First Review of 2018: Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

Publication Date: January 18th 2018 from Orbit

Source: Review Copy

Mild-mannered headmaster, Thomas Senlin prefers his adventures to be safely contained within the pages of a book. So when he loses his new bride shortly after embarking on the honeymoon of their dreams, he is ill-prepared for the trouble that follows.

To find her, Senlin must enter the Tower of Babel – a world of geniuses and tyrants, of menace and wonder, of unusual animals and mysterious machines. He must endure betrayal, assassination attempts and the long guns of a flying fortress. And if he hopes to ever see his wife again, he will have to do more than just survive . . . this quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

I LOVED this book. It is one of the most imaginative, beautifully done novels I have read in a long time. Incredibly hard to stop reading once you start, you just fall into this world the author has created, following along with Thomas as he searches desperately for his wife, ascending upwards through this vivid, insane and exceptionally described landscape.

It is a character journey done with a strong emotive sense, Thomas is the key, we learn about his marriage and this trip of a lifetime, but when his wife goes missing almost immediately Thomas is thrown into a world beyond his ken. I watched him change as wilder and wilder things were thrown into his path, as he made friends and enemies, found strength in himself that he didn’t know existed, the man you see at the end of the tale is both utterly different yet quietly similar to the one who starts out.

This book has everything you could want for an entertaining book ride – strange machines, odd people, weird traditions and so much more. It has mystery and adventure, heart stopping moments and quiet contemplation, it is engaging and to be honest completely nuts but in a life affirming way. Thomas Senlin and his peaceful personality that goes through so many changes to live with his ever evolving situation is an analogy for life itself if ever I saw one.

The world building is incredible, the descriptive sense of the Tower makes you see it in your minds eye, I adored this book from first page to last – talking of that last page, what a perfectly brilliant ending, I’m just desperate now to read the next part. One of my most anticipated books of 2018.


Come on, what more could you POSSIBLY need?

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!


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