I NEVER thought I would find anything that would beat The Name of the Wind out of my favorite of the year spot, but here we are. Babel is a masterpiece. That’s all you need to know. But I’m going to write my review anyhow, so keep reading.
In 1828, Robin Swift is brought from Canton to London by mysterious Professor Lovell. He studies language for years to become a Babel scholar. Babel is known throughout the world for their translations, but more importantly for their silver-working. But as Robin studies at Babel he gets caught up in the Hermes Society. There he learns that everything he’s worked for might not be worth it after all.
My Thoughts on Babel
Babel crushed my soul. In a good way. I won’t forget this book anytime soon. When I first picked Babel up, I was concerned. There was a lot of info dumping. Plus, it focused heavily on the linguistics side of things. And the magic system confused me. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.
But once I fell into the rhythm of the book then I fell in love. In a way it comforted me because it reminded me of several dark academia books that I’ve read. But then it branched out and became something totally different.
The book really took off when Robin met Griffin. The secret society aspect really upped the stakes. But I do wish there had been more about Hermes in the book. And more Griffin. I really enjoyed his character. But the inner workings of Hermes weren’t really discussed until the end.
And this is where I’m leaving this review. Babel is full of nooks and crannies that you need to explore yourself. If I say much more, I’m afraid I’ll give too much away. This is a book that will make you think. It’s an extraordinary book that covers a lot of heavy topics. It’s a story you need to sit with and internalize it. Babel is a hard read, but it’s a necessary read.
My Rating: 5/5