Title: Senlin Ascends (2013)
Author: Josiah Bancroft
Series: The Books of Babel #1
Review: I was completely taken with Senlin Ascends right from the outset. Author Josiah Bancroft’s words paint a vivid picture of a peculiar world where nothing is as it seems. It’s Tim Burton meets Wes Anderson meets something completely its own.
The story follows Thomas Senlin as he climbs the massive Tower of Babel in search of his missing wife. Senlin encounters a compelling cavalcade of characters who he uses as stepping stones to reach his ultimate goal, while they use him to further their (often) nefarious aims. These symbiotic relationships teach Senlin about the true nature of the tower and about the man he must become in order to succeed.
Bancroft’s prose is lyrical and conveys a sense of grand adventure that I rarely find in my reading life. I am perplexed about the lack of mainstream attention Senlin Ascends has received since its release several years ago, but I plan to keep the positive word-of-mouth going as much as I can.
★★★★½ out of 5