Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

Laddertop, Volume 1 is, as the title suggests, the first book in the Laddertop series and I certainly hope not the last. This is a young adult graphic novel. I was a little leery at first partly because I was afraid the graphics would be focused on young girls. After all, the main characters are, in fact, young girls. I’m happy to say that while Laddertop is about these kids, it’s not a just a story about being a young girl.

While reading Laddertop, I felt echoes of Ender’s Game; there was the brush with a mostly unknown extra-terrestial culture; military personnel training children for a job; most people unaware of what is really going on. There was also the feel of Gunnerkrigg Court, another graphic novel about a girl going away to school where mysteries abound.

Twenty five years ago, the ‘givers’ came and shared their technology, including instructions for towers or elevators that extend 36,000 miles into space. These towers provide power to Earth, make it easier to put things into orbit and bring materials back from asteroids. The ladders were designed in such a way that using children for the repair work was found to be most efficient. Therefore, children have grown up competing to be chosen for the job.

Laddertop, Volume 1 is primarily about Robbi and her trials on her way to Laddertop; it stops shortly after. This book is really just to prime the pump, if you will. It is all setup and much explaining is left for future volumes.

I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would and look forward to the next installment. I need a couple more books before I can tell if the series are going to be great, but it certainly shows promise.

Rating: 4/5

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Tor/Seven Seas. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.