Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2) by Josiah Bancroft

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1.) Senlin Ascends ★★★★★

Buddy Read with Petrik

“Civilization is like sunshine. Spread it about, and the world blooms with culture, innovation, and fraternity. But focus it all upon one spot, and mankind scorches the earth like a ray from a magnifying glass.”

A year has passed since the events that have lead Senlin into the tower. Marya is still missing, but Senlin is still in relentless pursuit to find his missing new bride, but to also find out even more mysteries that lie in every level of the tower.

This review will have minor spoilers from Senlin Ascends! Please do not continue if you have not read the first book in this series. Also, please go pick Senlin Ascends up, because it is unlike anything you’ve ever read before and will most likely blow your ever loving mind! Seriously, it’s good, one of the best books I’ve read in 2017, and totally worth picking up and giving a try!

“At first I felt as if we had escaped a prison. Now, I feel like we’ve been locked out of our house”

This book starts out with Senlin, or should I say Captain Mudd, and his new air pirate crew! Yes, him, Iren, Edith, Voleta, and Adam have still taken to the skies and are trying to outsmart the tower (an impossible task, by the way) to let them into the level of Pelphia, where Senlin believes his wife has been taken to.

In Senlin Ascends we were able to see in great detail and explore the Market, the Basement, the Parlor, and, my personal favorite, the Baths. Well, in Arm of the Sphinx we only get to explore the Silk Gardens, but not nearly to the degree of the other levels.

We are then thrown into the meat of the actual story! Yes, this tale is much, much bigger than just a missing wife and Senlin’s obsession with finding her! And the main story involves a person that makes the word mystery look too shallow to describe them: the Sphinx.

“The Sphinx has seduced many, many men and women with his pretty machines that are full of terrible screams.”

As we learned in Senlin Ascends, Edith was forced to lose her arm, but was given a new one, a better one, a mechanical one. But who gave her this gift and allowed her to keep her life?

I also really enjoyed all the talk about social classes in the Tower. Obviously the Hods are going to play a much bigger role, but I just thought it was a nice touch talking about what many desperate and forgotten souls can do when they have nothing to lose. How the rich get rich off of the lower classes, but that can all change in a matter of moments with a few chain reactions. (Don’t talk about politics in your reviews, Melanie! Stop!)

“Just because you don’t recognize mercy doesn’t mean you haven’t been shown it.”

Again, this is a hidden indie gem! This story is mystery after mystery. The world is one of the most unique reading experiences I’ve ever had. The Tower is nothing short of magnificent. The characters are ones that I’m actually growing to completely love and want to protect at all costs. And the messages are something of pure beauty. This story is amazing and unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

This is such a fun steampunk story about love and loss, about becoming who you need to be in the face of death, and about how sometimes unexpected friendships can make the very best family. I cannot wait for The Hod King, and I have nothing but high expectations for this series and for Josiah Bancroft.

Also, do I have any artist friends that I can commission this stolen painting of a girl, in the water, with a paper boat? It’s actually haunting my nightmares and I need to see it in real life. Also, I have more theories on this panting if anyone would like to contact me and we can put on our tinfoil hats and talk for hours over tea!

“When humanity ceases to aspire, it begins to decline”

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7 thoughts on “Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2) by Josiah Bancroft

    1. Hahaha! The first book in this series is honestly probably the best indie book I’ve ever read in my entire life. BUT this series just got picked up by Orbit, so I don’t even know if I want to call it indie anymore. BUT ITS SO GOOD REGARDLESS! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. xD Well after reading The Flame and The Arrow I was pretty much done with Indie books. Haha never heard of Orbit. I thought the Paper Princess series was indie but apparently not? Have you read them? And yassssss I’m going to see if they have a kindle version of this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Orbit is a sub company of Hachette! (You know those big five are always at the root, haha!) I actually haven’t read Paper Princess, but I need to! I loved most of Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus series, so I really, really, really need to! Maybe this month! 💗

        Liked by 1 person

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