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Chill (Jacob's Ladder, #2)
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(Jacob's Ladder #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  827 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Sometimes the greatest sin is survival.

The generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has barely survived cataclysms from without and within. Now, riding the shock wave of a nova blast toward an uncertain destiny, the damaged ship—the only world its inhabitants have ever known—remains a war zone. Even as Perceval, the new captain, struggles to come to terms with the traumas of her rec
Paperback, 310 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Spectra (first published December 29th 2009)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  827 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm afraid that I won't be able to review this book as seriously as I originally intended. I wanted to read it as an adventure and a novel of chase, because that's how it felt, but I got sidetracked by alienish and outright aliens being bred in the bowels of the generation ship. I wanted to get waylaid by Tristan, the toolbox, the necromancer, and the fragment of our big bad angel from Dust, but I'm afraid I was distracted.

It could be because the novel was a departure from the excellent setup fr
Elizabeth Bear's Chill is the second in her Jacob's Ladder series. I described the first in this series as part of a "frequently disorienting, occasionally downright trippy, always original and thoughtful trilogy." Chill was less disorienting – except in terms of tracking who the 12-15 central characters were: they included siblings of a super family of Exalt, good and bad angels (AI projections), necromancers, re-evolved creatures (baby mammoths and giant carnivorous orchids).

I enjoyed Dust, bu
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012, e-books
2 Stars

This book is barely a 2 star read after a decent start with book 1 Dust. Very little happens in this book and the characters that made book 1 great are reduced down to paper thin shells. I was bored at times reading this and am truly shocked that I pushed through to the end.

Elizabeth Bear is an amazing author that writes great science fiction, but this book was not up to par. It is going to be tough to finish this series.
WARNING: No spoilers for Chill, but plenty of spoilers for Dust.

Chill picks up almost directly after Dust ended, when the ship is reeling from the nova blast and the crew is reeling from all of the deaths, particularly Rien's sacrifice to bring the new angel -- an A.I. integrating all of the splinter A.I.s that developed when the ship broke down centuries before -- into existence. Perceval is now captain, but she is barely functional as she deals with her grief, and there is an enormous power va
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I think the first book in the series, "Dust", was a stronger book. It may have been too long since I read that one until I read this one. I had a hard time remembering all the characters and family history. The first book had more of a sense of wonder with the movement through the ship. The main characters from the first book are mostly not seen, and I had a hard time transferring my interest to the new characters. This book is basically one big long chase scene, interspersed with lots of charac ...more
Jason Lang
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Dust was a fantastic novel that reminded me of Wolfe's Dying Sun series. Couched in mythic/fantasy language, but set far in the future. Chill is Dust's sequel and sadly, not as good as it's prequel.

The world-ship Jacob's Ladder has suffered some cataclysm which has left it adrift. The crew is at war with each other inside the broken hull. After a enforced peace breaks out at the end of Dust, the ship sets out again after 500 years. Now, crippled by damage, low on resources, the crew must deal wi
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Had absolutely no idea what was going on, in the first book. Too many names, too many new ideas, too much description that made it difficult to tell what was metaphor and what was actually happening. I picked up the second book mostly just hoping to figure out what happened in the first one.

Ooh, I get it now! I will probably go re-read Dust, now that I have a better idea. Because, for all my complaining, Bear's prose is SO GORGEOUS that I can't not read her books, even when I am completely lost
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
AUUUUGGHHHHHH there is NO reason that these books should be such a slog but WHAT A SLOG. They are chock full of concepts and ideas and “WHOA!!!!” moments but have no depth and no coherence and are as a result painfully boring despite being made from fantastic materials! I’m so mad I spent the better part of a month unable to finish this instead of reading something else. WHAT A WASTE.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
This is definitely a second-book-in-the-series, not that you can tell that from the cover - which must have been annoying for some people. As such, there are spoilers for the first book, Dust.

Chill picks up only hours after the end of Dust - Tristen Conn awakens in an acceleration tank, after the colony ship has had to accelerate at drastic rates to escape a supernova. The first part of the story therefore follows the experiences of Tristen, Caitlin, Benedick and Perceval as they accustom themse
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A funky mix of medieval knights questing through an incredible artificial space-faring habitat.
I had no idea what to expect - this is one of many 'second book in the series' that I've received as gifts. They normally sit on the shelf until I've found the first one. However, our book stacks are getting ridiculous and my current system is just reading the next book on the heap.

I didn't feel I was missing much though, the characters are suffering from their extended histories and the disasters of
The planetship is underway, but fragile: as its new angel and captain integrate, their integrity is threatened by a potential outside force. I miss the duo protagonists of Dust. Characterization in Chill is strong, but the narrative voice, with its distinctive quirks (especially in depicting microexpressions), remains static as it cycles through the half-dozen points of view; the effect is fluid almost to the point of sloppy, and, with a plot so similar to the first book, bizarrely redundant. Bu ...more
Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, "Dust." I very much liked the juxtaposition of the near-derelict generation ship with the mythology that has grown up around its technologies, and the complex, 'old-fashioned' court hierarchies of the society.
Unfortunately, I didn't feel that "Chill" lived up to the first book's promise. I just wasn't sucked back into the world. The plot kind of meandered, and while there were some interesting ideas and imagery, I didn't feel any tension or driving
Mya R
The world building in this book is amazing. The flora & fauna, the evolution of culture & language, have been given exquisite attention.

However, this book goes in a different direction from the first in the series. The main protagonists are different characters, & point of view shifts through many more people. Unfortunately, I never fell in love with any of them. I was fascinated by the world through which they were traveling, but it was a struggle to care how their journey resolved. I loved so
Chandler's Law on a generation ship. I decided to finish the series but that is probably a character flaw. (view spoiler) ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This 2nd book of the Jacob's Ladder trilogy picked up pretty much immediately after Pinion, as they have just escaped from certain end-of-the-world event. However, there are so much damage and not enough resources to repair them. In addition, the enemy was not quite defeated as they thought they have done. In fact, there is a bigger conspiracy at play and once again, the world's survival is threatened. This time, all need to work together to save it from an external threat.

Just as fascinating as
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Second book in the series, and this one was weirder than the first. This book begins after the generation ship catches the explosion wave of the star they were circling when it went nova. The ship is cracking up. The new captain is mourning. Lots of people died. And they're under attack, either by the aunt/granddaughter/cousin (depending on which of the cast of characters is relating to her) who was causing trouble in book 1, or maybe the ship's own nanocolonies gone rogue and attacking itself. ...more
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2019
This book is really about the Conn family and their history. We follow Benedick and Tristen as they chase (view spoiler) through the ship. She's carrying a dangerous, unknown, virus. In the background, Caitlin and Perceval struggle to repair the ship.

It felt like a very slow book - the characters are basically going through the ship, and any "fight" scenes are between competing AIs. There's interesting bits about nanotech and evolution. It also felt very mythic - there
I like the story, I like the world-building, and I like the themes of this book -- this series, really. I even like Bear's narrative style, though that's part of the reason I rate the book three stars instead of four. It's hard to penetrate at times, and as I neared the conclusion of the book (and Dust, its predecessor), I started losing track of what was happening. Bear would throw a sentence into a section that would make me think, "Whoa, wait, did that happen?", and then I was shuffling back ...more
Matt Hope
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
The Jacob's Ladder is underway, but something is making parts of the ship either dissapear or become inaccessible. The crew and angel(s) have to find out what and why and deal with the problem. The story involves a lot of travelling, largely by foot, around the world/ship very much in the tradition of quest-style fantasy stories. The crew meet and interact with many different environments and creatures/plants/tech/combinations of all three that may or may not be friendly.

I found the old style fa
Jamie Rich
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chill (Jacob's Ladder, #2) by Elizabeth Bear

If Dust didn't blow you away, this sequel will!
Just when you thought it was safe to be in Jacob's Ladder, you will be killed. But death may, or may not, be all that permanent. In a spaceship known simply as the world, that left Earth how many generations ago, and is headed to who knows where, the onboard family schisms and power struggles are all to real.
And the family that Rules them all, the Conns (nifty name there) is by parts, as sadistic, manipula
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The mix of science fiction and fantasy that Elizabeth Bear uses in this series really works for me; I feel like she took the best tropes of the two genres and added outstanding characters, creating a world that I can’t get enough of. I adored reading about the characters’ backstories, the mistakes and failures that shaped them. The ship is just as crazy and beautiful as in the first book. I think the pacing was a bit uneven, while it was slow for the first 270 pages, the last 40 pages were rushe ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Galman
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The genetically engineered crew of a generation star ship fight against an unknown enemy aboard while seeking a destination star.

The character motivations and plot justifications can be difficult to understand. I would need to reread it. That said, I mostly enjoyed it.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Concentrated on new viewpoints in this sequel to "Dust." Good pacing in revelation of important information. Characters didn't all know the same things. Most of action was travel through ship. Leading to big climax at end that seemed to fall short.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-will-read
Good but not as good as the first novel in the series, I hope for less of a rushed ending. But eBear is eBear. She's still one of my favourite writers for her creative depth, eccentric characters, and intricate worldbuilding.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't yet read Dust, then Chill isn't going to make much sense. It's still doable, but it's better to read Dust first. The second in a trilogy - Jacob's Ladder trilogy- Chill takes off right where Dust ended. The aftermath of a great battle... but you need back ground. Too bad you're not going to get a lot of back ground from me -- you really need to read the book to get the most out that you can. See, I'm not sure I got everything out of the book that I could. But here's a start...

Mackenzie Caple
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Again, fascinating world building-- but wasn't a huge fan of the pacing. I found the climax abrupt and rather anticlimactic because of how brief it was.
Lynda Lacasse
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was a perfect second half of this strange and wonderful space opera! I will definitely be reading more from this author.

Amy Peavy
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, series
Sort of a post apocalyptic/pre-advanced civilization sci-fi trilogy in which I still need to read the final volume. I enjoyed getting to know the world and the different characters.
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Jacob's Ladder (3 books)
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