Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Jezebel's Ladder (Jezebel's Ladder Book 1) - Scott Rhine
Title: Jezebel's Ladder (Jezebel's Ladder Book 1)
Author: Scott Rhine
“Jezebel's Ladder” is the first book in a sci-fi series written by Scott Rhine which spans a total of 5 novels. In this novel we are introduced to an ex-magician's assistant named Jezebel who reads an alien artefact, resulting in her being recruited into a corporation run by millionaire Elias Fortune who has been tracking down these artefacts. The artefacts seem to imbue those who read them with almost magical abilities which of course means that many governments and corporations are willing to kill to get their hands on them Therefore, working for Elias Fortune is full of risk but Jezebel is determined to stick it out and the novel charts her rise through the corporation whose final ambition is to head into space and meet the mysterious alien intelligence who seeded Earth with the artefacts.
This novel is pure Scott Rhine in that it is incredibly fast paced and doesn’t slow up at any point. It is like you have been strapped onto a rocket and blasted through a story full of twists, turns and action galore. If I had one issue with the style and structure of the book it would be that the pacing means it is easy to lose track of the details. There is so much going on at such a high pace, some people may quite simply struggle to keep up at times.
The plot itself is interesting, consistent and internally logical and was a fun journey from start to finish. A minor niggle would have to be that it did at times feel a little bit like an exercise in wish-fulfilment with Jezebel becoming almost superhuman in her ability to solve any problem without any real effort. Luckily Jezebel herself was a likeable character full of wit, loyalty and the odd flaw which meant most readers won’t begrudge her easy rise to becoming so powerful.
An interesting aspect of the novel is that the 2nd half is actually a re-working of Rhine’s novella “The Icarus Transformation”. I had actually already read the novella before but it was still interesting to see how he had managed to link this story with Jezebel’s. Unfortunately, to me the incorporation of this novella meant that the book felt like it was just two separate stories in Jezebel’s life which had been stuck together. It just don’t think it flowed very well and the movement between the two parts felt quite jarring.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, fast paced sci-fi adventure story which keeps you hooked right until the end. Most of the minor flaws probably all fallout from the break-neck pace that is utilised, but luckily you get carried along so quickly that you tend to forget any of the minor issues as quickly as you noticed them.