Publication: September 2011 from Tor
Rating: 3 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it
Twenty-five years ago, the alien Givers came to Earth. They gave the human race the greatest technology ever seen – four giant towers, known as Ladders, that rise 36, 000 miles into space and culminate in space stations that power the entire Earth. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared. Because of the unique alien construction of the Laddertop stations, highly skilled children must perform the maintenance necessary to keep the power flowing.
On Earth, competition is fierce to enter Laddertop Academy – an honor few will achieve. Robbi and Azure, two eleven-year-old girls who are best friends, are promising candidates. They becomes entangled in a dangerous mystery that may solve the riddle of the Givers…if it doesn’t destroy the Earth first!
Laddertop vol. 1 by Orson Scott Card & Emily Janice Card is a fun foray into sci-fi graphic novels. If you’re a fan of Orson Scott Card it’s definitely worth picking up.
Robbi is chosen to go work in The Ladder, a structure left by aliens that extends up into space. Only children can fit into the webbing-like tubes in order to do maintenance and keep the Ladder in working order. Anyone who’s read the Ender books will definitely start feeling nostalgic in reading Laddertop. Though different aliens and plot, the idea of children being trained for a specific task, in space, is very familiar. It makes me wonder what the story would have read like if it was written in traditional novel format rather than as a graphic novel.
The artwork and layout of Laddertop reminds me strongly of manga and without the different hairstyles I would have found it difficult to keep the kids apart. The build up to the beginning of the mystery that Robbi finds herself a part of is interesting, and there’s enough information presented that I’m curious about what the aliens (the Givers) are up to and why they left the Ladders on Earth. One thing I chuckled at, there’s this one panel near the beginning of the book that has some drawings of different spaceships, and I’m pretty sure I saw not only a Borg cube and the Enterprise, but the TARDIS as well. So very neat.
Paperback copy received from Tor in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!