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Jacob's Ladder

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We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. The year is 2203, and Initiate Leon wakes early for his Rising. To come of age in his warrior culture he is expected to prove his ability to kil We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. The year is 2203, and Initiate Leon wakes early for his Rising. To come of age in his warrior culture he is expected to prove his ability to kill. Leon lives on a dying earth, scorched by powerful solar flares. But a series of messages from an alien civilisation have promised refuge to those strong enough to survive on their planet. The last message will arrive any day now. Out in the wild, Leon’s mission quickly unravels, and he is forced to question everything he has been taught. He will need all his resources just to stay alive in this final violent struggle to escape the dying planet.


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We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. The year is 2203, and Initiate Leon wakes early for his Rising. To come of age in his warrior culture he is expected to prove his ability to kil We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. The year is 2203, and Initiate Leon wakes early for his Rising. To come of age in his warrior culture he is expected to prove his ability to kill. Leon lives on a dying earth, scorched by powerful solar flares. But a series of messages from an alien civilisation have promised refuge to those strong enough to survive on their planet. The last message will arrive any day now. Out in the wild, Leon’s mission quickly unravels, and he is forced to question everything he has been taught. He will need all his resources just to stay alive in this final violent struggle to escape the dying planet.

30 review for Jacob's Ladder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    This book had two things on the back that might have put me off - but having read it, I'm really pleased they didn't. First, from the blurb it's clearly a dystopian work, about an extremely unpleasant Earth in 2203. With a few notable exceptions, I really don't like dystopias. The world is miserable enough as it is - the last thing I need is to read about more misery for entertainment. And it's also labelled Young Adult. I think this is a mistake - it's no more Young Adult (which in bookspeak me This book had two things on the back that might have put me off - but having read it, I'm really pleased they didn't. First, from the blurb it's clearly a dystopian work, about an extremely unpleasant Earth in 2203. With a few notable exceptions, I really don't like dystopias. The world is miserable enough as it is - the last thing I need is to read about more misery for entertainment. And it's also labelled Young Adult. I think this is a mistake - it's no more Young Adult (which in bookspeak means teen) than an X-rated horror movie. The protagonists may be late teen, but for me this is solid adult fare. This made reading the first few pages a matter of trepidation - but I was soon reassured by Charlie Pike's strong writing style. The reader is engaged quickly with the main characters, and drawn along by a powerful, page-turning narrative. The Earth is dying due to solar flares, made worse by weird weather, manmade killer bugs and more. But there have been messages from another world promising salvation for the few - Leon is being prepared to be one of the saved, while Martha effectively acts as his slave. At the core of the story is, in part, the transformation of their relationships, but there is far more involved, particularly as it becomes clear that Leon's worldview is down to being a member of a cult, rather than one that is necessarily universal. To be honest, I found the whole aliens and being saved bit the weakest part of the book. What was involved was confusing and never properly explained. But that didn't really matter as the vast majority of the story was about Leon and Martha attempting to survive a range of trials in the wild - and this was impressively (if very gruesomely) done. Pike builds a picture of a horrible world - there's hardly a nice person to be encountered. But there's no doubt that it's one where the reader has to turn the next page and find out what happened.

  2. 4 out of 5

    bookslovereaders Steph

    Set in the World 2203 after many things have happened to civilisation you follow young Intiate Leon on a journey of discovery along with his Divvy Martha. He faces many things along the way and must decide what is true and what he has been told to believe. I like the premise of this book. It was set in an apocalyptic world where messages were sent from Space and Saviours were coming to save those that were worthy. However not is all as it seems as like most things the world was divided and peopl Set in the World 2203 after many things have happened to civilisation you follow young Intiate Leon on a journey of discovery along with his Divvy Martha. He faces many things along the way and must decide what is true and what he has been told to believe. I like the premise of this book. It was set in an apocalyptic world where messages were sent from Space and Saviours were coming to save those that were worthy. However not is all as it seems as like most things the world was divided and people interpreted the messages for their own gain. Leon is an Initiate in a world where he has been brought up as a soldier. To progress he has to complete his Rising and hunt and kill his bind, the problem is his Bind is different to everyone else’s and this sets in motion many events that takes Leon on his journey. Lets talk Characters. The book mainly focuses on Leon and Martha, you learn more about them as the book goes on and see them grown. Leon is the epitome of a male character; strong (he thinks) Confident and unwilling to bend. Martha is a Divvy so basically a slave and I liked her character progression the most. She goes from being a servant and being told what to do and downtrodden and beaten to helping and supporting Leon on his journey and becoming Ulya and strong female willing to sacrifice everything. Overall the characters were well written but I just couldn’t’ engage well with Jacob HOWEVER I feel this what he is supposed to be like. He was quite wooden (I know what I mean) and just felt that at times he was unbending especially towards Ulya/Martha (Warnings: There is some violence towards Martha). Charlie Pike has created a world that if I closed my eyes I could literally picture it. This to me is pretty impressive. Not only that at times Pike’s descriptions of the actions and fights scenes is graphic but to me this made the book more enjoyable (yes I like gruesomeness in my books) it helped make the book what it is a Dystopian novel. I admit I am not a massive fan of Dystopian books, Sci-Fi yes. This book had elements of both however I found that the Sci-Fi wasn’t well established and this might be due to it being explained more within the second book. I found that this book focused more on Leon and Ulya/Martha’s journey and what they faced in the wilderness. There was so many unanswered questions which I don’t mind however felt that it left the book wanting more, especially around what Jacobs Ladder meant and how the world became what it is. Overall it was a good book with elements that I really enjoyed. I found it slightly messy in parts but the style of Pike’s writing was extremely good and that’s what kept me reading and engaged.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Mann

    We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. 30 years it took to get a response from their SOS call. The Earth is dying and another planet has responded to offer salvation but only for a select few and only for the worthy. Leon is a warrior who lives his life to please and impress the ones who will one day offer him salvation but We have heard your call. You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. 30 years it took to get a response from their SOS call. The Earth is dying and another planet has responded to offer salvation but only for a select few and only for the worthy. Leon is a warrior who lives his life to please and impress the ones who will one day offer him salvation but to do so he has to have a stone heart, be unattached and to complete murder. The day comes for Leon to meet his prey and to complete his rising. He has trained his whole life for this, but what he wasn’t prepared for is, his sacrifice is a woman. I was hooked from the very first page of “Jacob’s ladder”. It was so enthralling and fast paced it felt like a movie being played out in my mind whilst I was reading. I would recommend this novel to any sci-fi/fantasy fans. I read a review that the treatment of woman in the book is hard to stomach and for this reason it was awarded 1 star. Woman are kept as slaves but it’s relevant to the world building and relationships that follow. I don’t think under any circumstances it’s a reflection on the authors views of woman. I think people can become too sensitive about subjects in a book especially when it’s fantasy. That right there is saying it’s not based on real life. Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC in return for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. DNF'd @ 20% The premise sounded so intriguing, but the actual execution of it didn't work for me at all. Thanks anyway, NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    I received this book for free from O’Brien Press in exchange for an honest review. Leon is an initiate in a world that’s been destroyed by solar flares, and its inhabitants are waiting for the fourth and final message from an alien civilisation promising to save them. To become a man, Leon now must go on a hunt in the wilderness but things unravel very quickly and Leon ends up on a completely different kind of journey. There is very little to praise about this book. Literal I received this book for free from O’Brien Press in exchange for an honest review. Leon is an initiate in a world that’s been destroyed by solar flares, and its inhabitants are waiting for the fourth and final message from an alien civilisation promising to save them. To become a man, Leon now must go on a hunt in the wilderness but things unravel very quickly and Leon ends up on a completely different kind of journey. There is very little to praise about this book. Literally the only thing I can say was promising about it was the writing itself. The author can write and that’s about it, the story itself was terrible and disturbing and it just really irritated me. I wanted to DNF this book after a few short chapters but decided to finish it all so I could make sure I had read the full book before giving a critical review. The premise of this book is confusing, and just grows more baffling as readers are given more glimpses into the world and the different types of people and communities who live it. Nothing is really explained properly and I feel like I was kept in the dark about everything simply because Leon didn’t know anything. Even when characters like Martha/Ulya tried to explain things - it still didn’t make any sense. This book is a dystopian with a hefty dose of sci-fi but it was also hard to figure out where in the world it was set. It seemed to be America but then Ulya came from the Ukraine and knew America was America, not what others called it and I couldn’t figure out why she knew some things and every other character didn’t. It was so confusing. Something happens to Leon early on in the book too and he begins to change or something begins to transform within him, and this also wasn’t really explained properly. It was like the reader was just expected to accept everything. But the WORST thing in this book was the backwards way every single woman was treated. I mean there’s literally only about a handful of women who appear in the book, and only one of these has any sort of main role - but she’s a slave, and for some reason sticks to Leon the entire time despite being free to run and she does not any real excuse to actually like or care for him because he’s a bit of an empty character. No character really had a personality in this book. Every female character seemed to be there just to act as an accessory to a male character, and it was sooooo problematic. I’m shocked this book was seen as fit to publish. We are so BEYOND books like this now. There was also a problematic discussion among a few of the young male characters near the start about this crazy ‘bleeding between the legs’ they heard happened to a woman, where she didn’t even need to cut herself to bleed. So obviously talking about periods and in a modern world where there is still so much stigma around periods (think girls missing school, women being contained to huts during their periods in third world communities) this just IS NOT ON. In a YA book, there should not be this conspiracy, dramatised rumourville around menstruation. How great would it have been to have men who knew about periods, were not afraid or grossed out about them and got on with normal life - ya know, the way all women do. Shocking, I know. Don’t read this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Jacob's Ladder certainly was interesting. It's not like the premise states. Much more religious than I would have thought which I didn't love. The characters are not likeable and their personalities are questionable and severe. I wanted to like this, but it morphed into an unrecognizable story that lost me. Maybe the blurb should read differently? An okay read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    AK

    Received via Netgalley for review Likes: This book definitely brings the apocalyptic sci-fi element it promised. Going in, I knew to expect some things(the broken world and of course the aliens) but I didn’t expect the added horror element with the grotesque descriptions of the worms. The book itself is well written- Pike does know how to make vivid settings in such a vicious world. There was constant action so I never really got the chance to get bored with the plot. Dislikes: How lo Received via Netgalley for review Likes: This book definitely brings the apocalyptic sci-fi element it promised. Going in, I knew to expect some things(the broken world and of course the aliens) but I didn’t expect the added horror element with the grotesque descriptions of the worms. The book itself is well written- Pike does know how to make vivid settings in such a vicious world. There was constant action so I never really got the chance to get bored with the plot. Dislikes: How long has it been since the cities were ruined and the first message was sent? Some of the characters (including Martha who’s supposed to be fairly young) talked as if they were there when the cities all fell and everyone had to evacuate but the True Path has been around for 200 years. I found that timeline confusing and also where they were. I heard Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and then places like New Brazil and America. If they’re in Asia why is America being mentioned? I also had problems with the characters. Some, I feel like I didn’t get to know them long enough to understand why they were written into the book at all and others I questioned their motives? I understood Leon’s transition(not all of the names though), but I didn’t understand Martha/Ulya(Ulra? I just read this and I honestly can’t remember her name) at all. I don’t get why she didn’t just leave Leon to die after all the abuse she went through other than to keep the plot going. Not to mention he kept abusing her after all that she did to save his life. There was also a lot of info dump in the middle of the book when she made the sudden transition from a mute slave to an incredibly talkative caretaker.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    Leon is ready for his Rising, he has trained for this all his life……he meets his bind and is shocked it’s a woman…surely he is worth more than this? It will be too easy to hunt and slit her throat with Stella! ……won’t it? His bind is sent and he and his ‘crew’ are on the hunt, but she escapes when Old Sally, the acid rain, hits…… They eventually find her, wounded but she pricks Leon’s neck with something, before all hell breaks out and the only survivors are Leon and his di Leon is ready for his Rising, he has trained for this all his life……he meets his bind and is shocked it’s a woman…surely he is worth more than this? It will be too easy to hunt and slit her throat with Stella! ……won’t it? His bind is sent and he and his ‘crew’ are on the hunt, but she escapes when Old Sally, the acid rain, hits…… They eventually find her, wounded but she pricks Leon’s neck with something, before all hell breaks out and the only survivors are Leon and his divvy (slave) Martha…. What follows is a journey, a perilous one to say the least and the relationship between Martha, or Ulya as she has said her real name is, and Leon….will they hear the final message from Thule……or is everything Leon believes about to come crashing around his newly changed body…? While this is a YA novel, it’s not a light read….there’s brutality to women, slavery and general cruelty, oh and worm brood!! A clever and well plotted tale of a dystopian world…..dark and moody with the underlying desperation of hope… Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book and this is my honest, unbiased review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elna

    Received via NetGalley for review. Not at all what I expected from the blurb - I went into this expecting a typical science-fiction quest and got a pretty religious telling about the literal end of the world. Which is not to say I didn't like it; I just wouldn't classify it as science fiction. Everything was so related to the Bible and the stories of the End Times that it was hard to see from any other lens. (view spoiler)[Maybe I was in the wrong mindset, Received via NetGalley for review. Not at all what I expected from the blurb - I went into this expecting a typical science-fiction quest and got a pretty religious telling about the literal end of the world. Which is not to say I didn't like it; I just wouldn't classify it as science fiction. Everything was so related to the Bible and the stories of the End Times that it was hard to see from any other lens. (view spoiler)[Maybe I was in the wrong mindset, but after spending so much time with Ulya and Ryker (I think that was his name...) and their belief that Leon was an angel as the main narrative of the quest, it was strange to suddenly jump into a group of people who then said the schenik were aliens. And the fact that the Bible had been reinterpreted to fit everything that was happening (the worms as the Pale Horseman of Death, the saviors, the fact that the world basically ended, etc.) just seemed to further reinforce that reading. (hide spoiler)] Leon has been raised to eschew all attachments so that he might Rise - be one of the chosen to go to Thule once Earth become inhabitable. But his ceremony goes awry and he discover that what he was raised to believe is a twisted version of the truth. Those who are chosen to go to Thule are seen as aliens by the rest of the world, hunted and feared for their strange skin and deadly poison. The main relationship is unsettling in this story. Leon and Martha/Ulya (his slave) were raised in an incredibly oppressive cult, where attachments and empathy are forbidden and those who are chosen are simply worth more than everyone else. What this means is that Leon has been told his whole life he is special and chosen and wonderful, and Martha has had to endure beatings and slavery and probably worse her entire life. She is so broken that, when the opportunity comes for her to leave Leon for dead, she instead doubles down on her loyalty and devotion to him (She justifies this because he wasn't "as bad" as the others, though he still abused [and continues to abuse!!] her emotionally and physically). There is no overt romance, which greatly relieves me, but the utter brokenness of Ulya is so disheartening and depressing that her continued apathy hurts to read. Yet she is praised as having a strong soul, or bending but never breaking. This definitely sends the wrong message to the reader, especially to the younger readers that Pike is aiming for. This, in combination with the uncertainty of the ages of the characters means that it could probably be shifted for adult audiences with little issue. The climax was also very rushed (view spoiler)[- Ulya, Leon, and their companion arrive at a camp and find themselves slaves once their companion is brutally murdered, apparently as justice for "provoking the worms" (strange, merciless, deadly, and unstoppable creatures). There is no follow-up to this or further explanation (WHY is it forbidden to provoke the worms? Why was he doing it if it was forbidden?), and Leon travels to the city to discover the true location of Thule. When he returns, (almost) everyone is dead. (hide spoiler)] I appreciate the bleak ending, but it all happens so quickly it was a little like whiplash - this happens, and then this, which results in this and that, and then everything goes to crap. It's a little tough to follow. So, while it's badly mis-categorized (religious horror, maybe, rather than science fiction, and adult rather than young adult), it's an engaging and tense read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I had recalls of reading The Host as I read this book. The True Path are those who follow the Messages, sent from the time before, five Messages will be sent and on the Fifth, only those who are worthy will be taken. As the earth gets hotter, bio warfare has corrupted the environment bringing strange infections and deathly weather. The alien messages are all that can save mankind. We follow Leon as he heads out to prove himself worthy to Rise. His meeting with the council Elect is slightly diffe I had recalls of reading The Host as I read this book. The True Path are those who follow the Messages, sent from the time before, five Messages will be sent and on the Fifth, only those who are worthy will be taken. As the earth gets hotter, bio warfare has corrupted the environment bringing strange infections and deathly weather. The alien messages are all that can save mankind. We follow Leon as he heads out to prove himself worthy to Rise. His meeting with the council Elect is slightly different and he gets the message that he will think they dishonour him but that is not the case. His mentor's Bind was a giant of a man, hunted down and returned in order for him to rise. When Leon is met with the small shaking body with a bag over it's head he had hoped for a larger challenge. It is a woman, everyone is surprised. She now has a day and a night to escape before he hunts her down. Captured whilst travelling the woman is a stranger but should not be underestimated. Hoping it won't be too easy Leon sets out with his band of trusted boy soldiers, also not yet Risen, and his divvy, a Martha who acts as his squire. - I thought it interesting Martha was the name chosen for her reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale straightaway. Whilst the dogs are on her trail Old Sally appears and things start to go wrong. The acidic rainfall is quick and deadly, they must find shelter. Abandoning the horses and running for cover with the dogs, still not all of them get away with injury. As their quarry is nearly in reach, a new threat appears. More men in search of the woman, and they have weapons from the old days. When Leon loses everything, he has to rely on his Martha, who did not desert when she could have. Both of them survivors, a strange relationship builds between them as they seek shelter, flee wild dogs and come into contact with a Worm Brood infection. When travellers seem to come to their aid after they help a young boy escape the terrifying Worms, things seem to be going better. But Leon is betrayed again. Can he now search for the final Message? An intriguing and compelling read as I never knew where it was going and what Leon would decide, having not been out so far in the wilds away from all he knew. With new knowledge and as his belief system is attacked, as he starts to change everyone seems to know who he is but won't tell him. A great apocalyptic adventure that left me gasping for more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amber DuBois

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received an advance reading copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. I don’t even know where to start. I can’t think of anything to like about this book. I’m really disappointed about that, too, because the description seems SO promising! I’ll start with the fact that there isn’t a single likable character in this book. Not one. The main character starts out a detestable member of a detestable group, compounded by the fact that the he has a female slave, so yo I received an advance reading copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. I don’t even know where to start. I can’t think of anything to like about this book. I’m really disappointed about that, too, because the description seems SO promising! I’ll start with the fact that there isn’t a single likable character in this book. Not one. The main character starts out a detestable member of a detestable group, compounded by the fact that the he has a female slave, so you think that gives him a lot of room to improve, right? Room to wise up and realize that having slaves is bad and treating women that poorly is also bad, yeah? BUT HE NEVER DOES. Nor do any of the other characters! Wait, I’ll take that back. There was one likable character. And she has no lines of dialog that aren’t passed through s different character and only briefly appears at the beginning and the end. Maybe that’s why she’s likable. She’s just never there! Then there’s the fact that, clearly bad things have gone down and the world is about to end, but there’s really no explanation about how things in society ended up the way they are. It’s hinted at and alluded to, but there isn’t a satisfying explanation that answers the questions! Like, Sat worms. What are they? Where did they come from? Are they from the alien saviors or were they part of some warfare that happened that we aren’t privy to? If there was warfare, why? Who was the war between? Who won and what did they actually win? Where is this set? How old are the characters—is the main character still a teenager? Also? An explanation on the mechanism of how the sechniks are chosen would have been nice. What set them apart and makes them special. Was Vanesa responsible for making Leon that way, or was Leon that way and Vanesa activated something? If Leon had never met Vanesa, would he have become a sechnik? And the end is rushed and abrupt and nonsensical and answers NO questions at all. This wasn’t a satisfying read. If I hadn’t been reading this on an expensive device, but in a book, I’d have thrown it across the room. In the end it was nothing more than a word salad with characters I didn’t care about doing things that seem continually pointless for very little payoff. I’m glad I didn’t pay for this or I’d want a refund. This book had a huge amount of potential, but failed to deliver on any front. I haven’t been this disappointed in a book in a very long time. I won’t be reading anything else from this author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Set in 2203 Jacob’s Ladder was a quirky mix of fantasy, post-apocalyptic and science fiction and although it was enjoyable I am unsure if teenagers will fully engage with it. At a certain point I felt it meandered and lost its way slightly after a great opening which it failed to capitalise on. The main character is Leon, who is about to undergo an initiation service (the Rising) into adulthood by murdering, or hunting, a young woman from a different tribe. Leon is a member of the True Path warr Set in 2203 Jacob’s Ladder was a quirky mix of fantasy, post-apocalyptic and science fiction and although it was enjoyable I am unsure if teenagers will fully engage with it. At a certain point I felt it meandered and lost its way slightly after a great opening which it failed to capitalise on. The main character is Leon, who is about to undergo an initiation service (the Rising) into adulthood by murdering, or hunting, a young woman from a different tribe. Leon is a member of the True Path warrior culture who believe they have been sent four messages from an alien race, which at some point are going to save some of the chosen tribe and take them to another planet. Leon believes he will be chosen for this task, as do others from his tribe. When the novel opens they believe the fifth and final message is on its way. Why do they need rescuing is one of the big questions? The Earth is dying, destroyed by powerful flares from the sun and sandstorms so powerful they can strip the skin from your face. These windstorms are seriously nasty and vividly described. Not to mention wars which nobody really remembers, which give clues from the past. Leon believes his Rising will be easy but the woman he hunts is much more dangerous than he expects and the novel moves in several unexpected dimensions as their relationship as hunter and prey changes. However, once they were out in the wastelands the novel became repetitive, lots of other characters were introduced and there were jumbled hints of where the story was set. The revelation of what Jacob’s Ladder actually meant was a decent twist and in many ways the majority of the characters had been lied to and the novel had much to say about fundamentalism. Jacob’s Ladder had some clever ideas, but this area of YA fiction is a highly competitive market and I’m not sure it has enough to truly catch the attention of bored teenagers. Who knows though, it was still a satisfying read and might still be worth a punt for those aged thirteen plus.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Garrett-Williams

    Reading the description of this book I felt like it would be along the lines of the Testing/Maze Runner/Hunger Games with the dystopian world, I wasn’t too wrong. It's different to what I have read before and had a promising start for this dark feeling book. The world has been destroyed by pollution and war with the only hope being these messages and the promise of salvation. Leon is our main protagonist in this story, cult-like indoctrination has him believing everything h Reading the description of this book I felt like it would be along the lines of the Testing/Maze Runner/Hunger Games with the dystopian world, I wasn’t too wrong. It's different to what I have read before and had a promising start for this dark feeling book. The world has been destroyed by pollution and war with the only hope being these messages and the promise of salvation. Leon is our main protagonist in this story, cult-like indoctrination has him believing everything he has been told and as a True Path warrior he is to face a final test before he can ascend and go with the Thule when Earth is uninhabitable. He has to kill a woman in cold blood as part of a ritual but cannot go through with it, he learns that things aren’t what they seem and going with the Thule isn’t the salvation it is promised. Failing this test, he has to then travel with his ‘slave’ Martha to find the final message from the Saviours. Travelling across a dying Earth he beings to notice changes to his body, changes that shouldn’t be happening which puts him in grave danger. The story is quite creative but sometimes lacking, Charlie Pike has a strong writing style which draws you in. That being said, the themes throughout are very dark, the treatment of woman is questionable. It’s quite gory at times and I’m not sure if i’d class it as YA or Science Fiction - it reads more like an Adult Horror and has a rather bleak ending. Overall, it’s not bad, not 100% if it was for me but if you like horror “sci-fi” and gore, give it a go. Thank you Netgalley & Cameron Publicity for the copy to review

  14. 5 out of 5

    Indre

    The story begins with Leon who is about to go to a challenge of sorts to prove himself worthy to become the Elect. Which is basically a power advancement within the colony. We are not told exactly why this is being done, except for the concept of picking out the strongest in the human race to be saved by some alien race. When ho goes off to his hunt, due to changed weather and a acid storm, he loses his mark and his challenge becomes harder. No longer it's just about him and his mark, but also a The story begins with Leon who is about to go to a challenge of sorts to prove himself worthy to become the Elect. Which is basically a power advancement within the colony. We are not told exactly why this is being done, except for the concept of picking out the strongest in the human race to be saved by some alien race. When ho goes off to his hunt, due to changed weather and a acid storm, he loses his mark and his challenge becomes harder. No longer it's just about him and his mark, but also about the other dangers in the outside world, the other races that are hunting in the wilderness for food, scraps, other people. The beginning had me hooked. It was a different concept for a dystopian. But as the book dragged on, there's just so much fantasy, but it's not explained fully. I liked the fact that we were learning of the actual world and what is happening in it through these brainwashed. innocent eyes of Leon, but eventually mostly everything should have been explained. I'm still at a loss for what the messages were, or what they actually mean. Or why this alien race is helping the Earthlings. Just so much unexplained, and left for imagination. Oh and the gore. It really read more like a horror book. I did not expect so much gore with the worms. Overall an interesting book for a dystopian sci-fi. More world building, and more streamlined characters would have made this a better book. I still have no idea where any of the characters stand in the world. Have they changed their thinking? Or are they doing what they need to survive? If anyone loves gory stories, with lots of alien creatures, go for it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Belmont

    Jacob’s Ladder is right up my alley. I love dystopian and Sci-Fi, so this had everything I love in a book. It’s set in 2203 and the world is a dangerous and often misleading place. Charlie Pike has this incredible ability to transport readers right into his book. His descriptions are so realistic, I found myself easily imagining that I was right in the middle of all the chaos. This was my favorite part of the book. I love when I can be transported into the world that I am reading – al Jacob’s Ladder is right up my alley. I love dystopian and Sci-Fi, so this had everything I love in a book. It’s set in 2203 and the world is a dangerous and often misleading place. Charlie Pike has this incredible ability to transport readers right into his book. His descriptions are so realistic, I found myself easily imagining that I was right in the middle of all the chaos. This was my favorite part of the book. I love when I can be transported into the world that I am reading – albeit this world is pretty terrifying. This world is brutal. There are some things – such as women being slaves – that are hard to stomach, but it is the world that this is set in. It had a lot to do with the plot and there was nothing that happened that didn’t move the plot forward. Charlie Pike did an excellent job including only necessary details and not getting gross just to be gross. I just wanted more from this story…in a good way. There were questions left unanswered and I am eagerly awaiting a second book. I think this story has so much potential and I can’t wait to see it grow. The characters are fantastically realistic. Likeable, unlikable and all flawed. I had a difficult time putting this down. I definitely suggest checking Jacob’s Ladder out! It’s fast-paced and really consuming. Great read. *I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a blog tour with Random Things Tours. All opinions are my own.* Find this review and more on my blog: https://www.jessicabelmont.wordpress.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Drew

    Complex and thrilling story of a future world destroyed by pollution and war, where the only source of hope is from "messages" from an alien planet promising safety to those who are strong. At the start it felt like a mashup of Hunger Games, Handmaidens Tale and The Maze Runner ; you are thrown straight into a unrecognizable world that the main character Leon lives in. They use words and phrases that are difficult to understand the meanings of and it takes a while before you figure ou Complex and thrilling story of a future world destroyed by pollution and war, where the only source of hope is from "messages" from an alien planet promising safety to those who are strong. At the start it felt like a mashup of Hunger Games, Handmaidens Tale and The Maze Runner ; you are thrown straight into a unrecognizable world that the main character Leon lives in. They use words and phrases that are difficult to understand the meanings of and it takes a while before you figure out the society that he lives in. Leon has to go out to kill a woman as part of a ritual type situation that means he can go with the aliens to their planet when they arrive. However the whole expedition goes terribly wrong and Leon discovers there is a huge world beyond the confines he was brought up in. Alongside his "divvy" Martha, a female slave, he travels across a barren world, meeting different dangers, groups of people and learning more about the world outside his apparent cult. It was a gripping although slightly confusing story and not what you would expect from reading the blurb. Sci-fi elements (the worm/SAT worm/brood things?) made the story really gripping and there's a huge underlying tension throughout the book that I really enjoyed. I would like to know a bit more about the backstory (Leons age? What are the worms? How were the messages recieved etc) but overall enjoyable and complex.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Judy

    A unique, incisive voice brings us on a journey filled with tension, drama and thought-provoking action. The descriptive power of the writing gives a clear picture of what the planet has become; the landscape scorched and threatening; the people violent and desperate. The story-telling is gripping, fast-paced and it takes the reader on a journey that they do not want to be on. But it is impossible to turn away from this. The reader is locked in Leons' intense perspective as he tries to cling to A unique, incisive voice brings us on a journey filled with tension, drama and thought-provoking action. The descriptive power of the writing gives a clear picture of what the planet has become; the landscape scorched and threatening; the people violent and desperate. The story-telling is gripping, fast-paced and it takes the reader on a journey that they do not want to be on. But it is impossible to turn away from this. The reader is locked in Leons' intense perspective as he tries to cling to his beliefs and teachings, but struggles to marry those with the things happening before his very eyes. This is a coming-of-age dystopia of the highest quality, but is quite violent in places; so may not be one for more sensitive readers. It is the stuff of nightmares made real. 'Prepare To Be Born Anew', indeed. Original, energetic, shocking, consuming...extraordinary in every way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Thank you to NetGalley and Cameron Publicity for the opportunity to read and review #Jacob'sLadder. An utterly unique and dark novel that is label young adult, but feels more new adult once I read it. It has a lot of science fiction aspects and leaves you feeling emotional at the end. It felt overwhelming to read at times due to the heavy nature of the world the author creates. I think it will find an audience with it's dark and unique subject matter. I look forward to reading more from thi Thank you to NetGalley and Cameron Publicity for the opportunity to read and review #Jacob'sLadder. An utterly unique and dark novel that is label young adult, but feels more new adult once I read it. It has a lot of science fiction aspects and leaves you feeling emotional at the end. It felt overwhelming to read at times due to the heavy nature of the world the author creates. I think it will find an audience with it's dark and unique subject matter. I look forward to reading more from this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Insert Name Here

    I tried really hard to enjoy this, but the background is just too muddled. I understand that the climate went really bad and everyone pinned their hopes on the Messages, but how did that give rise to the civilisations we see in this novel? How far in the future is it? How old is the main character? What's going on, basically? There's a good story under here, but sadly it wasn't for me. Others might enjoy it better and I hope you do. I received a proof copy of this tit I tried really hard to enjoy this, but the background is just too muddled. I understand that the climate went really bad and everyone pinned their hopes on the Messages, but how did that give rise to the civilisations we see in this novel? How far in the future is it? How old is the main character? What's going on, basically? There's a good story under here, but sadly it wasn't for me. Others might enjoy it better and I hope you do. I received a proof copy of this title.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Note: I received an ARC from Netgalley. The book was interesting in terms of its story and the action that followed. The concept was good, but I just got confused with the story. I could vaguely follow the action, but the whole plot didn't flow cleanly for me. I guess the book just wasn't for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    CR

    Although I didn't have high hopes for this one I was hoping it was going to be good. I love science fiction stories and this one caught my eye. Although, the story had promise and the author can totally write well. The story itself fell short of any expectation that I could have had. I think with some more content editing this one could be a major hit with the ya crowd.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Ripley

    Book review to be posted on www.mrripleysenchatedbooks.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Candy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dagbjört Kjartansdóttir

  26. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    This story's blurb and title were really intriguing. I am a character-driven reader, but I couldn't really cheer on the characters in this book. I did, however, like the writing and the characterization. I will read more of Pike's work. Thank you, NetGalley for supplying this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    The O'Brien Press

  28. 4 out of 5

    Louise Davidson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rackle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nastasia

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