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Laddertop. Volume 1
Card, Orson Scott.
Teen Fiction CARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Orson Scott, Emily Janice. and Zima Card join the ranks of Anne & Todd McCaffrey and Dick & Felix Francis, as parent and children collaborate on this near future adventure. In a world transformed a quarter-century earlier by the fantastic technology of the enigmatic alien Givers, ambitious teens like Roberta Holten and Azure Miles contend for what they have been led to believe are prestigious positions up on Laddertop, a giant space station connected to Earth by a ladder; one of the Givers' gifts, Laddertop offers access to the entire solar system to humanity. As the pair soon learns, the promises made to them are misleading, training is brutal, the process of selection is arbitrary and subject to the whims of alien machinery, and the true purpose of Laddertop remains a mystery even to the adults who believe they administer it. With competent mangastyle illustrations by the award-winning Ibardolaza, this volume is devoted to asking the questions the rest of the series will be answering; approached as the first installment of an extended story, this stands as a worthy young adult adventure novel. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Two BFF tween girls apply for an elite gig as tenders for four giant towers known as Ladders, which rise up to a space station powering all Earth. The Ladders and Laddertop, we learn, were supplied by the Givers, mysterious aliens still opaque to the humans administering Laddertop. Only children are small and light enough to perform vital system maintenance. While the adventure and the interkid rivalries hook in the plot, a deeper metaphor lurks beneath: the mysteries of adulthood and its relationships. For if the alien signals have been indecipherable, so, too, is the behavior of the adult humans who lead the "web rats" into their new role. Should Robbi, Azure, and Xichab trust their instincts or follow instructions? And whose instructions? What's more, the aliens appear to be communicating directly with Robbi, and what does that mean? VERDICT A first-class plot could be developing here, although it's too early to foresee how it will play out. While not so stylish or dramatic as Japanese manga art, the black-and-white drawings are well designed and attractive. Teens and tweens will find this story intriguing.-M.C. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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