver an electric shock with their tentacles.

I would say the book would be from the mid 2000's, when I read it, and for me it looked like a pretty recent book at the time.

1 Answer 1


The Airborn Trilogy by Kenneth Oppel seems like a good fit from the description.

The ships use a special gas called hydrium and the world has several flying creatures that are specific to this universe.

In the first book called Airborn (2004), the main character, a youngish boy, is aboard an airship when attacked by pirates and the ship gets stranded on an island.

In the second book called Skybreaker (2005), the now slightly older boy (young man) is part of a mission to board an Airship that can travel higher than normal airships and has drifted into an arctic region. When they board they are attacked by a tentacled creature that can deliver electric shocks.


I did a bit of extra research after being prompted by one of the comments below and found an excerpt of the first book in the trilogy Airborn (which can be found here).

The hydrium gas is described as mango-scented. So it definitely had a fruity scent.

The ship that is attacked by pirates is described as a luxury airliner in the description of the book on the authors website (here).

The excerpt mentions that the pirate ship and luxury ship collided because of a storm.

  • An excerpt from Airborn, available from the authors own site kennethoppel.ca/airborn, describes hydrium as "mango-scented".
    – K Mo
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 0:38
  • That definitely looks like it ! I'm impressed ! I'll check this evening and mark accepted as soon as I can :)
    – stk
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 8:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.