cover image Laddertop, Vol. 1

Laddertop, Vol. 1

Orson Scott Card, Emily Janice Card, Zina Card and Honoel A. Ibardolaza. Tor/Seven Seas, $10.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2460-3

Orson Scott, Emily Janice, and Zina 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.)