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Review: Laddertop, volume 1 by Orson Scott Card, Emily Janice Card, Honoel A. Ibardolaza (artist)

>>Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Title: Laddertop
Author: Orson Scott Card, Emily Janice Card, Honoel A. Ibardolaza (artist)
Series: Laddertop #1
Format: Manga
Pages: 192
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Tor Seven Seas
Rating: C

From Goodreads: An original science fiction manga by the bestselling author of Ender’s Game and his daughter

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 planet. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared. Due to the unique alien construction of the Laddertop space stations, only a skilled crew of children can perform the maintenance necessary to keep the stations up and running.

Back on Earth, competition is fierce to enter Laddertop Academy. It is an honor few students will achieve. Robbi and Azure, two eleven-year-old girls who are the best of friends, are candidates for the Academy. They will become entangled in a dangerous mystery that may help them solve the riddle of the Givers...if it doesn’t destroy the Earth first!

Why did I read this book? I was intrigued about reading a science fiction manga!

Source: ARC from BEA

My Review
I feel like it will be hard to review this book because it's just the beginning of a larger story. For a first volume, though, I enjoyed it and found it to be interesting enough to persue.

The story, at least from what I hear (I never read Ender's Game), is similar to that book in that it has a young protagonist that goes into training in space. In this case it's a girl names Roberta ("Robbi") and the story follows how she is accepted to a school called Laddertop Academy. There's a large cast of characters most of which is classmates of Robbi.

What I enjoyed most about Laddertop is the world building. There's a healthy plot of mystery and science fiction surrounding the The Givers, aliens who gave humans technology to go into space and progress in many things. Robbi seems to be at the heart of this when she's passes a scan that all students must do (this was installed by The Givers and no one really knows what it's scanning) in order to go up to Laddertop. Robbi's scan results are unusual and this furthers the idea that something else is going on.

Rating: C
I would recommend this if you're interested in a new manga centered around science fiction school life. I feel like I should hold off a little until the next volumes to make a firm decision on this story, since volume one is just the beginning. It didn't start off with a bang, but there is a lot of potential here for a good series. As for the art, I thought it was great and held a lot of detail.

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