Melanie's Reviews > Senlin Ascends

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, buddy-reads, read-in-2017, favorites, steampunk
Recommended to Melanie by: Mark Lawrence


Buddy Read with Petrik

This highly praised indie book series has recently been picked up by Orbit! After that news, and seeing the first two beautifully sitting on my shelf for far too long, I decided I wanted to experience this self published series before the year was over, but now I just want all the books immediately, because Senlin Ascends is a literary masterpiece.

“The Tower of Babel is most famous for the silk fineries and marvelous airships it produces, but visitors will discover other intangible exports. Whimsy, adventure, and romance are the Tower’s real trade”

Senlin Ascends is unlike anything I've ever read before. The basic premise seems easy enough: A headmaster that works at a school in a very small and far away village, has newly married a girl who compliments him perfectly. Senlin is a man of planning, habit, and always following the rules, while his new bride, Marya, follows her own beat completely and just wants to see the world. Senlin is also obsessed with a mysterious tower that is far, far away from him and Marya's village. So, what better place for them to honeymoon than the tower that he's been obsessing over his whole life. I mean, Senlin has a guidebook, and he always follows the rules, what could go wrong?

“the Tower is a tar pit. Once you put a toe in her, you’re caught forever. No one leaves. No one goes home.”

Yet, we soon find out that inside the Tower of Babel there are completely different worlds living and dwelling inside each level, or maybe I should say functioning inside each level. And, yes, I said Tower of Babel, like the bible story you probably grew up hearing at least once about why we speak so many different languages. Basically, after the Great Flood happened, a bunch of people came together and agreed to build a tower that would touch Heaven itself. God, realizing what they are attempting, scatters them all around the world and makes them all speak different languages, hence our world today. Yet, obviously, the higher in the tower you are the closer you are to God and Heaven.

Also, unbeknownst to me both times, this is the second Tower of Babel inspired story I've read this month, because I also read Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1) by Scott Reintgen . So now I'm lowkey sitting at my computer like, "Is God trying to tell me something?"

Anyways, this is a glorious painting done by Peter Bruegel, that I found because of my wonderful friend Mike's review, that is a very close interpretation to how I pictured the Tower in this book:


And here is the Tower that the amazingly talented author, Josiah Bancroft, made that shows us around and inside a few of the levels known to man:

(I looked at this constantly once Petrik showed it to me!)

Okay, so now you guys know sort of what the gist of the Tower is and sort of what it looks like, but I'm sure you're reading this review to find out about the story. Oh, my friends, this story is a treat to any book lover who happens to stumble upon this tale. It's mystery after mystery, surprise after surprise, whimsical new steampunk world after whimsical new steampunk world.

“Not a solitary soul will help you here. The good souls don’t have the means or mind for it, and the bad souls will only bleed you dry.”

As Senlin is ascending the Tower, this book will constantly lead you to believe something, and you will, with your whole heart, but it will end up being so completely different. And the book will do this over and over again, but it will never feel forced or gimmicky, but it will always surprise you. I'm not sure any author I've ever read has been capable of doing that before, and, again, this is a debut novel by a self published author. (Which is why we need to support indie authors and find more hidden gems like this little masterpiece.)

And the writing is so fantastic. It's entrancing and addicting, while also being one of the most immersive works I've ever read. Especially the baths, like, I'm still halfway convinced that I was there in my own little pinecone like shelf, watching everything play out through the streets of that city. This story reads like you're in a lucid dream that you're not sure you want to wake up from. Yet, it still feels like you're seeing everything through somewhat of a haze. Again, this tale is glorious and unlike anything I've ever read in my many years of reading.

“It is easier to accept who you’ve become than to recollect who you were.”

And Senlin as a character was wonderful to read about, too. Seeing the Tower shape him into what he needs to be, is worth its own review. I mean, the Tower changes everyone, but Senlin always stays true to his caring self that loves to learn and to teach others and it makes him flourish. Senlin's journey is nothing short of beautiful. I also loved the Tower itself, and how it is so much bigger than anyone realizes. I loved Senlin's theory and I can't wait to ascend the next levels with him.

“The Tower is only as tall as the man that climbs”

The side characters that Senlin meets along his journey are also nothing short of exquisite. Iren, Goll, Tarrou, Edith, Adam, Ogier, they were all such wonderful additions that truly shaped this story into something remarkable that leaves me with a loss for words. I could read side story after side story about each of these individuals and their time spent in the Tower.

At this point, I also believe that Josiah Bancroft could very well just be a genius for crafting this complex tale that is so entrancing yet easy to follow. The only negative thing I can really say is that this book does end, and I mean it ends somewhat abruptly, and if you don't have the next book, Arm of the Sphinx, on hand, you are probably going to cry. If you're looking for a fast paced adventure, with a completely addicting story, with some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read, that is unlike anything you've ever read, please give Senlin Ascends a try.

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Reading Progress

January 23, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 23, 2017 – Shelved
January 23, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 20, 2017 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
June 20, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
June 26, 2017 – Started Reading
June 27, 2017 –
50.0% "I've never read anything like this in my entire life. I am so engrossed and this is so addicting. No surprise that Orbit picked this amazing story up! 💗
"
June 28, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
June 28, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 4, 2017 – Shelved as: steampunk

Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)

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Lady Luna. ✨ Enjoy my lovely friends 😘


Melanie ☽Luna☾ wrote: "Enjoy my lovely friends 😘"

Awh, thank you, beautiful! We will! 💗 xx


Idiot Sandwich oh, I heard a lot of great things about this one!


Melanie Grill Power ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ wrote: "oh, I heard a lot of great things about this one!"

I just finished, and it was so, so, so good! I highly recommend it, love! 💗xo


Lady Luna. ✨ Great review Mel !


message 6: by Ginger (last edited Jun 28, 2017 03:49PM) (new) - added it

Ginger Great review Mel!!! I'm so looking forward to reading this now!


Melanie ☽Luna☾ wrote: "Great review Mel !"

Thank you so much, Luna! 💗xo


Melanie Ginger wrote: "Great review Mel!!! I'm so looking forward to reading this now!"

Thank you, Ginger! I can't wait to read your review! I hope you love it! 💗xo


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Great review! I actually JUST picked this title up on my kindle a few hours ago because a dear bookish friend was raving about it to me, and now I log on and see you loved it, too! I'm excited!


Choko Amazing review!!! I agree with every word and wish I had been able to get my thoughts out there just as well ☺! Great book!


Melanie Destiny wrote: "Great review! I actually JUST picked this title up on my kindle a few hours ago because a dear bookish friend was raving about it to me, and now I log on and see you loved it, too! I'm excited!"

Oh my gosh, what are the chances, Destiny? Haha. I love it! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I hope you absolutely love this when you get around to it! 💗xx


Melanie Choko wrote: "Amazing review!!! I agree with every word and wish I had been able to get my thoughts out there just as well ☺! Great book!"

Awh, you are too kind, Choko! Thank you! I am still thinking about this book! I can't wait to pick up book two tomorrow! 💗xo


Alex is The Romance Fox Fab review Melanie :D


message 14: by Ginger (new) - added it

Ginger Melanie wrote: "Thank you, Ginger! I can't wait to read your review! I hope you love it! 💗xo"

Yeah, I bought the book yesterday. I'll have to fit it in somewhere this year. It looks really good with an interesting plot!


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Wonderful review Melanie :)


Petrik Aaaaaa fantastic review Melanie! so happy to do this BR with you! On to the 2nd book now! :D


Melanie Alex is The Romance Fox wrote: "Fab review Melanie :D"

Thank you so much, Alex! 💗xo


Melanie Ginger wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Thank you, Ginger! I can't wait to read your review! I hope you love it! 💗xo"

Yeah, I bought the book yesterday. I'll have to fit it in somewhere this year. It looks really good wi..."


Ahhh! I'm so excited for you! 💗xo


Melanie Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Wonderful review Melanie :)"

Thank you, Eon! 💗xx


Melanie Petrik wrote: "Aaaaaa fantastic review Melanie! so happy to do this BR with you! On to the 2nd book now! :D"

Thank you, Petrik! And it's always a fantastic buddy read with you! So excited to start book two tonight! 💗xo


AℳYⒾ ♔♚♛Cofounder of Teens against YA books♛♚♔ You made it sound so interesting! AMYzing review, Melanie. xoxoxoxoxox♥


Melanie Amy wrote: "You made it sound so interesting! AMYzing review, Melanie. xoxoxoxoxox♥"

Thank you so much, Amy! You are so cute and kind! 💗xxx


Melanie Maddie wrote: "Stunning review - Melanie xoo"

Thank you so much, Maddie. You are so very kind! I hope you're having a happy July! 💗xx


Orient Great review, Melanie :) What a strange book! :)


Melanie Orient wrote: "Great review, Melanie :) What a strange book! :)"

Thank you so much, Orient! It for sure has left an impression on me! 💗xo


Mitriel Fantastic review, so glad you enjoyed it, Melanie! :)


SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ Excellent review Melanie dear! = D xx


Melanie Mitriel wrote: "Fantastic review, so glad you enjoyed it, Melanie! :)"

Thank you, Mitriel! It was truly unlike anything else! 💗xo


Melanie SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ wrote: "Excellent review Melanie dear! = D xx"

Thank you, love! 💗xx


message 30: by Nimrod (new) - added it

Nimrod Daniel Great review, Mel! :)
I look forward to read this book, it's high on my tbr.


message 31: by Doug (new) - rated it 4 stars

Doug Great review for a great book!


Melanie Nimrod wrote: "Great review, Mel! :)
I look forward to read this book, it's high on my tbr."


Thank you so much, love! It's so different, I think you'll absolutely love it! 💗xx


Melanie Doug wrote: "Great review for a great book!"

Thank you so much, Doug! 💗xo


message 34: by Liam (new) - added it

Liam Degnan Ooh, great review Melanie! I plan on reading this ASAP, and your review reminded me of how badly I've been wanting to get to it!


Melanie Liam wrote: "Ooh, great review Melanie! I plan on reading this ASAP, and your review reminded me of how badly I've been wanting to get to it!"

Perfect timing! I completely forgot to repost my review for the release yesterday, haha! But this book is so damn good! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Happy reading, Liam! 💗xo


Wren (fablesandwren) This is coming up on my TBR, I'm glad to know you loved it!


Jorge Barbosa You convinced me to pick this one up!


Melanie Wren ϟ wrote: "This is coming up on my TBR, I'm glad to know you loved it!"

This makes me so happy! I can't wait to see how you feel! This is honestly a one of a kind book in every way! Happy reading, beautiful! 💗xx


Melanie Jorge wrote: "You convinced me to pick this one up!"

Those are the sweetest words for me to ever hear, Jorge! Thank you! And happy reading! 💗xo


message 40: by G.H. (new)

G.H. Eckel i haven't read this genre for a while. now i'm interested.


message 41: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Great review! I just bought this one at barnes and noble, can't wait to start reading it!


Melanie G.H. wrote: "i haven't read this genre for a while. now i'm interested."

It's honestly something I'd recommend to any book lover... it is that good! I can't wait to hear what you think about it! Happy reading! 💗xo


Melanie Megan Elizabeth wrote: "Great review! I just bought this one at barnes and noble, can't wait to start reading it!"

Awh! This warms my heart, Megan! And thank you so much! Happy reading! I hope you love this one, too! 💗xx


message 44: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte Great review! I've been shying away from indie lately but this sounds really good! I might have to pick it up. Especially since I'm not terribly familiar with the Tower of Babel


Melanie Charlotte wrote: "Great review! I've been shying away from indie lately but this sounds really good! I might have to pick it up. Especially since I'm not terribly familiar with the Tower of Babel"

Awh, thank you, Charlotte! I promise, love, you don't need to know anything about the Tower of Babel! I promise! And... Orbit totally is publishing this now because it is SO good, so don't let the indie title scare you! Seriously, if you want a completely unique fantasy experience, pick this up, love! You won't regret it! Happy reading! 💗xx


Jonny Loved this book,
I listened to it on audio when I was out and about, and found myself making excuses to leave the house just so I could carry on listening to it!
Great story,


Melanie Jonny wrote: "Loved this book,
I listened to it on audio when I was out and about, and found myself making excuses to leave the house just so I could carry on listening to it!
Great story,"


Awh! It truly is such a work of art! I hope you love the next one, too! Happy reading! 💛xx


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