Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!
Surprised to find no one has reviewed this book yet, so I'll share my thoughts. I bought this book as I'm a huge fan of Graham Joyce, whether it's his adult fiction, his YA books or his football memoir!

The story is a good yarn and well told. Great visuals -- I particularly liked the sequences where Sophie meets people in her dreams. The protagonists are...
Published on 8 May 2010 by M. Stone

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Page-turny horror with great characters.
This is a straight-up ghost story for teens. Sophie befriends the geeky James when they both see an ominous, quickly-vanishing message on a wall: "The time has come." Their smart but decrepit old friend, Mrs Royston, explains that they are ...moreThis is a straight-up ghost story for teens. Sophie befriends the geeky James when they both see an ominous, quickly-vanishing...
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by Jason Mills


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!, 8 May 2010
By 
M. Stone (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Devil's Ladder (Paperback)
Surprised to find no one has reviewed this book yet, so I'll share my thoughts. I bought this book as I'm a huge fan of Graham Joyce, whether it's his adult fiction, his YA books or his football memoir!

The story is a good yarn and well told. Great visuals -- I particularly liked the sequences where Sophie meets people in her dreams. The protagonists are realistic and very likable, just as the antagonist is a seriously disturbing entity who 'possesses' young children. So far, so Joyce. My one reservation -- and the reason for the missing star in my overall rating -- is I felt there was a missed opportunity. It would have been good if the entity was a metaphor (I'm being careful not to drop a spoiler here). I'm not saying children's books must always carry a moral message, but this was one book that would have benefited from it. You almost feel that Joyce was heading that way then swerved away at the last minute.

This book seemed to be aimed at a slightly younger audience than previous titles such as 'Do the Creepy Thing', 'TWOC', 'Three Ways to Snog an Alien'. Not sure if that was an intentional thing or just the way it came out of the oven. I've passed it over to my nine-year-old daughter whereas I'd think twice about letting her read the other titles I mentioned. And, for the record, she is burning through it. So that's four stars from me and a potential five stars from her.

Mind you, we are both curious as to the title, 'The Devil's Ladder'. Its a bit cryptic to say the least. Not what either of us expected at all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Ladder, 21 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Devil's Ladder (Paperback)
The worlds created by Graham Joyce can be fairly hard to categorise. His work is often described as speculative fiction due to the way in which he mixes the contemporary world with myth, legend, horror and the fantastic. The Devil's Ladder, Joyce's latest novel for children, is also something of an interesting mix of genres as two regular children become embroiled in the supernatural world of demons as they experience visions and are called upon to help save the world as we know it from the gathering forces of evil.

Since Sophie attends the fairly rough Abbey South School while James the geek goes to posh Castle Gate, it seems that they have nothing in common save for the same walk to and from their respective schools each day. Sophie has noticed James as he walks along alone with his head buried in a book trying to avoid the various bullies who seem to like to torment him but she has never really given him much thought. This all changes on the morning when Sophie sees the words THE TIME HAS COME painted in large white letters on a wall near school and the phrase echoes around her mind, bringing to the surface regular dreams that have been haunting her in which she encounters the same sentiment. Shocked by this intrusion of her dreams into reality, Sophie collides with James as he walks past and is further disturbed to note that the title of the latest book he is reading is also The Time Has Come. After an argumentative exchange with James, a rather freaked out Sophie continues on her way to school but, as the day progresses, she determines to track James down to ask if he noticed the writing on the wall that morning and to see if there is any link between her dreams and his book.

Discovering that the message has now disappeared from the wall, Sophie is both relieved and disturbed when James confirms that he also saw it that morning. James seems to know a lot more about what is happening than Sophie, he also experiences strange dreams and sees odd things in the real world, and suggests that Sophie will soon receive a visitor who will shed some light on the situation. That night Sophie dreams of a knock at the door and, after she answers it, of a strange and slightly menacing hawker who insists that she buy something. The following day an almost identical event happens in the real world and Sophie ends up purchasing a raggedy old chamois leather that, when used to clean surfaces, reveals the words Ravendale, Maslama and Picator on everything it touches.

After Sophie describes the visit in her dream to James and tells him about the mysterious three words that appeared after she used the chamois, James somewhat reluctantly begins to trust her and takes Sophie to meet Mrs Royston. Mrs Royston turns out to be a rather cantankerous old lady who used to be an anthropologist and whose work has given her some insight into who Sophie and James really are and what is happening to them. With her help, Sophie and James begin to unravel the mystery of Ravendale, the ominous derelict house that they have passed everyday on the way to school without every really noticing its presence.

Mixing together mystery and adventure with a nice degree of spine-chilling horror and lingering terror, The Devil's Ladder is a highly enjoyable book. Sophie and James are well-developed characters and the growth of their friendship as they seek to unravel their mysterious destinies lends an appealing sense of normality to the exceptional circumstances in which they find themselves. The story has a good, solid ending but has the potential to be the first in a great series of paranormal adventures featuring Sophie and James - it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Graham Joyce does with them next.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Page-turny horror with great characters., 16 Feb 2011
By 
Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Devil's Ladder (Paperback)
This is a straight-up ghost story for teens. Sophie befriends the geeky James when they both see an ominous, quickly-vanishing message on a wall: "The time has come." Their smart but decrepit old friend, Mrs Royston, explains that they are ...moreThis is a straight-up ghost story for teens. Sophie befriends the geeky James when they both see an ominous, quickly-vanishing message on a wall: "The time has come." Their smart but decrepit old friend, Mrs Royston, explains that they are 'savants', gifted(?) with the ability to see what others can't. Weird dreams lead them to explore an abandoned house, where unquiet spirits roam. The demonic climax is dark and exciting.

This is all very atmospheric and creepy, but it also holds the reader with its compelling characters: Sophie and James are very believable teenagers, fun to read about, and indeed the novel sets up the possibility of 'psychic detective' sequels.

(The title, however, is wildly irrelevant to the book, which barely features a ladder, and when it does it's just that: a ladder. Doubtless dreamt up by the publisher's marketing department!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Devil's Ladder
The Devil's Ladder by Graham Joyce (Paperback - 6 Aug 2009)
£6.75
Usually dispatched within 1 to 2 weeks
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews