Senlin Ascends Review

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Author: Josiah Bancroft
Publisher: Orbit Books
Published: January 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 389

Senlin Ascends is simply wonderful; a fantastic, page turning debut masterpiece!

It’s the story of Thomas Senlin, “a reserved and naturally timid man who took confidence in schedules and regimens and written accounts” who takes his new bride Marya on a honeymoon to the Tower of Babel. The Tower, a mysterious edifice rising out of the Land of Ur with its top lost in the clouds draws people to it from every direction:

“The Tower of Babel is sometimes called the Sink of Humanity. Its immensity, the variety of its ringdoms, its mysterious and luxurious heights are irresistible to all comers. We are drawn to it like water to a drain.”

– Introduction to Everyman’s Guide to the Tower of Babel (Fourteenth Edition)

But once they arrive outside the tower Marya promptly disappears while going off in search of some underclothes. Senlin, the mild mannered school master waits for his bride into the next day then remembers his wife’s declaration that if they were separated they’d meet at the top of the Tower. Senlin sets off on a new journey into the Tower to find Marya, and in the process discovers more about himself than he ever anticipated. Continue reading

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Best Books Of 2017

It feels a little strange to be writing this post today. I started 2017 with a goal of trying to see just how many books I could read in the year. There was no set amount, I was just going to note a few words about them as I went and post pictures to facebook and twitter with pictures of my bedside bookshelf as it filled up with each read. By the end of the year I was blogging and writing reviews. So who knows what I’ll be doing this time in 2018.

Last night I took a look back at my list. I read 47 books in 2017. I’ve discovered that’s not a lot compared to some of you but I feel pretty good about it. I’ve put the full list at the bottom of this post. There’s some really good books in that list. I didn’t get to read as many works published in 2017 as I would have liked and there were a lot of great books to come out in the SFF world this year. I wish I could have got to more of them.

Anyway, for this post I’ve listed the seven books that I either gave a five star review on the blog, or that I would have given a five star review had I been blogging at the time I read it. Four of the seven are debuts! Not all of them fall into the speculative fiction focus of the blog but I do read a wider selection. You’ll even notice some history books at the bottom where I’ve listed all the reads of the year. So here you go…my best of 2017 in the order I read them. Continue reading