Senlin Ascends – By Josiah Bancroft

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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, assassination, 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.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I’m not sure what I was expecting with Senlin Ascends, but it sure wasn’t what I read, but in a very good way.

I used to read classics all the time, and I haven’t read anything like them in awhile, so I really loved the writing style. It reminded me of a Dostovesky novel in the best ways. It was new and classic at the same time.

Senline Ascends is a truly bizarre and interesting story. It starts with Senlin on his way to his honeymoon destination with his wife Marya, only they never reach the destination and instead he looses his wife.  As he begins his search for his wife he learns that she’s not the only person who has gone missing while at the Tower, and soon a mystery begins to reveal itself.

As Senlin ascends the world around him seems to have more and more questions. Each layer of the Tower is more and more bizarre. For me some of the layers were more interesting than others. And Senline himself went up and down in his interest to me. He’s a man of letters, quiet and a little naive.  I definitely liked the last half of the book more than the first half.  The story felt far more fast paced in the second half.  I enjoyed seeing him work with the painter and becoming more than just the scared teacher.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars and I’m hoping to read the second book soon.

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