Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

I had heard a lot about this book before I started so I was a little anxious that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I am very pleased to say that it most definitely did.

It begins with our only POV, Thomas Senlin, about to arrive at the Tower of Babel with his new wife Marya for their honeymoon. Things soon begin to go awry as he quickly loses her in the madness of the crowds and so the adventure begins. The story unfolds as Thomas makes his way through the tower in search of her and meets various people along the way. 

It sounds fairly straight-forward does it not? In some ways it is but in other ways it is certainly not. The tower itself is almost another character, it looms large over the whole book. It is a very harsh world which I was not expecting, there are some seriously messed up things going on in it. We only see four levels of it and the mystery is no way near unveiled.

I absolutely loved the character progression of Thomas. It is seems like nothing is changing until you realize that at the end he is really not the same person that got off the train at the beginning. That takes some skill. The writing is amazing. There is one paragraph in particular that really stood out for me. It is a flashback scene when Thomas opens up to his wife about how he feels about her, about never having known loneliness before. It gives the feels. Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it deserves all the praise it has gotten.

5 stars out of 5

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