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Monday, March 18, 2019

#RandomReview - Senlin Ascends

Book Title: Senlin Ascends

Author: Josiah Bancroft

Reviewed By: Lynn D.

I have to admit that it took almost half of the nearly 400 pages to catch my interest, but then, I could barely put this book down.

Senlin is an unassuming schoolteacher/headmaster who has always been fascinated by "The Tower." He saved his entire life to visit and finally, on his honeymoon, he and his bride take the trip of a lifetime to explore the fabled structure. The Tower of Babel has no relation to the biblical tower. It is a series of "ringdoms," each level different from the last, starting at the Basement and extending into the clouds. The upper reaches have not been mapped.

With guidebook in hand, Senlin and Marya arrive at the Marketplace that surrounds the Tower. It is a mass of tourists, vendors, and confusion. Marya turns aside to make a purchase... and is lost in the crowd.

Thus begins Senlin's quest to find Marya. He discovers that the Guidebook has little to do with reality as he explores the Basement and ascends through the Parlor and to the Baths, where he and Marya have reservations for their honeymoon. He hopes that she has made her way there as well. Getting to the Baths is a series of frustrations, disillusionment and finally disappointment. Marya is not there. (And this is where the story really begins to get interesting)

Why you picked it up: It was highly recommended by my daughter-in-law who shares my love of fantasy and science fiction.

Why you finished it: Although his search for his wife is the overriding theme of the story, the people he encounters and the "adventures" he endures, kept me turning the pages. I was not enthralled at the beginning, but by the end, I was definitely looking forward to following Senlin's adventures onward and upward.
This is the first book in the Books of Babel series. Book 2 is The Arm of the Sphinx.

Who you would recommend it to: People who love fantasy and adventure stories, or maybe just "strange" stories, because this one is hard to classify. I'd also recommend it to people who enjoy discovering new authors.

Find Senlin Ascends in our catalog.

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