In today’s Crackin’ Characters post, I’m going to introduce you to the rather determined and most definitely kick-ass Kate de Vries.
“Don’t shush me,” she said, eyes blazing. “I hate being shushed.”
Kate de Vries, is one of the main characters (alongside Matt Cruse) in Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn trilogy.
This series is set in an alternative reality, steampunk-esq world, where aeroplanes have not yet been invented and the main form of transportation are hydrium powered airships.
One such ship is the Aurora, onboard which is cabin boy Matt Cruse, a hard-working and brave, young man; airships are in Matt’s blood, and he feels most at home in the air.
We first meet Matt, as he attempts to rescue an old man the crew of the Aurora find adrift. Unfortunately, soon after they get him aboard, the old man passes away, but not before rambling about some strange flying creatures he claims to have seen. Twelve months later, Matt finds himself welcoming the old man’s granddaughter and her chaperone on to the Aurora. That granddaughter is heiress, Kate de Vries.
It’s apparent straight away that Kate is very strong-willed, and will do anything to prove her grandfathers research, and someone who like Mel in Barry Hutchison’s The 13th Horseman or the Doctor’s new assistant, Clara Oswain Oswald, is a girl who is not afraid to grab the hero’s hand, and drag him off where she feels he needs to go, or off into another adventure somewhere!
“You think I’m being selfish, don’t you? That I’m rich and have nothing but choices. But I’m a girl, and girls don’t get choices. No one’s going to give me a chance unless I force them to. It’s not enough to just be smart and curious. It’s just like you, being poor. You and I have to try harder and be better to get ahead. I have to have something amazing like this before they’ll pay attention to me.”
But, Kate is not just some assistant, or even a secondary character, but very much a main character in her own right, and just as capable (often more so) than Matt, and can certainly look after herself in a tight spot.
As we follow her throughout the trilogy, Kate’s determination to succeed and prove herself never waivers, and nothing not even her friendship with Matt will stand in her way, if she believes herself to be following the right path. However, while she may not let a friendship get in the way, Kate also isn’t the sort to turn her back on her friends either.
“Honestly,” she sighed. “I don’t know what kind of life we’ll have together, with me flying off in one direction and you in the other.”
I smiled. “It’s a good thing the world’s round.” I said.
Kate de Vries, is one spunky, intelligent and determined girl, and one of my favourite YA heroines, and you should definitely pick up a copy of Airborn and meet her.
“You two were in a cave together?” said Miss Simpkins in horror.
“Yes,” said Kate, “and it was very, very dark.”
This post first appeared on Barry Hutchison’s Website as part of his blog tour for Afterworlds: The Book of Doom.