Arm of the Sphinx
By: Josiah Bancroft
My Rating: Five out of Five Stars
Best for: 16 and up
Book one was a surprise.
In this world, the Towel of Babel isn’t just Biblical…it the cultural, financial, and thought center of the world. To most, the Tower and its fabled wonders, riches, and treasures are a mystery; a wonder of the world that inspires the imagination of children and the passion in adults. How tall is it really? No one knows. Want to visit? Take your life savings and make the trip. Maybe go for your honeymoon? Dull and stiff, boring and proper, small town and naive school master Thomas Senlin decided to do exactly that. Of course, this is the Tower of Babel we’re talking about.
Book two is special.
1) It started as an indie. Josiah Bancroft wrote a story and published it himself because he believed in it. I have a soft spot for indie authors who deserve to be known, and thank goodness he was picked up by Orbit and is on his way. I only wish I had found him earlier so I could say I was one of the first.
2) These characters–they have me hooked. I loved who I met in book one, but that was just a tease. In book two, this perfectly flawed cast of characters charmed their way into my head and my heart. They are misfits. They are lost. They are searching. They are loyal. They are friends. This isn’t a story about one person anymore, it’s a story about five individuals finding their way together, and it’s awesome.
3) The story is unlike anything I’ve come across, and I love that I can’t think of anything to compare it to. A fantastical mystery. A steampunk tower. Layers of separate kingdoms stacked into the sky. Dangers. Adventures. Air-ship Pirates. Ordinary you’s and I’s becoming heroes. What is myth? What is real? Misfits without a place climb up the tower trying to find a way down.
4) I’ll spare you the quotes, but these are some pretty great words. They’re still in my head.
Maybe a little too gushing…but it really was pretty great.
Family friendly content, but complex. I think young teens might be overwhelmed.
I’ll be waiting impatiently for book three in September.