Monday, December 26, 2011


Title: Laddertop
Authors: Orson Scott Card
Emily Janice Card
Artist: Honoel A. Ibardolaza
Published: September 27th 2011
Synopsis from GoodReads

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!

It's unclear to me if "LADDERTOP" is based in the future or not. But 25 years ago this alien race that we call the GIVERS gave it to us.

Laddertop consists of four big towers (ladders) that go up to the Space Station that is called 'Laddertop'. Clever, huh? Cuz you get to the top of the Ladder.

So, think of a primitive Deep Space 9, maybe. That's what I was thinking of. Or maybe a more advanced MIR.

11 year old girl, AZURE really wants to be picked to go to Laddertop. It's been her dream for like ever. That's right... ELEVEN YEAR OLD. You see, they need short kids to do something on Laddertop. I don't really know why. That wasn't explained in this book.

Azure is the comic relief girl. The story is really based around, Robbi (also an 11 year old girl). She doesn't want to go to Laddertop because that's Azure's dream but she really really does which is kinda confusing... First she doesn't, then she does... blah blah blah.

Robbi gets picked to go and Azure is squee diddles for her.

Really kids.... I don't see how an eleven year old girl would like this comic. It just doesn't seem to be what they are into.

Space, girls, playing by the rules. Are girls into this kind of stuff?

I asked my 14 year old son what he thought a middle grade comic should have and he told me: Lots of Action.

Action? Wait... but he's a boy.

The book does have a lot of action but it's not like sword fighting. It's more like "I pushed you on the soccer field. Ha Ha Ha Ha." And then "We are in spinny thing that will make us go spew. Hooray Team USA!"

I dunno.... It seems to be missing something....


That is what I would want in a middle grade comic book if I was 11 years old. Sure there are two comic relief characters but in all honesty I found them annoying. I actually found the boy to be racially stereo-typed. More of a "What are you talkin' 'bout, Willis?" kind of kid which just made me go, "WHAT?!! Really?!!"

Then there was the dialogue. Ummm.... it was kinda lame. I read some of it to my son and he agreed with me.

For example: There is this one part in the book where Robbi tells Azure if she's going to do something crazy that she should give her a code word so she can get out of the way. And Azure says, "GRAMPA!". And Robbi is like "WHY GRAMPA?" And Azure says, "Cuz GRAMPA IS COOL!"

Uhhh..... at eleven years old I think you would get smacked for saying that. Nothing against GRAMPAS of the world... just for using that as your secret word for butt-kicking.

Another thing that I found annoying with "Laddertop" is that none of the characters had boobs. No really.... WHERE'S THE BOOBS? All the "WOMEN" characters (adult!!) had no boobies at all!! None!! I actually found it hard distinguishing if they were male or female. I was convinced throughout the book that one character was a man (a flamboyantly dressed one that reminded me of the vampire Lestat) but turned out he was a Chick. ZOMG! I showed this character to my son and he also thought it was a Man.

So, that needs worked on.

Also, all the characters have great conditioned hair and I had one hell of a time distinguishing the boys from the girls. Even their eyebrows are the same.

The cool thing is there is a CHARACTER glossary with drawing in the back with their names by each picture. I found that to be very nice and helpful.

Now, the cool thing about "Laddertop" is that it is short and while it started out as a 2 Star Flop it did end in a 4 Star I'm Curious What Will Happen kind of book.

I guess the first one in a series kind of has to suckle a bit before it gets any good.

I am looking forward to the next.

I do kinda feel that this is a Grandparent Approved comic book. Think wholesome ARCHIE. So, if you are looking for a grandparent friendly book to get your little darling... pick up LADDERTOP! They might be disappointed but you won't ;)

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