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Jacob's Ladder

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  395 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Three friends set out in search of their identities — and a link to their past — in a provocative adventure that builds to a deeply satisfying ending.

Jacob awakens inexplicably in a gray, grim place called Locus, where people his age live in dormitories, wear identical gray uniforms, and eat spongy, tasteless food. Even worse than the dreary conditions is his realization t
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 13th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 872)
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May 24, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2015-wrap-up
This book started out very intriguing. A boy, Jacob, wakes up in the middle of a field, knowing nothing but his name. He has no idea how he got there, or anything of his life before waking up in the field.

As the book progresses he begins to learn things. Small things about his past, and things about the place he woke up in.

I was very interested up until maybe the last quarter of the book. It felt like the author rushed the ending to make the book shorter, and packed a bunch of stuff into the l
Sep 07, 2015 Zayden rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2008 Lisa added it
Recommended to Lisa by: Mrs Sheilds
I thought this was very interesting but however throughout the book, parts made me feel that i didnt want to read it any longer. As I got to about Chapter 5, I found it Very boring and didnt want to keep reading it. I Loved it after that chapter. This book made me feel abit concerned about what would happen to the characters loads. As it got very close to the end I didnt want to finish the book and wanted to know more, however I didnt get the ending, but I do now. I wish there was a second book ...more
Jul 20, 2009 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember is was intresting to begin with, but then it got boring real fast. But during the end of the book, it got intresting again. Makes you wonder, what happens after you die?
Melissa White
Jun 25, 2008 Melissa White rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teenagers
Recommended to Melissa by: I got it in english
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found parts of the story very confusing. I founds parts a bit boring, but i enjoyed reading the rest.
Aug 01, 2014 Kori rated it really liked it
I read Jacob's Ladder a while ago so I can't really tell you my honest review anymore, but I do remember loving it. I thought the characters were great mostly and I've always enjoyed stories from a male's POV because it's something different for me (as a female). It's very similar to the Maze Runner, which I began reading recently, but I honestly remember liking it a lot more than I'm liking the Maze Runner so far. The ending was confusing, I believe, but overall it was an amazing book that kept ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Stak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book never really hooked me. If it hadn't of been short enough to read in one day I probably would have put it down and forgotten about it.

That said the concept was interesting enough and some parts of the story were well written. The mystery of how Jacob ended up in the field was initially intriguing as was the town of Locus. Most of the book however were this back and forth of extremes. The last few chapters of the book felt dragged out before an amazingly abrupt ending while the charac
Oct 27, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, fantasy
Ages 10+ (no language or other elements)

Jacob awakens in a field with no memory of who he was before. He is ferried across a river by a man named Virgil, and arrives in Locus, a gray land. Every day in Locus is the same: gray clothes, tasteless food, baskets of rocks to be shifted. At night, the boys play the memory game and attempt to recall snippets of who they were before.

Jacob is unsettled by this land, and is desperate to uncover his past and escape Locus, even though the other boys discou
Chris Notionless
Feb 06, 2015 Chris Notionless rated it really liked it
Book offers a glimpse into Dystopian literature for YA readers. Your typical tale of identity, search for individuality and control exist here; as well as some more personal concepts such as life after death and peer pressure. I enjoyed the book for it's simplicity, intentional pace, and metaphorical ending.
Rebecca Ann
This was a fast, thoughtful story about second chances and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles . The characters were familiar types, and the story was mostly plot-driven.

pace: steady
characterization: familiar
Frame: contemporary, purgatory-like setting
story line: plot driven, post life
tone: alternating between bleak and hopeful
writing style: conversational

The Last Book in the Universe or The Giver
Apr 18, 2016 Shamsa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking. Why did these kids end up in a camp in the middle of the desert? Did they deserve to go there? Or is it just a stop before heaven?
Roman Gokhman
Jan 23, 2016 Roman Gokhman rated it did not like it
A cautionary tale about what happens when you wreck a train? Well, it's a quick read. Should have noticed much earlier that it's a kids' book.
Emily Randall
I happened to come across this book a while ago and picked it up, expecting something entirely different, this book aimed at children, has kept me engaged and I found that I got through it rather quickly. There are some dull areas within the book, but when you consider the monotonous existence of the children and that Locus is a grey place, which breaks down the spirit of the children and their escape from their dormitories is a wasteland full of stones that need clearing, one might expect such ...more
Aug 28, 2011 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Mixed feeling about this book. I know it is for YA but still. I liked the idea of the book but I thought it could have been presented better. I liked the mystery of why Jacob landed in the middle of the field and learning the way around his new dormitories but I think the story was rushed after that. The friends he met could have been developed more and I could have had more of a connection to them. I liked the ending , it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz (kinda). I liked the idea that memories c ...more
Angelina Tarallo
Jan 24, 2014 Angelina Tarallo rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have ever read in my life,it is just amazing,it grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go if I could by 1 million copies I would,thank you Brian keaney,thank you!
Clair Watts
Nov 01, 2014 Clair Watts rated it liked it
It was okay, although the ending in my opinion was VERY predictable.
Mar 09, 2010 Carole rated it liked it
I'm not sure what to say about this book. It is our bookclub choice so I had to read it. If left to myself I would not have finished it which would have been my loss. It picks up halfway through which is why it only got 3 stars. I'm not sure there would have been a better way to start to get to the ending but it doesn't entice you to go on. The ending does make you reflect on the entire novel which makes the beginning work eventually. Luckily this is a very short read (designed for young adults) ...more
Jan 15, 2016 CHAOS rated it it was amazing
I recommend good book
Apr 14, 2008 Cathy rated it really liked it
When Jacob wakes up in the middle of a field, he realizes that the only thing he remembers is his name. A man named Virgil takes him to Locus, a town where everything is gray. He lives in a dorm with other teenage boys. By day they pick up rocks and at night tell each other about the bits of memories they have. [return][return]But Jacob refuses to go along and eventually runs aways with two other teens. It plods along before getting to an interesting ending that has to do with making better choi ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Aisha rated it it was amazing
This book talks about reincarnation and having a second chance in life, i read it out of boredom to be honest and i received more then i bargend for. the setting at the beginning was so confusing and depressing but as you read on you discover that a human’s sheer determination to carry on. i loved it and i would recommend anyone that reads this post to read the book. enough said I’m not giving any spoilers you my reader have to discover the hidden potential of this book and live in purgatory for ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Niamh rated it liked it
Recommends it for: all my friends
Recommended to Niamh by: i found it in the library
I thought this book was very good and I really enjoyed it. I read this book in just a day because I just couldn't put it down. While some parts around the middle aren't as interesting as the start and ending but, i think its worth sticking with. I thought that the author created the character(Jacob) very well. I liked how he questioned what was going on instead of just going along with it like everyone else. I really thought this was a good bookand think its worth reading
Feb 27, 2011 Shanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
There were certain parts in this book that had the potential to be really creepy and/or interesting, but they were lost in the overall stagnant prose. Nothing seemed to happen for 3/4 of the book and the ending was sloppy and unconvincing. It was damn near impossible to feel anything other than apathy for the three main characters. Overall, I would not recommend this book for any other purpose than a quick 'free read' for middle school students.
Dec 03, 2008 Telesa rated it really liked it
Jacob awakes in a field and doesn't remember how he got there. Actually, he doesn't remember much of anything at all. Luckily a man shows up to escort him to his new life...but Jacob has some serious issues with this new community.

I read this because I read and enjoyed _The Hollow People_ by the same author. Although this one was a little predictable, it is still a good read. It has a weird/creepy x-files kind of feel to it.
Jemma Broadstock
Jun 25, 2008 Jemma Broadstock rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2013 Joyce rated it really liked it
I was never afraid of death..pain yes but death no. I honestly view death as a final vacation where I can finally let go and relax. But after reading this book I got scared. Reading it felt like a great pressure is on my chest and for the first time in my life I did not want to die just yet. I don't want to drift into oblivion. I don't know how to explain it but it rattled me. Jeez maybe I'm not even making sense here.
Maddie Coulson
Jun 25, 2008 Maddie Coulson rated it liked it
At first found this book really interesting but as i carried on reading i found it hard to understand and get into. There are so many questions to be asked about Jacobs Ladder which made me want to read on at first, but as i got more into the book i got fed up of reading about Jacobs time at Locus, in my opinion the author dragged it on to much. I gave up reading the book at around chapter 7.
Carys Gidlow
Jun 25, 2008 Carys Gidlow rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teenagers and not young children- they wouldnt understand it.
Recommended to Carys by: i got it in english.
I enjoyed reading this book. Parts of it were harder to read and a bit confusing but if you keep reading you understand.
I didnt like the middle of the book, i found it a bit boring because it was harder to get into, but i enjoyed the rest.
This book makes you ask alot of questions in your head and i never expected it to end like it did. I would recommend this book.
Lucieeee Evansss
Jun 25, 2008 Lucieeee Evansss rated it really liked it
I found this book a very nice read! At times it could become confusing but if you read on you would have lots of questions answered, that you wondered about before. Most of the time i was wanting to read on and see what happens because it got very exciting. I think the story line was very good and i would love for their to be a sequel! I highly recommend this book :)
Jun 25, 2008 Bethany rated it really liked it
I thought the first part of the book when Jacob wakes up in a field and gets used to life in Locus was good but it was a bit boring. But when he ran away I was more sucked into it. It had a good ending because he went back to life and he did things differently so that he wouldn't be killed. I thought it was good/ok. It was a bit spooky though.
Kerry Connelly
young adult- not my cup of tea, but would recommend for teen audiences.
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Brian is an award-winning children's author. He has written seventeen novels which have been translated into thirteen languages. His most recent novel for children, The Magical Detectives and the Forbidden Spell is published by Orchard Books. He lives in South East London.

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