The Fall of Babel by Josiah Bancroft Review
Josiah Bancroft has Ascended into my personal Tower of Fantasy Greats, and I will absolutely read every word of his that I can get my hands on
Trying to write a review for this feels like trying to say 'I love you' for the first time. There's so many roiling emotions pressing out from my chest, begging to be heard, that I can't find the exact words to relay them all, so instead, here are some of those:
- Holy shit, I WAS RIGHT. In the last third of the 2nd book, I started thinking of a far fetched theory, and I nailed it. All of the motifs in the book pointed to one plausible impossibility, and the madman did it. Josiah, I applaud you.
- I feel empty inside, but in a good way
- Josiah Bancroft has Ascended into my personal Tower of Fantasy Greats, and I will absolutely read every word of his that I can get my hands on
- The man is one of the greatest amalgamations of carbon, eccentric hobbies, and beautiful words that I think may ever exist.
With those things out of the way, I adore these books. I had some qualms about the pacing of the third book, so much so that I thought it may spoil the series if it continued, but everything that bothered me about book 3 was fixed in this book. I don't want to say too much directly about the content because it's not out yet but the pacing is better, the character viewpoints are interspersed so you don't get stuck with a thread you aren't interested in for too long (though all of them in this book were great), and the Tower as an entity is back in full force.
One minor 'nitpick' that kept coming back to me was the first part of the book which follows Adam since we last saw him. This initial POV is all Adam for about 20 chapters. For me, this felt like a Novella stapled onto the start of a book. I simply couldn't connect it to the events that happened after because it was so drastically apart from it. Even now, when I go to think of the book as a whole, that entire first section isn't even included in my ruminations on the final events. For some reason, my brain has filed it under a separate novella - even though it is just as good as the shenanigans that follow after it. I've heard that it was originally meant to be a part of Book 3, but the already unwieldy size of the book changed that. It would make much more sense structurally if that were the case.
The grace with which the man creates an open, yet tied up ending was incredible. I'm sure some may be dissatisfied by it (as my partner partially was), but I am fond of the open-wound endings that leave you to desire more. It makes them far more difficult to forget. Any form of media that leaves me with a longing ache that refuses to leave is the perfect piece of media for me.
- Prose. I love this man's atmosphere he's able to create through choice words.
- Characters are incredibly well written
- The evasion of tropes he's able to pull off show skill of a true author. I can't wait to see what else he creates.
- The Open-ended nature of the ending is a big plus to me. It leave my heart to ache for more
- Final 'Costs' of the story felt a bit light. I'm honestly not sure if this is a con or not, since it really brings it back to the simple nature of Senlin in the first book. I like that it wasn't a devastating ending, but I also am not sure that the consequences of the four books were on the same scale as those of the threats. Its an odd balance that I think I'll vacillate between for a while.
- The 'Novella' stapled to the front of the book made for a weird separation of events in my mind, but for some it may work better, for some it may work worse.
- His next books isn't out.
Thank you Josiah for this wonderful gift you have created
A stunning Full Moon