Review: Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

I want to thank Orbit for providing me an e-arc of this. I have had this for a long time but have finally finished.

Goodreads Blurb

“The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

The first book in the stunning and strange debut fantasy series that’s receiving major praise from some of fantasy’s biggest authors such as Mark Lawrence and Django Wexler.”

My Review

I had the option of downloading all of this series last fall. I decided to go with just the first book to see if I liked it. I am so glad I did that. I do feel bad that it took me this long to read, but it was a struggle to get into. I’m not sure if the writing style was for me.

The best thing this book has going for it is the characters. There are a lot of grey characters and you just don’t know who you can trust. Senlin, our main character, has an insane amount of character development in this book. To see where he starts and where he ends up is pretty amazing. I do agree, kindness and making friends, are always the way to go. We’ve got a good cast of side characters that he picks up along the way. I loved Edith and her spunk.

The concept of this world is very interesting. It did take a while to have it all click because it’s not what I was expecting, at all. Once things start to fall in place, things did start to pick up for me. I think there are a lot of elements that were a bit overwhelming and had me struggling to keep up.

I can honestly say that I haven’t read anything like this before. It was strange, cool, and original. I do think it doesn’t quite hit the fantasy genre as much as I wanted. I’m unsure if I want to continue the series but the ending was really promising and I kind of want to know what happens next!

5 thoughts on “Review: Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

    • I thought about DNF’ing this book sooo many times. It was wild and way out there. Totally not what I thought at all, even after reading the synopsis. lol. I pushed through since it was an e-arc but it could have easily been a DNF.

      Liked by 1 person

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