Alright, minor necro here.
Anyway, I've been trying to find this book for a while,I remember listening to it a few years ago, probably while driving somewhere. All I remember about it is that the main characters escaped a prison on a hot air balloon, and where caught up in a storm. They dumped some stuff overboard, and managed to stay in the air long enough to crash on an island. They found tunnels throughout the island, and they had two matches, one shattered when they tried to light a fire, the other worked. They ended up creating nitroglyceroine for some reason and where attacked by pirates.
It's a bit of a stretch any of you know it, at least by those meager details, but I listened to it about four years ago, so no complaining.